Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII created by Square Enix.
Images used for educational purposes only.
The Ballroom

- Opening cut scene. It is dire and beautiful and appropriately awesome. Also, yeah, Snow may be a bit of a bad guy in this one. Sigh.

- Eventually you'll gain control, and that means engaging in your first battle. Awesome. Read all about the schemata system, and switch between your two schemata to get a feel for swapping on the fly. As with the paradigm system in other FFXIII titles, it becomes very important to swap job classes (essentially) while in battle. You currently have two 'garbs', Equilibrium and Dark Muse, and at this point they're effectively the same. (Equilibrium has Thunder, Dark Muse has Blizzard. Oooooo, elements.) Note that each schemata has its own ATB, so if / when you run out of actions on one you can switch to another and keep fighting.

- After the tutorial battle you'll be free to move around. There are more enemies to kill out here; strike at them with RB / R1 to get a small edge in the subsequent battle. In the battle with the Anubys you'll learn about guarding, which is extremely important if you want to maintain a healthy amount of HP.

- Run for the door that opens after defeating the enemies in this area. Head up the stairs.

- There's a Black Market Dealer on the stairs. This guy will sell you items that you can use in battle to maintain your HP or provide yourself with an extra edge. You can hold six items at current; if you're feeling nervous about the battle system, feel free to stock up on four extra Potions. They're free from this dude.

- Up to the balcony. Pursue Snow to the door in the east. It leads to some more industrial hallways; there are more enemies to kill out here. Good practice on swapping targets in a battle, which will also become extremely important for guarding purposes.

- Follow the hallway until it branches out. Now you'll learn about jumping. Use it to climb the crates up to the hallway to your right. An Anubys will appear down on the ground, if you feel like some more combat.

- At the top of the next set of stairs you'll run into more Niblets. (They're very vulnerable to your magic, if you haven't tried it out yet.)

- Ladders tutorial ahead. Use the ladder ahead to climb up and drop into an adjoining pit. There's another Niblet down here. Continue climbing past it; down the next hallway is another Niblet to fry.

- Past a big set of stairs you'll find a locked door. Use the switch to your right to open it up. Run through the wispy Chaos that permeates this area.

- Cut scene ahead. Boss battle! (Kinda!)


This battle is more or less laid out for you, as it's also a tutorial for Staggering and Overclocking. The process is pretty simple: keep away from Zaltys so you have time to anticipate its attacks, then bombard it with a combination of Thunder and Blizzard. Once it's staggered, Overclock to slow down time and hack away at it with melee attacks. Keep doing this and you'll land a stagger bonus or two, chewing up its HP in no time.

- Continue through the door Zaltys was blocking and run ahead. Keep going until you reach a cut scene. Hope will zip you out of the Ballroom, and the first tiny segment of this epic story will be complete.