The Last of Us is a video game created by Neil Druckmann in 2013 about a pandemic involving a fungus called cordyceps which infect humans and cause them to become violent, cannibalistic monsters. In which one man is tasked with escorting a young girl across the county in order to save the world. It’s a coming-of-age buddy-buddy story. 10/10 stars.

This game was adapted for TV in early 2023. It’s on HBO. They have released three episodes thus far. The latest being January 23, 2023.

Some Notable Differences Between the Game and the Series:


  • Game:
    • Austin, Texas:
      • The infected neighbor is a younger male.
      • The infected neighbor kills the dog.
      • The escape from Texas happens in the middle of the night.
    • Boston, Massachusetts:
      • Joel doesn’t give two shits about Tommy’s whereabouts and Joel isn’t looking to get out of town to find him.
      • Joel and Tess go after Robert because he took the guns they bought from him and sold them to the Fireflies instead.
      • Tess kills Robert.
      • Joel, Tess, and Ellie get ambushed by guards (plural). Where we find out she has the fungus.
      • Joel and Tess agree to take Ellie to the capital in exchange for “double the merchandise” Robert sold them.
      • Uninfected attack them at the capital while Tess gets into a shootout with them to buy time for Joel and Ellie to escape.
    • Lincoln, Massachusetts:
      • The arcade game they find is called “The Turning”.
      • There are plenty of infected.
      • Bill lives in a church transept.
      • Bill and Frank had a falling out and Frank stole his truck battery so he could get away from Bill. Then Frank got infected and hung himself.
      • Bill helps Joel and Ellie get a car so they can leave Massachusetts. He is alive and well when they leave.
      • Joel doesn’t know who Frank is until they find him hanging from a light fixture and Bill tells them about him.
      • There’s no way in hell Bill would have let Joel have all his stuff.
      • Ellie steals a nudie magazine from Bill’s bunker.
    • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
      • The ambush happens in Pittsburgh, PA.
      • Ellie kills a guy to save Joel.
      • Joel gets angry with Ellie for shooting the guy.
      • Joel gives Ellie a crash course in shooting a rifle.
      • Joel finds Henry and Sam by accident.
      • The leader of the hunters is a man named David.
      • Sam is not deaf.
      • Sam and Henry didn’t have help. At least not that we saw in the game.
      • Their escape happens at night via the surface.
      • Sam hides getting infected from everyone.
      • Henry kills him them himself.
      • The sniper encounter in the cul-de-sac happens in broad daylight.
    • Jackson, Wyoming
      • Tommy and Maria are fixing the dam which gets invaded.
      • Joel doesn’t complain to Tommy about being weak.
      • Ellie steals a horse and takes off when she finds out Joel is going to leave her.
      • Joel decides on his own after a long ride back to Jackson to not leave Ellie with Tommy.
      • Ellie quotes Rylie.
      • Joel took the horse with permission.
      • Ellie named it Callus.
    • Bolder, Colorado
      • A recording on a recording device tells them where they went.
      • Joel gets impaled by rebar.
    • Boston, Massachusetts and Boulder, Colorado
      • Rylie wakes up Ellie by pretending to be an infected.
      • The girls don’t drink any booze until they get to Winston’s tent in the mall.
      • Bounces between Boston in the past and Boulder in the present.
      • The carousel breaks down when Rylie gets on.
      • Ellie is mad at Rylie.
      • Vacation plans discussed.
      • The photo booth printer is broken
      • Nothing in the arcade works and Rylie describes playing The Turning while Ellie imagines it.
      • Brick Fucking Master.
      • Water gun fight.
      • Ellie knows who Marlene is.
      • The kiss happens in the department store after the Halloween store.
      • Ellie has Rylie’s mix tape in her Walkman.
      • They get bitten after a lengthy run from a horde of runners.
      • Ellie hunts with a bow.
      • Big shootout with infected.
      • She hunts a rabbit first.
      • Ellie is awakened by David’s party.
      • Ellie tries to sneak away.
      • Ellie makes it to a resort before getting caught.
      • Joel wakes up on his own. No raider.
      • Ellie and David aren’t alone in the cage room.
      • Joel interrupts Ellie while she’s wailing on David.
    • Salt Lake City, Utah
      • Joel rescues Ellie from nearly drowning and gets caught while Joel is giving her mouth-to-mouth.
      • Joel finds out when Ellie is before going up to get her.
    • Overall:
      • Starts in 2013.
      • The main story takes place in 2033.
      • No tendrils.
      • No hive mind.
      • Joel just has hand guns until he gets a regular, non-assault rifle in the Boston capital building. He doesn’t get an assault rifle until the hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah at the end of the game.
      • Ellie doesn’t get a gun until Joel gives her one after their run-in with some hunters in a hotel in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.
      • Joel never laughed at any of Ellie’s jokes.
      • They meet the first bloater in Bill’s Town.


