I've made my way to near the end of the game in my first playthrough of the HD remake of Final Fantasy X-2 for my marathon. I could go underground and try to beat the game, or I could do some of the sidequests that popped up at the start of this chapter. FFX-2 could be called Final Fantasy: Side Quests so I clearly had to go do some side quests. The first one I went to was in the desert where I was sent to explore the world to rescue the 10 cactuar gatekeeper dudes. This was very similar to a sidequest in FFX, actually. It took me a few hours but I finally found them all. Doing so rewarded me with a challenge boss fight. I was not prepared...
I ended up fighting the boss for probably close to two hours. He reminded me a lot of the final challenge boss in FFX in that he has two adds and he spams full life on them to bring them back up shortly after killing them off. Every now and then if both adds were alive he'd bust out a brutally powerful attack. Not as powerful as what Penance was doing, but it was still pretty painful. One of the adds would also cast a mass confuse spell. I mostly kept that one dead but every now and then it would get that attack off and problems would arise. Paine is wearing a ribbon so it wasn't guaranteed game over if it resolved but it took a lot of resources to recover. Eventually I ran out of megaphoenixes and megalixirs and died. The boss was also sometimes healing itself and I wasn't actually sure if I was making any progress at all or not. I decided to take a look at the stats for the boss online to see if it was worth trying again or if I needed to level up some more...
It turns out the boss has 333444 health and I was doing maybe 2000 damage per cycle. So even if it wasn't healing it would still take me more than 160 cycles to kill it off. Considering I come close to dying every 5 or 6 cycles... Probably not going to happen with my current setup!
There are things I could do to make things easier though. I probably have access to some accessories to negate confuse on my other two characters. That would make it so I didn't need to burn out the mass confuse add. I'd still need to deal with the brutal AE damage from the boss but theoretically I could just spend all my attacks on the boss instead of on adds at all.
It also turns out the boss has an AI pattern that can be abused. If it runs low on mana it spends all of its turns trying to steal your mana instead of casting the brutal attack. So one option would be to take abilities to burn down the mana pool and then win. The wiki suggested using a bunch of jobs I don't have but I have at least a couple abilities to attack mana so I could give it a try and see at the very least. This would have to be combined with getting immunity to confuse.
One thing I am wondering is how much it matters... Do I need to kill this boss at all? Is this part of getting 100%? I said I wasn't going to look into that stuff until my second playthrough but if this guy needs to die I really want to do it this time around. Doing the long cactuar sidequest again is not something I really want to do.
Survey says... Yes. I do need to beat this boss. Duly noted.