Path of Vicissitude
- You now have to find three murals which will allow you to unlock the clavis. The three murals are located in three different places - and if you've been following this walkthrough, you now have teleportation statues active at one of them. We'll begin with the nearest, which near the path you're in right now.
- Turn back from the door that hides the clavis and run back through the Ruins from the way you came. There was a split earlier that Fang forced you to ignore; now you can take a right at the Chamber of Flame and go further into these Ruins.
- After following a winding path you'll appear in the Sacred Grove, a room full of exploratory equipment. Grab the floating Pilgrim's Crux nearby and use it on the locked wall ahead. If you do as Hope suggests you'll pop out a ways south of Ruffian. A handy little shortcut if you ever need it.
- Return to the Sacred Grove below. In the room to your left as you come back down you'll find a oroom with an archaeologist. North of here you'll find a Pilgrim's Crux and a mission with a smarmy robot, The Life of a Machine. South of here is a long hallway.
- Head to the hallway and walk partway down it. To your left is another hallway, inside which you'll find another Pilgrim's Crux. Register the timed door nearby from the tablet outside this room. Inside the door (which is next door) is a Study of the Savage, as well as yet another Pilgrim's Crux.
- Turn left at the end of the hallway. There's a device to activate which will open the door you just passed. Beside this device is a hallway which leads to the mural you need to view... but it requires a tablet to open. Doi. You'll have to track down three tablets to view the three murals. Sounds like a fetch quest to me!
- You can continue further into the ruins if you wish, but there's not much point if you lack the tablets. That door you opened will have to wait. Leave the Temple Ruins for now and return to the desert.
- You now have to find three Shrines of the Tablet, scattered all over the Dead Dunes. This will be tasking, but it's not as bad as it sounds - they're in relatively obvious areas, and Hope will point out when you're in the proper area.
Grave of the Colossi
- If you're following this walkthrough, you'll have found a Cactuar statue beside the first Shrine already. If not, head to the Grave of the Colossi, north of Ruffian, and look for a set of conspicuous ruins near the Cactuar statue.
- Hop inside. There's a Bandit's Bloodseal right by the entrance. Once inside, use one of the Pilgrim's Cruxes you've found elsewhere in the Temple Ruins to open the way. (If you don't have any Pilgrim's Cruxes, you can buy them from a guy in Ruffian. Look in the main building.) There's a Tablet at the bottom; grab it and leave. Mind that you'll have to kill (?) a number of Skeletons on your way back out.
- Leave Ruffian through its northern exit. You'll hit Atomos's Sands in an instant. Be careful out here - there are Earth Eaters, and they can mangle a weaker Lightning. The shrine is built into the base of Atomos's resting place, and you'll find a Cactuar statue waiting just outside.
- Down the entry stairs and to your left you'll find Bhakti's Oil, and near the bottom you'll find a Pretty Orb in the antechamber before the Tablet's chamber. That aside, the interior of this shrine is the same as the last. Tablet!
- The Dry Floodlands cover the west of the great desert, and are connected with Atomos's Sands. You'll find the shrine you're looking for southwest of the Oasis Lighthouse that's labelled on the map, built against the left of two big clumps of rock. Activate the Cactuar statue beside it and head inside.
- Same deal as the last two: passage, Tablet, run back out. Mind the one larger chamber you have to pas through to reach the Tablet, as you'll notice a Bhakti Oil and a sphere containing a Pain Dampener on your way back out.
- You now have three Tablets. Time to head back to the Temple Ruins and get this danged quest over with.
- Head to the room beside the red device that you opened earlier. Insert one of the Tablets to get the mural working. After a quick cut scene you'll receive the Crux Body.
- Go through the door with the red markings. Follow the path until you see a room to your right, protected by a Gurangatch. Defeat it and go through the passage to find a Collector Catalogue. Then jump down into an adjacent room to find a ladder, a tablet recording a timed door, and a Pilgrim's Crux. Then go up the ladder (You can keep going past the Gurengatch and reach the same general area, but this route is more rewarding.)
(Note: This area is both large and complex. There are probably many ways to get through here; outlined below is just one method.)