  • Series:
    • Austin, Texas:
      • The infected neighbor is an old lady.
      • The dog doesn’t get killed.
      • The escape from Texas happens in the afternoon.
    • Boson, Massachusetts:
      • Joel is worried about Tommy because he hasn’t checked-in in a while.
      • Robert gets killed because he tried to sell a bad battery to the wrong people.
      • Joel and Marlene both want the battery so they can get out of Boston. Joel to find Tommy and Marlene to get Ellie out.
      • Marlene promises Joel a battery in exchange for smuggling Ellie out of the QZ.
      • Joel, Tess, and Ellie get caught by one guard. Where we find out she has the fungus.
      • Infected overrun the capital while Tess dumps gasoline all over the floor in order to blow them and the capital to smithereens allowing Joel and Ellie to escape.
    • Lincoln, Massachusetts:
      • The arcade game they find is called “Mortal Kombat”.
      • Bill and Frank live in a house.
      • There are no infected.
      • Frank has cancer.
      • Bill and Frank remain lovers until they both commit suicide together some time before Joel and Ellie get there.
      • Joel and Tess are friends with both Bill and Frank.
      • Bill essentially leaves Joel all his stuff.
      • Ellie finds a nudie magazine under the seat of the truck.
    • Kansas City, Missouri
      • The ambush happens in KC, MO.
      • Ellie wounds a guy to save Joel. Joel kills him.
      • Joel apologizes to Ellie for putting her in that position then shows her how to use the gun.
      • Henry and Sam find Joel and Ellie.
      • The leader of the hunters is a lady named Kathleen.
      • Sam is deaf.
      • Sam and Henry have a collaborator.
      • Their escape happens at night, but via tunnels.
      • The sniper encounter in the cul-de-sac happens at night.
      • Sam tells Ellie he’s infected and she tries to cure him by smearing her blood all over his bite. It doesn’t work.
    • Jackson, Wyoming
      • The dam is fine and there’s no invasion.
      • Joel complains to Tommy about nightmares and general weakness.
      • Ellie doesn’t take off.
      • Ellie doesn’t mention Rylie.
      • Joel was going to steal the horse.
      • No name is given to the horse, but I’m 100% sure it was not Shimmer.
      • Joel gives Ellie a choice whether she wants to go with him or Tommy.
      • Joel teaches Ellie how to shoot a rifle.
    • Bolder, Colorado
      • They discover on a map where they all went.
      • Joel gets stabbed.
    • Boston, Massachusetts
      • Rylie just pretends to try to kidnap Ellie.
      • The girls get the booze early, long before getting to the mall.
      • They drink more booze on the carousel.
      • Ellie is happy to see Rylie.
      • No mention of their vacation plans.
      • The printer works on the photo booth.
      • The arcade is fully functional and they play Mortal Kombat II.
      • Rylie doesn’t like what Ellie has in her Walkman.
      • No Brick Master.
      • No water gun fight.
      • Ellie doesn’t know Marlene.
      • They get bitten in the Halloween store after a fight with just one infected.
      • Ellie hunts with a rifle.
      • No shootout with a horde of infected.
      • No rabbit.
      • Ellie goes outside and spots David’s party.
      • Ellie makes them chase after her.
      • Ellie gets caught right away.
      • Joel gets woken up by one of the raiders.
      • Ellie and David are alone in the cage room.
      • Joel finds Ellie after she escapes from the restaurant.
    • Salt Lake City, Utah
      • Joel and Ellie get ambushed by the Fireflies.
      • Joel figures out where Ellie is on his own.
    • Overall:
      • Starts in 2003. Not counting the TV talk show clip from the 1960s foreshadowing the cordyceps.
      • The main story takes place in 2023.
      • Joel has an assault rifle. At least until he stashes it in a gas station.
      • Ellie has a gun. She took it from Bill’s house.
      • Joel laughs at and even spoils some of Ellie’s jokes.
      • They meet the first bloater in Kansas City.



