To activate the mission the player must find a Cactuar on Archylte Steppe. One can be found on Eastern Tors, the bit of the Steppe guarded by Adamantortoises (one can sneak past them easily); on the hill of that area the party comes across a Cactuar that Sazh notices. After the cutscene, Cactuars have been released on the Steppe and can be fought as regular enemies. Defeating Gigantuar earns the player the Floraphobe achievement.
Mission 54: The Bigger They Are...Edit
- Class: B
- Stone Location: Archylte Steppe - Northern Highplain
- Mark Location: Archylte Steppe - Eastern Tors
We five l'Cie are the Shepherds who see the caravan safe from harm. Though we act as one, it falls to me to fulfill our Focus, for I am the leader, and what manner of leader would shirk his most onerous of duties? I could not abide such shame. The eastern tors are the dominion of our mark--a fell gigantuar. It is said to frequent a rise within the oretoise territory. For honor, the fal'Cie, and my brothers, I will slay the spiny scourge, and carve my own legend in its ruined husk.
Despite being given as rank B mission, Gigantuar is one of the hardest missions. He uses 10,000 Needles, which deals exactly 10,000 damage and sometimes inflicts the target with Pain and Fog. It is possible to reduce the damage from 10,000 Needles with a Sentinel. 10,000 Needles also has a dispelling effect.
A party member can get Random: Instant Chain by equipping a Stagger Lock or Quick Stagger weapon with a sash as accessory, by equipping a sash and a Champion's Badge, or by equipping multiple sashes and the Survivalist Catalog. Instant Chain activates randomly when the character attacks a target. Gigantuar does not have much HP so getting him to stagger should be enough for a win.
This way it is possible to defeat Gigantuar even with low level characters, if one gets lucky. Sazh's Full ATB Skill Cold Blood is the superior ability when used in conjunction with Random: Instant Chain; a single Cold Blood hits 17 times, each time carrying the chance to trigger the instant chain. Lightning's Army of One and Hope's Last Resort can also be used for the same effect, but don't hit as many times as Cold Blood.
The chance of Random: Instant Chain activating is 0.5% per hit, but if a player attacks relentlessly with one character, it will trigger eventually. A good strategy is to use Sazh as the player character and have the allies as Sentinel and Medic all through the battle until the Gigantuar is staggered, at which point they can switch to a team of Commandos and Ravagers. The target time for a higher level party is short, so the only way to five star this battle is to achieve an instant chain in the first 30 seconds of battle and switch to Cerberus (Com/Com/Com).
Another strategy is to enter the battle with the set-up of COM/SEN/MED. Gigantuar will concentrate its attacks on the Sentinel while the Medic heals and one party member is left over to attack. It is not the fastest method, however. It is recommended to use Hope or Vanille as the Medic, as they have access to Curasa and Curaja. Hope has been noted in other strategies to be more concerned with dispelling Fog and Pain than actually healing.
The player should use caution when having Hope as the Medic and stay on top of the party's status ailments with items, rather than relying on Esuna. If the player uses Sazh as the Commando, he will back far away from the battle which has him being hit less often.
It's also possible to exploit Gigantuar's vulnerability against Daze. Daze works like Sleep in the other games: attacking the target physically will wear it off. One can start with a team of Saboteurs and Synergists and buff up (making sure not to forget Enfire) the team while Gigantuar is dazed, then switch to COM/COM/COM for damage, and move back to Saboteur to Daze it again. Daze allows characters to inflict double damage with the hit that will bring it out of the Daze state, so one may wish to consider COM/COM/SAB, as long as the SAB has access to Daze.
Snow might be a good choice of a Saboteur because of his liberal use of the Daze spell. Alternatively, the player may use Libra or a Librascope at the beginning of the battle so that the AI knows to only use Daze. Because Gigantuar has low HP the Commandos can finish it off fairly quickly. Use of debuff resisting equipment, such as Pain Dampener and White Cape, will help. If the party is still struggling, use of a Sentinel may help the player endure 10,000 Needles long enough to finish it off. Lightning is a good choice of Sentinel for this battle, since her Elude vastly reduces the number of hits she takes, therefore also reducing the chance of her being inflicted with Pain.
- Giant Cactuar
- Flowering Cactuar
- Metal Gigantuar