Welcome to Jeppo's miniguides. Every so often I will create a miniguide that goes in depth about a certain section of a Final Fantasy game, whether it would be about finding rare items, defeating tough creatures, or using a normally-difficult-to-use character. In this guide I will tell how how to get the most expensive, but arguably most useful item in Final Fantasy XIII, the Trapezohedron.
How do you get it?Edit
There are three methods of getting your hands on the elusive Trapezohedron.
Bet you didn't expect that, did you? Yes you can actually buy it. This is where you might frown at me and say, "Well that's easy, but I suppose you have to do something extraordinary in order for it to show up in the shop." Well, not really. The shop where you can buy it, the R&D Depot, can be accessed once you beat Mission 07. For this to appear, you've got to beat missions 01, 02 and 03 respectively. Missions 01 and 02 are found in the Archylte Steppe. 01 in particular, is the Cie'th stone that appears when first arrive on the Steppe in Chapter 01. The stone for 02 is right where the mark for 01 is and the stone for 03 is right where the mark was for 02.
The 03 mission will take you to the Yaschas Massif, which is convenient as that is where the stone for 07 is. Once you beaten the mark for 03, head West and make your way down the loooong road until you reach some ruins. This is the Paddraean Archeopolis. Have a look around there for the Cie'th Stone for 07. The mark you have to beat, Bituitus, will be very easy if you do it in Chapter 13, and Chapter 13 is probably your own realistic chance that Trapezohedrons will be of any use to you anyway. Beat Bituitus, and the R&D Depot is yours.
So it's just as simple as heading to the nearest save sphere, access the R&D Depot and buy a few Trapezohedrons, isn't it? Well, you'll soon find out that the catalyst costs a whopping 2,000,000 gil a shot, and you may have realised that gil is very scarce in this game. So how do you rack up the necessary funds to buy even one of these?
Well, you could sell everything, but I wouldn't recommend that one bit. Especially if you sell something you don't think is important, then find out later in the game it is important. There are two great money-making opportunities. The first is the four Sacrifices found in Orphan's Cradle. They have a 25% chance of dropping the Perfume component. They sell for 12,500 gil a pop, so you'll need 160 of them to get the 2,000,000 gil needed to buy one Trapezohedron. The second is through defeating Adamantortoises and Adamantoises found on the Archylte Steppe. These guys are very hard to defeat, so I don't recommend fighting these unless your characters are well into the final stage of development in the Crystarium. If you aren't that strong to defeat it outright, make Vanille the party leader, equip her with the Belladonna Wand or Malboro Wand, cast Death on the oversized tortoise and hope it connects. Both the 'Toise and the slightly easier 'Tortoise have a 25% chance of dropping the Platinum Ingot component, and selling this will net you a cool 150,000 gil. fourteen of them will get you your Trapezohedron. So while farming the Oretoises will get you to your target 2,000,000 gil quicker, it is a lot harder and can be more frustrating than farming the Sacrifices. Personally, I'd go for the Oretoises, not because it you will get you to 2,000,000 gil quicker, but because you may end up getting lucky. I'll explain why in the point below...
Farming Adamantoises and Adamantortoises for itEdit
Yes, there is actually a chance that Adamantoises and Adamantortoises will drop a Trapezohedron! That means you won't have to save up your money to buy it. However, there is only a 1% chance that the creatures will actually drop the item, and you have to get a battle rating of at least three stars or the chances of getting it will be nil.
Not all is lost, however, as there are two ways of improving this rather slim probability. The first is by getting a high star rating. A four star rating triples the probability of getting a rare item, but a five star rating multiplies the probability by five. Still, a 5% chance of getting a Trapezohedron doesn't sound likely at all. Looks like the smart money is on buying the catalyst after all.
This is where the Connisseur Catalog comes in handy. This accessory doubles the chances of the player obtaining rare items. You can get this by getting a Collector Catelog, either by buying it from Moogleworks for 100,000 gil (not recommended) or obtaining it from a Treasure Sphere from the Seventh Tier of Taejin's Tower (recommended). Now place 1050 EXP on it to upgrade its level to maximum and use the Mnar Stone transformational catalyst (60,000 gil from the Motherlode) to transform it into a Connisseur Catalog. Now equip this on one of your active characters. With this, coupled with a five star rating, you have boosted your chances of getting a Trapezohedron even more!
OK, so you still may not get a Trapezohedron in this way, but you will still be earning Platinum Ingots in the meantime, which you can sell. Then you'll have enough money to buy a Trapezohedron.