Anything below level 30, you’re gonna die anyway, so they’re not listed; although, 30-40 is a bit iffy in that regard. “X” means it will effect that character at that level. Gear with the appropriate immunity does work against his status effects, so if all your characters are level 99 and you have a Black Belt equipped to all of them, you have nothing to worry about, but the higher in level you are, the less you have to worry about any of them.

LevelLv.2 SleepLv.3 DisableLv.4 BreakLv.5 ReversePrime Lv. Death

Matchmaking & Publicity

Whether you pick Argent, Inc or Open Air, Inc the pitches are the same and it’s the same people for both, so you might as well do them both at the same time. Here are the pitches you need to make.

Open AirArgent, Inc
1Fun awaits you at Open Air!Fun awaits you at Argent!
2Take to the Air. Open Air.Argent, at your service!
3Open Air. Get your Air on.For a good time, call on Argent!
4I lost 30 pounds with Open Air!Argent. Fun you can rely on.
5Shee yoo at Open Air, yesh?Would you like to hear about Argent Inc.?
1Find your better half!
2I have the perfect person for you!
3The heir to Argent, Inc. needs a fiancee…
4The man of your dreams awaits!
5Do you believe in…destiny?
Location Sub-Location Person Chapter
1 2 3 4 5
Besaid Village Lady on the right near entrance. In Chapter 3, she moves to House (the first tent on the right). 2 2 2 X 2
3 3 3 X 3
Lady walking her dog. 4 4 4 X 4
4 4 4 X 4
Village or Great Hall Boy running around the temple with a little girl. 3 3 3 X 3
House Man in first house on right side. 1 1 1 X 1
Shop Lady in the first tent on the left. Behind counter. 5 5 5 X 5
3 3 3 X 3
Lodge Keepa. He's in the back of the second tent on the left. 1 2 X X X
Village Slope Keepa. He's by the save crystal. In Chapter 3, talk to him first, then watch or skip the cut scene with Beclem, then you can pitch to him. X X 1 X X
Beach Keepa. X X X X 1
Kilika Dock Left side Man talking to lady next to boat. 5 X X X 5
Right side Man in blue vest staring at new Youth League base. 4 X X X 4
Lady next to man on right side. X X 5 X 5
X X 1 X 1
Man next to lady on right side. In Chapter 5 he by the gate to the woods. X X 5 X 5
Man in blue vest on far right side. X X 4 X X
Residential Area Left side Man in green shirt just as you enter. In Chapter 5 he moves to the right side. 4 X X X 4
Left side Man in blue vest walking around. In Chapter 5 hes found under some balloons. 5 X X X 5
Left side, upper level Man at hut where boys are jumping. 5 X X X X
Right side Lady talking with man by bridge stairs. In Chapter 5 she moves to the bridge facing the gate to the woods. 2 X X X 2
3 X X X 3
Man in green shirt facing man in blue shirt in lower left side. X X 4 X X
Man in blue shirt facing man in green shirt in lower left side. X X 5 X X
Man standing outside of hut on upper level in lower left side. X X 5 X X
Lady speaking to a guy in the lower right. X X 2 X X
X X 3 X X
Luca Outskirts Lady sitting on a bench alone. 3 3 X X
2 2 X X
Lady sitting on a bench with a man. 5 5 X X 5
3 3 X X 3
Lady in yellow shirt to the right of the save sphere. X X 3 X 3
X X 2 X 2
