Last revised: Jun 28, 2006.
There are several guides on the quest Waking the Beast (a.k.a. the 18 people avatar BCNM) available online (such as Slumber Disturber: BC Fight Guide by Ryuko and Quest: Waking the Beast by Cesario). It appears that these guides only address how to complete this quest with majority (if not all) summoner formation and none of them address how to complete the quest with ordinary (non-summoner) jobs (such as MNK, WHM, NIN). In this guide, we intend to fill in this gap.
This guide is motivated by the following. First, it is not easy to find 18 summoners that could go to this quest due to time limitation. Second, from experience, it is easier to find 18 non-summoners to finish this quest as it allows more flexibility in team formation, scheduling and contingency planning. Third, we hope that this guide could allow more people to enjoy this quest and obtain the items that they desire without constraining too much by jobs and time investment.
The body of this guide is divided into two sections. The first section describes how to fight the avatar prime BCNM (there are 6 in total). The second section describes how to complete the Full Moon Fountain BCNM.
To keep this guide short and concise, we will not cover the background information for the quest (such as pre-requisites and rewards). Interested readers may want to refer to Waking the Beast or FFClopedia Article: Waking the Beast.
A permanent location for this guide will be announced in a later revision.
Celestical avatar BCNM
This section describes how to fight the avatar prime battles. For a basic description of the battle themselves, please refer to FFClopedia Article: Waking the Beast.
For the avatar prime BCNM, it is recommended you have at least 12 people at level 75. The basic formation includes the following jobs: 2 tanks (NIN or PLD), 2 dedicated healers (WHM or RDM), 1-2 refreshers (RDM or BRD; BRD recommended due to ballads and carols) and 1-2 BLM. The remaining openings should be filled by damage dealers (such as melee, BLM or SMN), supplemented by any other key jobs that are available to you. Melees that could do burst damage (SAM or MNK) are good to have.
The choice of subjob is dependent on your team formation. However, it is recommended that tankers to have provoke and heavy melee damage dealers to have access to Utsusemi: Ni. Melee damage dealers may want to consider subjob SAM for meditation. It is recommended for RDM to subjob WHM or NIN.
Each avatar prime with be accompanied by four elementals of the respective element (e.g. Ifrit has four fire elementals). The primes and the elementals would induce special status as they attack. It is recommended that you bring the necessary recovery items to these fights. For a list of these special status, please refer to the section Special status alignments. Reraise items are recommended. Shiva prime can use Sleepga. You may want to bring a few Poison Potion to counter it.
Entry into the BCNM will not cancel any of your previous buffs. It is recommended that you do one round of buffs before you enter the BCNM, and another round of buffs after you enter. The second round of buffs is to compensate for any canceled buffs due to delay in entering the BCNM. Always do the second round of buffs at the entrance of the BCNM, as the avatar prime has a large magic detect range. Shell IV is strongly recommended.
You will need to defeat all six celestical avatars, under the quest Waking the Beast, in order to progress to the final BCNM at Full Moon Fountain. Overall, Garuda and Shiva are probably the harder celestical avatars, with Titan and Ifrit being the easier ones. It may be a good idea to mix the easier and harder avatars into a single event. The time limit on the BCNM is 30 minutes.
Conditions for (re-)entry
To (re-)enter the celestical avatar BCNMs, you must have at least one of the following key items:
- Rainbow Resonator, or
- one of Eye of Flames, Eye of Frost, Eye of Gales, Eye of Storms, Eye of Tides and Eye of Tremors that matches the avatar that you want to fight, or
- you have Waking the Beast listed as completed in your quest log and you do not have the key items Rainbow Resonator nor Faded Ruby, and there are at least one members in your alliance who satisfy at least one of the above condition.
Special status alignments
Each avatar (and its elementals) can induce different status with their attacks. The following table lists these status together with their methods of recovery.
Garuda: Silence; Echo Drops, Remedy or Silena.
Ifrit: Disease; Viruna or Remedy.
Leviathan: Poison; Poisona, Remedy or Antidote.
Ramuh: Stun; None.
Shiva: Paralyze; Paralyna or Remedy.
Titan: Slow; Erase or Haste.
There are two modes of operation that your team should be familiar with-Kite mode and Tank mode. Kite mode requires your tankers to kite the avatar prime along the serpent-shaped path of the BCNM. The remaining damage dealers should focus on eliminating the elementals while leaving the prime alone. Tank mode requires your tankers to tank the avatar prime, so that the damage dealers can focus on assaulting the prime itself. The basic flow of operation is as follows: when there are elements present, your team should work in kite mode; when all the elements are eliminated, your team should work in tank mode. Alternate between these two modes as necessary until the prime is down.
When the strategy is executed properly, it is possible to finish each BCNM in around 5 minutes (including time for cutscene).
