Arguably one of the most important items to obtain in Final Fantasy 13, “Growth Egg” doubles the Crystogen Points (or experience points) you earn that are needed for your character development. Who wouldn’t want it as soon as possible? To obtain a “Growth Egg”, you need to complete a class A mission that is opened for you at the end of chapter 11. It is a very hard mission and I reckon it is designed as an end game activity. But if an average gamer (me!) can do it, there is a high chance that you can too! Here is how I made it, not without blood and sweat. And in the mist of it, I have obtained a 5-star rating and unlocked the “Limit Breaker” trophy or achievement. That is a 100,000+ damage in one shot!
After the final boss in Chapter 11, instead of moving forward and trigger Chapter 12, move backward and obtain Mission 55 “Can’t We All Just Get Along” from the rooftop of a deserted school. I chanced upon this because I have missed out one of the components to repair Vanille’s toy (another pretty rewarding thing to do). If you need a guide to obtain that mission, click here.
For this class A mission, you have to face a very tough boss called Neochu that can take down casters with one shot. And it has quite a few hyperactive adds called Picochus that hit very hard, very fast. The encounter is very much like its little brother nearby (which I hope you have tried). Take down the boss first, and then worry about the adds later. To do that, you will need Vanille (hence picture above!).
Battle Team Setup
Interestingly, Neochu is not immune to Death spell. So the key is to have Vanille picking up that ability (under Saboteur role) after the expansion of Crystarium at the end of Chapter 11. To have a better chance to pull off this debuff strategy, upgrade the Belladonna Wand to Malboro Wand. I have upgraded the weapon level to close to 40, which may not be necessary. I have Snow equipped with Paladin and Hope equipped with Hawkeye. Both equipments are at star level. By the way, all the upgrade components I have obtained from mob drops (or spoils). It is very doable if you have been doing some side missions.
I set up Snow as the tank (Sentinel) and Hope as the healer (Medic). As for Vanille, she switches between Saboteur (for debuff), Ravager (for damage), and Medic (for extra heal). So in total, only 3 Paradigms are required. To manually execute the Death spell, I have picked Vanille as the leader.
Prior to the final boss of Chapter 11, all my characters have maxed out their Crystarium for three roles (out of six, for all six characters). After the boss fight, I choose one role to specialize and max that out. I didn’t make any special purchase for this mission. I suppose wearing accessories for extra health points would help in some ways.
Stage One – One-shot the Boss
Preemptive strike is out so left with the options to either use the shrouds to buff up your offense or defense before engaging the boss. I walked into the battle with neither because I forgot (see, I am your average gamer). In retrospect, buffing up the haste level may work better. It may speed up the process. The target time to finish the battle is 28 minutes. I have earned the 5-star rating. So I must have taken lesser time than that.
I went in with Snow tanking and Hope healing (for the entire fight). As for Vanille, I spammed Death spell. If Neochu hits Vanille first before Snow grabs the aggro, it is game over. If Vanille unable to land the Death spell and one-shot the boss within 5 rounds, it is also game over. The combined damage of Neochu and its annoying little creatures is just too much for one healer to take (before end game that is).
I read that some spent hours one-shooting the boss (only to be overwhelmed with the little ones – how sad!). It didn’t take that long for me. Maybe upgrading the wand helps.
Stage Two – Heal Up!
Once the boss is down (which is the easy part), it is time to survive the group of cute little Picochus. Even with two healers and a tank, my team could barely survive. Especially when my tank lost the aggro. You could either fast switch Vanille between the Medic and Ravager roles to heal and to spam the area of effect spell Firaga. Or if like me, the tank was down and soon faced an inevitable wipe, I called in the cavalry.
Stage Three – Summon the Eidolon
Some say Eidolons in Final Fantasy 13 are pretty useless. It is quite right that these god like creatures don’t seem to be as powerful as they should be (given the fact that it is such a pain to make them yield and be your own). As for me, Eidolons have turned the tide in the past when I faced with seemingly insurmountable battles. And I must say, I love the over-the-top animation for these Eidolon encounters.
After Vanille summons her Eidolon, Hecatoncheir, your job is to keep both of them alive for as long as you can (which is not long). Before Hecatoncheir gets decimated by these little adds, switch to Gestalt Mode and unload some punishment to the Picochus. I manage to half their health points, which in retrospect, it is really not bad. Meagre amount of damage dealt aside, the beauty of summoning an Eidolon is that when Eidolon leaves the battle, all the party members are back up with full health. Time for round two!
Stage Four – Taking Down the Adds
This is the most nail biting moment. I mean, I have come that far. I really don’t want to fail here. With Snow tanking the little mad Picochus, Hope can barely keep him alive (he is my best healer in the game). I have to switch Vanille between Medic and Ravager mode to balance between staying alive and killing off the enemies. It is a painfully slow process. The good news is, as you wear down the number, it gets progressively easier. Later on I found out that I could cast Imperil debuff on the little ones to lower the spell resistance. That made the job done much faster. If I am to do this again, I would cast the area of effect debuff, Imperilga, before the area of effect spell Firaga. You may be tempted to one-shot the little ones with Death spell. I don’t like the extra aggro on Vanille.
Some find it hard to take down the adds. At bare minimum, if you have Snow on tanking position and both Hope and Vanille on healing, you should be able to last indefinitely. Hope should also be able to solo heal Snow most of the time (there is some randomness in FF13 after all). If you can’t, you may need to further develop your characters and gears with the side missions. If you can, it is simply a matter of patience. And “Growth Egg” is a reward you would love to have.