Lady in pink shirt to the right of the save sphere. X X 5 X
X X 3 X
Square Boy near the stand. 4 4 X X X
Man in brown seated on bench. 5 5 X X 5
Bridge Man facing north on right side. X X 1 X X
Boy running around waving his arms in the middle. X X 4 X X
Lady in yellow shirt and orange skirt facing north in the middle. X X 4 X X
X X 2
Man in yellow shirt randomly walking across. X X 5 X X
Stadium Entrance Man in green randomly walking. 3 3 3 X X
Boy with blitzball. X X X X 4
Lady sitting on the bench above the counter. 2 2 2 X X
2 2 2 X X
Dock 2 Lady in white walking around the boxes, X X X X 2
X X X X 2
Dock 3 Lady walking to the left. 4 4 X X 4
2 2 X X 2
Man walking at north end. 1 1 X X 1
Dock 5 Man on the left of the two men behind the boxes. X X X X 3
Mi'ihen Highroad * South End Lady in blue dress in front of statue, facing toward road. 1 1 1 X 1
1 1 1 X 1
Lady in white dress in front of statue, facing away from road. 2 2 2 X 2
5 5 5 X 5
Man standing in right side area in north part. 3 3 3 X 3
Central Lady next to sled machine in south. 4 4 4 X 4
2 2 2 X 2
Man in right side area next to hover in north. 2 2 2 X 2
Agency - Front Man at the cliff. 1 1 1 X 1
Agency Lady seated on left. In Chapter 2 make sure you get her and her friend last. 4 4 4 X 4
2 2 2 X 2
Man seated on right. I Chapter 2 make sure you get him and his friend last. 1 1 1 X 1
Newroad North Lady standing on the bridge. In Chapter 5 she moves to the north end. 4 4 4 X 4
1 1 1 X 1
North End Boy standing near gate to Mushroom Rock. In Chapter 3 make sure you get him while you're doing Machina Mayem. He's also the only one you can get before you complete that mission. 5 5 5 X 5
Oldroad North Man in purple shirt. 2 2 2 X 2
Oldroad South Lady standing to the left of a machina. 4 4 4 X 4
1 1 1 X 1
Man on right/top at dead end. 1 1 1 X 1
Man on left/bottom at dead end. 3 3 3 X 3
Djose Temple Djose Temple Lady standing beside save sphere. 3 3 X X 3
4 4 X X 4
Lady in bikini outside hut. 1 1 X X 1
5 5 X X 5
Man on the left in green talking with old guy. 2 2 X X 2
Pilgrimage Road Lady in red walking around. 3 3 X X 3
5 5 X X 5
Man in green shirt facing left. 5 5 X X 5
Man in orange shirt with green sleeves. 1 1 X X 1
Man in yellow shirt. 4 4 X X 4
Lady in purple facing left. 3 3 X X 3
5 5 X X 5
Moonflow South Bank Road Lady standing at south end. 3 X 3 3 3
1 X 1 1 1
South Wharf Girl walking around near the save sphere. 5 5 5 5 5
2 2 2 2 2
Boy beside stairs at shoopuf. 5 5 5 5 5
North Wharf Lady south of shoopuf. 5 5 5 5 5
4 4 4 4 4
North Bank Road Lady at north end. 1 1 1 1 1
5 5 5 5 5
Guadosalam Guadosalam Boy just to the right of the save sphere. In Chapter 5 he moves to outside the house on the right. 1 X 1 X 1
Hypello outside house on the far right. 3 X X X X
Data Dealer Man at the counter. 2 X 2 X 2
Tobli Productions Hypello inside house on the far right. X X 3 X 3
Shop Man browsing. 4 X 4 X 4
Man behind the counter. 2 X 2 X 2
Macalania Woods South Guado to the right of the save sphere. 1 1 1 X X
Campsite Guado on the right. 4 4 4 X X
* In Chapter 3, with the exception of the boy by the exit, you can't pitch to anybody until after you do Machina Mayem.