The following are some key points to kite mode:
- support jobs (WHM, BRD, RDM) should give priority to kiters. This includes giving proper curing, status recovery, bar-spells, carols and mambo;
- keep the kite path clear; also, besides the kiters, no one should be gaining hate from the avatar prime at the beginning;
- of the four elementals, two of them will cast spells on players while the other two will cast spells on the avatar primes (and effectively curing them). It may be difficult to distinguish which elementals are taking which roles; therefore, it is easier to eliminate all four of them and keep the battle short;
- enfeeble in general will not work on elementals; enfeebles that are strong against the elementals' elements may work occasionally;
- it helps if the tankers have movement enhancement support (NIN AF1/AF1+1, Crimson Cuisses or Blood Cuisses);
- at the beginning, kiting an avatar prime with 3 elementals may be difficult for your kiters. You could help by splitting your team into two strike force and take out 2 elementals at the same time;
- it is true that the elementals share hate with the avatar prime; however, if you deal sufficient damage to it, the elementals will no longer link with the prime. Therefore, when assaulting elementals, it is important to do good damage at start so you can catch their attention;
- the elementals have weak melee attacks and they are weak to melee attacks as well. Usually they can be tanked by a melee with Utsusemi: Ni and each of them an be taken out by a group of melee damage dealers in around 40-60 seconds. Elemental magic works moderately well but they work even better on the avatar prime itself.
The following are some key points to tank mode:
- WHM and BRD should provide the proper bar-spells and carol support. It really helps to cut down the damage from astral flow and other attacks;
- Dispel works on avatar primes; Stun does not;
- the super bloodpacts from the avatar primes go through shadows and they can easily do over 1000 damage to a well equipped PLD. To make them worse, they have a long range, making it difficult to run out of range (if not impossible). They have one weakness though·the damage is inversely proportional to the distance between the prime and its target. i.e. the further you run, the less damage you would take. Therefore, tankers should run as far as possible when the prime readies its super bloodpacts and you can easily cut down the damage by 80-90%;
- the astral flows from avatar primes are timed and can be used more than once. i.e. it is not affected by primes' HP. Estimation on the timer is about 10 minutes.
Full Moon Fountain BCNM
This section describes how to fight the final battle at Full Moon Fountain. For a basic description of the battle themselves, please refer to FFClopedia Article: Waking the Beast.
Each member should prepare the proper recovery items as suggested in the section Special status alignments and reraise items. It is also a good idea for all participants to enter the BCNM, watch the cutscene and exit. This way, you can save up time when the real battle begins.
The basic formation includes 3 tankers with provoke (PLD or NIN), 1-2 kiters (PLD or NIN or SMN), 1 WHM, 2-3 BLM and 2-3 refreshers (RDM or BRD; BRD is recommended for ballads and carols). The remaining openings should be filled with as many damage dealers (melees, BLM and SMN) available to you. Your team should further be subdivided into five squads, with each squad consists of a minimum of one tanker/kiter and one mage. Three persons per squad is recommended.
The choice of subjob is dependent on your team formation. However, it is recommended that at least three tankers to have provoke. It is recommended for RDM to subjob WHM or NIN.
One person should be keeping track of time inside the BCNM. This will help guide the team as to how much time they should be spending in recovery and assaults. Entry into the BCNM does not reset any buffs that were previously casted. Therefore, it is a good idea to buff first before entering. Shell IV is strongly recommended. The time limit on the BCNM is 30 minutes.
Conditions for (re-)entry
To (re-)enter the Full Moon Fountain BCNM, you must satisfy one of the following conditions:
- you have the following key items: Rainbow Resonator, Eye of Flames, Eye of Frost, Eye of Gales, Eye of Storms, Eye of Tides and Eye of Tremors, or
- you have Waking the Beast listed as completed in your quest log and you do not have the key items Rainbow Resonator nor Faded Ruby, and there are at least one members in your alliance who satisfy the above condition.
We organize the strategy according to the order that the avatar primes appear.
Carbuncle: first stage
Carbuncle Prime will appear in the centre of the arena. It is pretty harmless and you can fight it like a normal enemy. It has very high resistance to all magic without Elemental Seal. When its HP drops to 75%, it will disappear.
Celestical avatars: first wave
One random celestical avatar prime will appear at the location where the last Carbuncle Prime was defeated.
This avatar prime is pretty harmless as it would normally die before its astral flow timer is up, and it will not be accompanied by any elementals. Just fight it normally, keep your HP high and bar-spells/carols up, it will be defeated quickly. The avatar prime has about 4000-5000 HP. BLMs are very effective against the celestical avatar prime.
When the avatar prime is defeated, Carbuncle Prime will reappear with its previous HP (75%).
Carbuncle: second stage
Carbuncle Prime will appear in the centre of the arena. It is pretty harmless and you can fight it like a normal enemy. When its HP drops to 50%, it will disappear.
Celestical avatars: second wave
Two random celestical avatar primes will appear at the location where the last Carbuncle Prime was defeated. The primes will not be repeating the ones that have previously appeared.