Dismantling Ultimate Weapons for itEdit
For this method you already need to have one Trapezohedron, so you'll still need to follow the steps outlined in methods 1 and 2 to get yourself one. However with this method, you will be able to triple your initial investment.
Firstly, you will need an ultimate weapon, but not just any old ultimate weapon. Only a few of Vanille's and Fang's weapons offer three Trapezohedrons (thanks to Sorceror Nobody for pointing that out), so I recommend using the the Shamanic Spear, as it is among the cheapest to level up. However if you don't have it in your inventory and you can't access the Gilgamesh, Inc. shop yet, the Belladonna Wand will work just as well. Follow the following steps:-
- Upgrade the weapon using Organic Components (the ones with the claw icon) until they reach a x3 EXP Bonus.
- Next upgrade it using Mechanical Components (the ones with the screw icon) in order to level the weapon up as high as possible.
- If the weapon doesn't reach its maximum level, upgrade them with organic components until it reaches EXP x3 again and use more mechanical components until it does. The maximum level for both weapons is 21.
- Next use the Uraninite transformational catalyst on the weapon (costs 45,000 gil at the Motherlode), then repeat steps one through three until it reaches maximum level again. In this cases the maximum level for both weapons is 41.
- Now use the Trapezohedron component on the weapon. Follow steps one through three again until the weapon reaches the maximum level of 100.
- Finally Dismantle the weapon. Yes, dismantle it. Trust me on this. You will obtain, among other things, three Trapezohedrons! It is worth it in the end, trust me.
Now, obviously you will be using a lot of components when using this method. I find the most cost-effective organic components are the Sturdy Bone, Barbed Tail and Vibrant Ooze - 36 of any of these will get you to x3 EXP. Alternatively you can simply defeat feral creatures for organic components. I usually go to the Yaschas Massif for organic components. The most cost-effective mechanical component is, unsurprisingly, the Ultracompact Reactor, which you can buy from the R&D Depot for 50,000 gil each. In all, you will probably spend around 1,500,000 gil on components. Add this to the cost of the initial Trapezohedron, this method will set you back around 3,500,000 gil for three Trapezohedrons. This sounds a lot, but when you compare it to the 6,000,000 gil you would have to fork out for buying three Trapezohedrons, you can only agree that you are much better off in the long run. Again, to get this kind of money, farm the Adamantoises and Adamantortoises and you never know, you may get some bonus Trapezohedrons from them.
So there you have it. Three methods of getting the pesky Trapezohedron. And if you simply look at the methods describe here. You could end up using all three methods at the same time. Just think how much time I have saved you from spending at least 12,000,000 gil just to get an ultimate weapon for each character!
So anyway, I'd love to hear your comments about this. I hope you found this guide helpful, so please comment!
You can't dismantle all Ultimate Weapons to get Trapezohedrons. The only ones that dismantle to give three are the Kain's Lances derived from Dragoon Lance, Shamanic Spear, Punisher, Pandoran Spear and Gae Bolg, or the Nirvanas derived from Tigerclaw, Healer's Staff, Belladonna Wand and Mistilteinn. As you can see, these are all Fang's or Vanille's... is it a Pulse thing? :P Any other Ultimate Weapon will dismantle to give fewer Trapezohedrons, or none at all.
If you pick an Ultimate Weapon at random, there's an 81.25% chance of getting it wrong, so you might want to put this little warning into the miniguide. Other than this issue, it's a very helpful guide. I personally didn't need it, but it's good for people who do. Nice one!
No problem. I mean, your advice to use the Shamanic Spear was already ideal... I actually have a mildly complicated spreadsheet dedicated to all things upgrading and I created a sheet to work out the minimum cost of getting three Trapezohedrons, and the Shamanic Spear comes out cheapest – at least when the first transformational catalyst is included in the cost calculations, otherwise Gae Bolg is a tiny bit better. But since some people will be numpties and not follow your specific advice, a secondary warning that not all weapons work is useful :P
Category: Happy to help
Wow I can't believe how difficult it is to get it. Then again, it is the ultimate weapons. But I noticed there all have the same names... which is the best ones to get??
Without wanting to go into detail on all of them, it's generally a good rule of thumb that whichever balance of stats you want from an Ultimate Weapon, you want the one that's created from the Basic/Intermediate one with those stats. Each Ultimate Weapon is basically just a souped-up version of its Intermediate predecessor, with higher stats, ATB+1 and the same inherent ability, but no synthesised ability properties. Does that help?