Final Fantasy XII

Tips and Tricks

  • Teleport Stone farming: Go to The Yensa Sandsea and fight Urutan-Yensa on the tower platforms. Once you get a good chain going, they’ll drop lots of Teleport Stones among other things.
    • You can also buy them on the airship flight between Rabanastre and Nalbina long before you can buy them from the merchant in the Muthru Bazaar in Rabanastre.
  • Zalera Battle (Barheim Passage – Optional Esper): Level 49 is best for this fight as it’s not a multiple of 2 (Sleep), 3 (Disable), 4 (Break), or 5 (Reverse) and it’s not prime (Death), so none of his AOE spells work. Prime Lv. Death is a nightmare when you have only five minutes before he kicks you out making you have to start over.
    • For the record: the worst levels to do this fight are 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37, 41, 43, 47, 53, 59, 61, 67, 71, 73, 79, 83, 89, and 97 as these are all prime. Here’s a handy, dandy level breakdown.
Zelara fight.
  • Force Enemy Respawn: Move two zones away before returning. You can also (sometimes) trick the engine by using a different entrance to make it think you’re in a different zone.
    • You can also reload a non-auto save.


  • Max HP: Your max HP can break the traditional 9999 cap, but the display will only show “9999”. Why? I have no clue, but you can only achieve this with Bubble (Doubles max HP) or Infuse (Consumer caster’s HP to change target’s HP to 10x that amount). *Assuming Infuse works that way, I’ve never used it. Infuse doesn’t work that way.

This app no longer functions!

Since the current Boggle with Friends app freezes consistently on my Samsung Galaxy A32 5G with Android 12 and even on my Motorola Moto Stylus 5G 2021 with Android 12 (must be an Android 12 thing), I decided to dust off the old Word Streak app to see if it still works. Surprisingly, it does, but there are a few caveats:

  1. Chat doesn’t work.
  2. “Daily Quests” is not a thing; however, you do get the “Daily Spinner”.
  3. There are a lot of annoying notifications.
  4. Since Google+ is no longer a thing, you can’t log in with it.
  5. Sometimes games will start themselves before you can pick your power-ups.

If you’d like to download it, click here (on Aptoide).

In chapter 5 a 100 level deep dungeon called Via Infinito becomes available. In said dungeon you are presented with challenges in that each level is one of 15 random floors. The deeper you go, the tougher the fiends and the Charm Bangle has no effect.

I recorded the solution to each level and here they are in no particular order.

  • Go to your album and select the desired screenshot, then press A or touch “Sharing and Editing”.
    • From this screen you can either select “Post” and send it/them to Facebook or Twitter and download them from there or select “Send to Smartphone”. For best results, choose the latter.
  • From the following, you can choose to either send one or more than one (more than one is not an option for videos).
  • Either way, the next screen will assist in connecting to the Switch’s ad-hoc Wi-Fi hotspot.
    • Scan the QR code and connect to the hotspot.
  • If you can’t scan QR codes, press the “+” button or touch “Trouble connecting?” for the hotspot info and connect to it yourself. The password is random, but the SSID will always be the same.
    • Your device does not have to be a phone. It can be anything with Wi-Fi and the ability to download images and videos, even a laptop or PC.
  • Once you connect, the screen will change. Scan the new QR code. This one opens your web browser to the Switch’s web interface.
    • Note: your device will not have internet access, so if it asks you if you want to stay connected to this Wi-Fi, click yes.
  • If you can’t scan the QR code, press the “+” button or touch “Trouble connecting?”. This will tell you where to point your browser to. It’ll probably be “” like in my screenshot below.
  • The page contains linked thumbnails of your selected screenshots. Just download them.
  • Go back to your Switch and press the Home or B button or touch “Back” or “End” to disconnect. Your device will switch back to the previous connection. If not, you know what to do.
  • Ironically, I had to take the above screenshots with my phone because the Switch won’t allow you to screenshot system menus.

The Last of Us may be the best video game series to date. 10/10. Here are some insights into the game. If you’re looking for tips on getting all the collectibles and other stuff, you’ve come to the wrong place.

Note: The title of TLoU on the PS3 and PS4 does not contain “Part I”, it was added for the PS5 and PC versions and the PS4 version contains “Remastered”. For simplicity, I will just call it “The Last of Us”.