- You'll enter a large cross-shaped area. Follow the path along the upper wall until you're past some bars in the west, then hop down. You'll find a sphere containing a Demon's Claw.
- Enter the adjacent room to the west, one way or another, and hop through the hole.
- Pick your way south, then, depending on how the doors are situated, east. You'll see an Earth Eater guarding a door ahead; assuming you don't want to fight it head-on, go north. There's a Cactuar statue to activate.
- Head east one chamber. You'll find a Thorn of Speed near the ladder leading back upstairs.
- Now you have to reach a chamber two rooms south of the Cactuar statue. You can either head east, go back upstairs and sweep around via the central corridor to reach it, or you can move through the timed doors on the lower level to get there. Consult your map before you head off. I found upstairs slightly faster, but that's just how my timing worked out. Chronostasis is wise if you have a planned route that might change abruptly.
- Once inside, trigger the device. This will open the door in the eastern corridor. Run through the adjacent room east and climb up to the sphere on the crates; inside you'll find a Satin Scrunchie. Beside this is a Pilgrim's Crux, and beside that is a route to the door you just opened. Take that, stupid timed puzzles.
- You'll wind up in a much larger room next. Grab the Pilgrim's Crux upon sliding in here, then have a look around. Dead ahead is a door to use the Crux on, and beyond it... a Cactuar statue! Handy. Also past here is a path up to the desert.
- Head east. New area! Kinda.
Path of the Dead
- Walk ahead. There's a split in the path nearby; take a right. You'll find the second mural chamber. Watch the resulting cut scene, then grab the resulting Crux Tip.
- Head back out and continue north if you want some extras. At the end of this passage you'll find a Pilgrim's Crux, and also - a red gate! You can't open yet, but this area is good for one other thing - farming Skeletons. (Not that difficult in the Ruins, but I found them more numerous here than anywhere else.)
- Return to the Cactuar statue you found earlier. Teleport to the Sacred Gate.
Warning! If you've been enjoying Fang's presence up 'til this point, do NOT approach the Sacred Gate. There's a boss battle ahead, and she'll permanently leave your party after it's done. If you want her to stick around and help out in side quests, don't complete this main quest just yet. Finish your other business first.
- The way ahead still isn't open, obviously, but the door beside it is. Go through to find the final mural room. Cut scene. Snag the Crux Base; it will turn into a Saint's Crux. 'bout time.
- Back to the Sacred Gate. Save, then examine it to pop the door open. Head to the clock at the far end and examine it. Cut scene... and boss time!
Grendel / Parandus
(Note: If you're fighting Grendel, you're going to have an easier fight. If you're fighting Parandus, you've come later in your available days and will have a tougher time. The strategies for the two are nevertheless the same.)
Grendel is not the toughest boss in the game, but it's no pushover either. For much of the fight Grendel relies on a mixture of debuffs - curse and deshell, mainly - to weaken your character while it unleashes Ruinga assaults. During this time it will be protected by a barrier that will effectively nullify all damage you do. Getting rid of this shield is crucial to beating the thing, which means an all-out assault with normal attacks and, preferably, air-based spells. Once it's staggered the shield will drop and you can damage Grendel normally. You can also apply debuffs, which won't work when the barrier is up. Mix these with air spells and Galestrike and you'll tear up Grendel's HP rather nicely.
Once you've whittled away its health to about half Grendel will cart out its Hellkraft attack, which is capable of doing about 2,000 HP of damage with each hit. You can't block this, unfortunately. Disaster is another bad one, and you can block it, so as soon as the name pops up be ready to block. A lengthy fight, but Fang's assistance and the proper items will make it perfectly winnable. Just don't let up on the air spells - whenever Grendel's shield goes up it gains a ton of buffs, and its subsequent onslaught will probably destroy you.
- Beating Grendel will earn you a lovely wrapping-up cut scene where Lumina once again reveals how much of a jerk she is. After all is done, pick up the Preta Hood and make your way out of the Ruins. Back to civilization! (Maybe!)
- And, yes, sadly Fang leaves the party. Sigh...