Category: The rough guide
A little... I may just need to look at Weapon Guides to really get a feel for that, but I can't find a guide that really explains their advantages and disadvantages, etc.
Hey, Jeppo... this has been bugging me for a while. What's your source for saying that the Connoisseur Catalog doubles the rare item drop rate? My own attempts to determine the multiplier experimentally haven't exactly been very consistent in the answer they give me, even with a total of over 5000 separate enemies as trial subjects! The most common answer I've gotten is around 1.6x. Most of the other experimental multiplier calculations come out around 1x, but that's clearly just really stupid, as it's barely a multiplier at all! :P
That's a bit naughty, isn't it? It certainly reveals a fundamental difference in our attitudes and methodologies... after all, I've had great fun trying to experimentally deduce it, whereas you just casually make it up on the spot XD
The thing is, I work on the assumption that the game has some sort of overlap protocol. Allow me to explain what I mean by that: you never seem to get both the rare and common drop at the same time from any one enemy, and I assume that this is because you literally cannot get both at once. This seems like a reasonable assumption from general experience in many years of gaming, does it not? So, if the normal drop is (for example) 25% and the rare is 5%, what happens in the 1.25% of cases where the probabilities overlap? Bear in mind that if you could get both drops at once, I'd have seen it by now. From 5000+ enemies, it should have happened about 60-odd times, after all.
Anyway, what I suspect happens is the game first decides whether or not to give you the rare drop, and if not, it then decides whether to give you the common one. This means that the actual probabilities become rare 5% and normal 23.75%. Testing without any Catalogs equipped seems to very roughly imply that this model is correct, but it does rely on the stated percentages in the Piggyback Guide being correct. At least it's not BradyGames, eh? :P I don't always assume this model, but it's the one that I use for most of my calculations.
Sorry for this large and somewhat off-topic comment, but if you have any thoughts on this, I'd love to hear them!
Well, the normal drop at, say, 25% is pretty much constant unless you boost it with the Collector's Catalogue. The rare drop at 5% can be boosted to 25% with a five-star rating, and possibly boosted even more with the Connoisseur Catalogue.Ignoring the catalogue effects for the time being, the total probability of getting any item is 50% (assuming one probability test is made). Now if we bring the catalogues back in play, and add the 1.6x multiplier that you have worked out, the probability rises to 80%, if you equip both catalogues. Obviously, the method you used to calculate the multiplier of the catalogue will always have some error involved, but the multiplier can go up as high as 2x and it still won't go higher than 100%.
I ignored the 5-star multiplier in the above post for simplicity; my actual calculations do assume a five-star rating because the enemies I did most of the testing with (in the Mah'habara) are pathetically weak against my fully developed party, and the ones at the end of Edenhall (which the remainder of tests used) are barely any better at surviving against me :P While it is possible that the game makes only one test, I do rather doubt it. One way or another, the two probabilities have to interact, unless it is possible to get both drops at once. For the sake of argument, here are the most feasible (i.e. not stupidly complicated) variants that I can think of, assuming 25% and 5% with no complicating factors:
Make of those figures what you will :P
Also, I've reviewed my spreadsheet, and here are the various multipliers I've had from my various tests:
The ones with both equipped have very small sample sizes, so they're pretty unreliable. The most reliable overall are probably the Collector Catalog ones, giving an average of around 1.48x (1.57x if the 'freak' 1.19 is ignored). All things considered, I think it's probably 1.5x for the Collector Catalog. The Connoisseur average is less thrilling, at about 1.23x (1.05x without the 'freak')... 1.25x, perhaps?
Ah, I see what you mean now. I thought you meant times when the drop rate exceeds 100%. I always think that a combined test is the most likely (and probably the easier to program), rather than two individual tests. Also we are always saying that Catalogues boost with with a common multiplier, but it also may boost the probability by a fixed amount (i.e. add so much percentage points to the probability rather than boost it with a multiplier).
Just dropping in to say that according to a game mechanics guide on GameFAQs – which can probably be reasonably trusted as, in my experience, such guides don't tend to list unfounded numerical values – the normal item drop rate increases by 1.5x and the rare item drop rate by 1.1x. This tallies quite well with the figures I listed in my last comment here, so it's probably correct.
It also says that the drop rate for shrouds with the Survivalist Catalog goes up by five, which I assume means +5% rather than x5.