The Last of Us

  • When acquiring trophies for collectibles (artifacts, training manuals, shiv doors, comics, crafted items, Firefly pendants, jokes, and conversations), you don’t need to get them all in one run. I would recommend it, though, if you don’t know which ones you’re missing. The Chapters menu on the main menu does, however, show how many you have collected per chapter, so you can easily tell if you need to repeat a chapter.
  • If you’re hunting for collectibles by going through the Chapters menu, I would recommend doing them in reverse order because if you go back to a previous chapter, you can no longer access the subsequent ones.
  • When you’re hanging upside down in the warehouse in Bill’s town, you have unlimited ammo, but you can’t change weapons.
  • I’m Bill’s Town when you’re push-starting the truck after you push it out of the garage, if you’re low on ammo, you can basically summon infected to loot. Don’t push the truck. Instead walk away until Bill leaves the truck. An infected will come out and attack Ellie. Then just run back and melee fight it. Then repeat if needed. And there are bricks that re-spawn to assist you if you want.
  • If you equip a brick or bottle, it becomes your melee weapon. Unfortunately, it’s a one-hit wonder, but it does do significant damage.

Left Behind

  • Like Part I, you don’t need to get all the conversations on one play through.
  • There’s no trophy for picking up all the artifacts.
  • Takes place in Winter in Boulder, CO, right after Joel gets impaled by rebar and right before you chase down the deer and meet David for the first time (as Ellie) and the flashbacks are three weeks prior to Summer in Boston, MA, when Ellie and Rylie get bitten.
  • The gas for the empty generator in the loading dock is always in the same truck, the one on the other side of the first truck you see when you are by the generator looking toward the vehicles. It has an external tank.
  • You don’t have to win either the window breaking game or the water-gun fight (except to get the trophies), but you do have to do them both.
  • You don’t have to go to Winston’s tent nor the photo booth (except to get the conversion trophies and insight into Winston’s, Rylie’s, Ellie’s characters).