These avatar primes will do astral flow when:
- one of them is defeated, or
- their HP is critically low, or
- their astral flow timers are up. Estimation of the timer is about 3 minutes.
The key here is to not to have astral flow overlap and to make sure that one avatar prime is taken down quickly. One way to handle these avatars would be to kite one of them to BCNM entrance while the main assault takes place at the centre of the arena. With the proper bar-spells and carols, astral flows are pretty harmless. BLMs are very effective against the celestical avatar primes.
When the avatar primes are defeated, Carbuncle Prime will reappear with its previous HP (50%).
Carbuncle: third stage
Carbuncle Prime will appear in the centre of the arena. It is pretty harmless and you can fight it like a normal enemy. However, since you will be fighting a tough battle ahead, it is strongly recommended that you kite Carbuncle Prime for a while and allow your team to recovery first. When its HP drops to 25%, it will disappear.
Celestical avatars: third wave
Three random celestical avatar primes will appear at the location where the last Carbuncle Prime was defeated. The primes will not be repeating the ones that have previously appeared.
The triggering condition for astral flow is the same as the celestical avatars in second wave. The primes can be easily defeated by separating and fighting them in positions that would not result in overlap of astral flows. We recommend to fight these avatar primes at the upper left corner, upper right corner and the corridor leading to the BCNM entrance. BLMs are very effective against the celestical avatar primes.
When the avatar primes are defeated, Carbuncle Prime(s) will reappear with its previous HP (25%).
Carbuncle: final stage
Five (5) Carbuncle Primes will appear in the centre of the arena. Each prime will have its HP at 25%. Their astral flow is triggered by the following condition:
- upon the first Carbuncle Prime's defeat, or
- astral flow recast timer is up and the first astral flow has already been triggered. Estimation of the timer is about 1 minute.
Notice that the above trigger condition imply when one Carbuncle Prime is defeated, the remaining primes will synchronize their astral flow attacks. Also, the first astral flow is activated, the primes will use astral flow every minute after. (It is unconfirmed whether or not the primes can only do up to three astral flows.) If the alliance is wiped, the Carbuncle Primes will return to the centre of the arena and regenerate their HP to 100%.
To counter the synchronized astral flow, each of the five squads will pull one Carbuncle Prime to each of the five designated positions: upper left corner, upper right corner, centre of arena, corridor leading to BCNM entrance and BCNM entrance. It is very important to get the position correct, as overlapped astral flows could easily wipe half of your team.
The remaining of the battle progresses as follows. Initially, each squad should try to decrease the HP of their Carbuncle to around 5-8%. Afterward, one squad should give signal and defeat one of the Carbuncle. After the astral flow attacks, each squad should recover before defeating the next Carbuncle. Repeat this process until the last Carbuncle Prime is defeated. The final battle will end.
To complete the quest, answer Carbuncle's question in the final cutscene and then return to Carbuncle in La Theine Plateau. The choice you make only appears to affect the title that you will receive.
There are several issues that are not covered in this guide but deserve some mentioning. If you happen to find out the answers to the following, feel free to contact the authors.
- Is the number of avatar weapon drops dependent on how many people are able to view the ending cutscene at Full Moon Fountain BCNM? NB: To watch this cutscene, you must have Rainbow Resonator and remain inside the BCNM when the final battle is completed.
- What will this quest lead to in the future? (Some speculation: access to super bloodpacts? more avatars?)
- Are there more triggering condition for Carbuncle Primes' astral flows? It is commonly believed that the astral flows would be triggered when Carbuncle is at critical HP (about 2% or less). As at the time of writing, results are not available to support this trigger.
- We believe the final Carbuncle Primes can only do up to three astral flows. Is this true?
- How can we incorporate the three new jobs (BLU, COR and PUP) effectively?
The authors of this guide would like to thanks the following participants of Waking the Beast. Without their continuing support and contribution, this guide would not be possible.
All contributors are listed in alphabetical order and they are all Phoenix server players.
Aliandre (SMN), Chenzhen (SAM), Draxk (DRG), Geminonum (RDM), Jinxsta (RDM), Kamehameha (BLM), Kang (NIN), Kital (BLM), Kylos (PLD), Malagar (MNK) and Sayana (BRD).
At last, we like to thanks Serb for his review of early drafts of this guide.
Further questions, errata and comments
Please send them to <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
- Conventional wisdom suggests this quest would easily require 4-10 hours to complete.
- Notice Carbuncle Prime will stop taking damage as its HP drops to the triggering amount. This applies to all other HP triggers as well.
- This seems to be true to all subsequent avatar primes.
- Every time Carbuncle Prime(s) reappear(s), it (they) will have hate on the last person who has defeated the last avatar prime.
Edited, Jun 29th 2006 at 1:57pm EDT by Eltia
Edited, Jun 30th 2006 at 1:54am EDT by Eltia