The Last of Us: Part II

  • General    
    • There’s no trophy for conversations, so you don’t really need to talk to anybody (pressing Triangle when prompted) save for the ones that are forced (Maria before the snowball fight, the person waiting in line in the mess hall, Nora at the FOB, the guy standing guard at the apartments in the FOB, the guy sitting by the elevator in the FOB apartments, to get Yara to throw the dog toy after her amputation, Dina at the sink in the farmhouse).
    • The “Skip Puzzle” option allows you to skip guitar playing, dumpster pushing, and rope swinging. Thank God for that (I hate rope swinging).
    • As with Part I and LB, you don’t need to get all the collectibles (safes, artifacts, journal entries, work benches, trading cards, and coins) in one run for the corresponding trophies.
    • You can’t manually save with Permadeath active, but if you have a PD auto-save and you want to play a regular game, don’t worry, your auto-save will be backed up first, so you won’t lose it when your regular game auto-saves.
    • In fact, anytime you start a new game or even start a game using the Chapters menu, your auto-save gets backed up to the next available slot.
    • The Encounters menu only has the encounters you’ve seen in your current auto-save.
    • Same with the Chapters menu.
    • There’s nothing to gain from doing encounters from the Encounters menu. Except practice, I guess.
    • You can’t use cheats on Grounded mode nor with PD active.
    • If you have the option to shoot or melee, you can break almost any glass.
    • Pressing L3 shows you where to go (if the option is enabled), but it sometimes leads you to places that aren’t required to go (mostly in downtown Seattle with Ellie and Dina) and if you press it quickly enough, it’ll just lead you in circles.
    • There are only a few places you are required to kill all the enemies (other than forced). Everywhere else, you can grab-crawl your way through (with unlimited “invisible while prone” and “reduced enemy perception” active) or run if you have “reduced enemy accuracy” enabled or kill just enough and be out of range/eyesight of the rest or get to the next checkpoint.
      • In the area right after your first encounter with an infected (the one you have to throw a bottle at) with Ellie and Dina.
      • In the area right after Dina gives you the molotov (where you have to toss a cable over the ductwork) with Ellie and Dina.
      • The bloater in the arcade with Ellie.
      • The parking garage of the courthouse with Ellie and Dina.
      • Sniping infected with Ellie and Tommy.
      • The bloater in the hotel with Ellie and Joel.
      • In the lobby of the same hotel with Ellie and Joel.
      • In the warehouse with Abby, Manny, Mel, and Alice.
      • During your first encounter with Lev and Yara after the Saraphites ambush you. Right after Lev cuts down Abby. I guess technically you aren’t killing them all, but you do kill all the ones you see before someone says “that’s all of them”, then run away while your UI lights up with warnings from all directions. With Abby, Lev, and Yara.
      • In the area where Lev gets ambushed, shot, and outed (Abby is so clueless). Despite “allies don’t get grabbed” being enabled, Lev still gets grabbed when you try to go up the ladder on the other end. With Abby and Lev.
      • The rat king in the hospital with Abby.
    • Places where you might think you have to kill everything, but you don’t:
      • The loading dock with Abby, Joel, and Tommy. Technically, you can just run around until Tommy gets the gondola over to the window, but only if “allies don’t get grabbed” is enabled. Though, you may have to kill a few.
      • The shootout at the gas station. Technically, you can just run around dodging bullets until backup arrives. You do have to kill a few. As Abby, Manny, Mel, and Alice.
      • The area where Lev and Yara help Abby escape after going through the auto shop garage. Technically, you can just run around until Lev and Yara bust through the ambulance that crashed through the wall. You do have to kill a few of them, though. With Abby, Lev, and Yara.
      • The shop where you have no choice but to break the glass and alert all the infected inside to get through. It’s your first encounter after leaving Yara at the aquarium to go get supplies from the hospital. You can just break the glass and haul ass to the other end and climb through the wall. With Abby and Lev.
      • The parking garage with Tommy shooting at you. You can get to the other end, without killing them all, but you’ll have to kill some, though. With Abby and Manny.
    • The places where you are riding in a vehicle, you have unlimited ammo, but you can’t change weapons.
  • Jackson
    • Prologue
      • You don’t need to win the snowball fight.
  • Seattle Day 1 (Ellie)
    • The Gate
      • If you don’t pick up the Map of Seattle artifact from the trailer, it’ll be a forced pick up when you try to pick up the Checkpoint Gate Codes artifact (don’t worry, it’s in the other drawer) and if you don’t pick that one up, you can’t enter the code on the Main console even if you know it (it’ll just fail after the third digit).
    • Downtown
      • You are only required to go to two places: the dome and the courthouse, but you have to do them both because the first one, regardless of which you do first, will have no gas.
      • As soon as you enter the dome, “Skip Puzzle” becomes available and allows you to skip the entire area right up to the exit including getting (or not getting) the gas. You do, however, miss some chatter about the Torah Scroll, insight into Dina’s Jewish heritage, and Ellie’s confusion about the year on the calendar.
  • Seattle Day 2 (Ellie)
    • Finding Strings
      • The bloater in the hotel will grab Ellie after you’ve shot him enough times. There’s no avoiding it.
    • Flooded City
      • It’s easier to swim underwater when going to the aquarium after your boat sinks, that way you won’t get hammered by waves.
  • Seattle Day 1 (Abby)
    • The Stadium
      • In the mess hall, you only need to talk to the guy waiting in the food line.
      • You don’t need to compete with Manny in the shooting range.
    • The Aquarium
      • You have to go into the cabin of the boat and pick up the kid’s clothes on the bed, but that’s all you have to do.
      • Once you get into the big room with the whale hanging from the ceiling, you can just head right up the stairs.
    • Hostile Territory
      • After offering ways with Manny and after getting ambushed by an infected, you come to an area with stores on either side. You don’t have to go into any of them unless you need artifacts.
    • Winter Visit
      • There’s no way to avoid the shooting gallery, but you don’t have to get the high score or even shoot anything. If you don’t shoot anything, Owen gets cheeky and Abby says she “didn’t have anything to prove”.
  • Seattle Day 2 (Abby)
    • The Shortcut
      • There’s no way to avoid falling off the sky bridge, but if you fall too soon, you’ll die.
    • Return to the Aquarium
      • You have to throw the dog toy…twice and you can’t leave the room until you talk to Yara.
  • Permadeath and Cheats
    • The game doesn’t allow you to activate cheats with Permadeath active; forever, there is a workaround.
      • Step 1: Load any save that allows for cheats.
      • Step 2: Activate the cheats you want.
      • Step 3: Without exiting to the title screen, load up your Permadeath save.
      • Step 4: Enjoy your cheats.
      • Caveats: You can’t change them without repeating all of the above steps and it doesn’t work if the difficulty is set to Grounded.


Every guide I’ve found which tells one how to access the Ruin Depths in the Calm Lands is wrong! They all show some elaborate method for unlocking it which includes sending L5 birds 1, 2, and 3, then 2, 3, and 4, then 1, 3, and 4, then 1, 2, and 4, after sending 4 of each previous level out. And they always insist that you must send them ALL to the Calm Lands.

Here’s why it’s bullshit:

  1. You can send them anywhere you’d like.
  2. You need only send four of each level (maybe fewer, I haven’t tried fewer) – once the four L5s return, exit and reenter the ranch. Boom – the Depths are now open.
  3. Only Chocobos with max potential will work, so if your Chocobo can’t get to L5, it’s pointless to dispatch it, but don’t release it because it still helps to keep the runners from running away.
  4. You also only need to fight 7 battles between batches.

Notes about acquiring access to the ranch:

  1. If you don’t help Cassie catch a Chocobo and subsequently fight the Chocobo Eater in Mi’ihen Highroad in chapter 1 and talk to Clasko in Mushroom Rock Road in chapters 1 and 2, you won’t be able to access the Chocobo Ranch because he won’t be in Mi’ihen Highroad in chapter 3, so you can’t pick him up to take him to the Calm Lands.
  2. If you don’t pick him up from Mi’hen Highroad in chapter 3, you won’t be able to access the Chocobo Ranch.
  3. If you don’t take him to the Calm Lands in chapter 3, he’ll jump ship in chapter 5 and head for the Calm Lands himself, so as long as you get him on board, your set.

Final Fantasy X-2

Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD Remastered cover art.

I’ve been playing a lot of Final Fantasy X-2 lately and I have a few things to say that I feel could be helpful.

  • New Game Plus
    New Game Plus is great, but there are a few things that should be known:
  1. You can’t access this feature until you beat the game at least once and watch the credits until asked if you want to save the New Game Plus data. At which time, you will be bounced back to the game’s main menu where a new option appears.
  2. There are three ways to access New Game Plus.
    • Beat the game (must be done or the following will not work).
    • Load a saved game with New Game Plus data and soft-reset back to the game’s main menu. If playing the HD Remastered version on the PS3/PS4, don’t soft-reset. Instead press Start/Options, then Triangle, then select Yes.
    • Die a horrible death and get Game Over while playing a saved game with New Game Plus data.
  3. You get to keep most of your stuff and progress. I will list the things that carry over or don’t carry over (as noted):
    • In-Game menu
      • Items:
        • Use: You retain every item on this list except Gysahl Greens.
        • Key Items: You lose everything in this list except Al-Bhed Primers I-XXVI, Twilight Rain, Aurora Rain, Machina Booster, Machina Reactor, Victor Primoris, Corpus Invictus, and Magical Dances Vol I and II.
      • Equip:
        • Every character and trapped fiends’1 levels will be reset to 1.
        • All accessories will be unequipped.
        • The First Steps garment grid will be equipped to all characters and trapped fiends1.
        • Rikku’s Dressphere will be reset to Thief.
        • Paine’s Dressphere will be reset to Warrior.
        • Yuna and all trapped fiends’1 Dresspheres will be reset to Gunner.
      • Garment Grids:
        • You will keep them all.
        • The First Steps garment grid will be reset to its initial configuration.
      • Abilities and Dresspheres:
        • You will keep all of your Dresspheres.
        • They will all retain their progress.
      • Accessories:
        • You get to keep them all.
      • You get to keep all of your hard-earned gil.
      • Your play time continues from where it left off.
      • You retain your completion percentage.
    • Shinra’s Menu:
      • Creature Creator1:
        • All of your trapped fiends will be reset to story level 1.
        • You will retain your bestiary entries.
        • You retain the unlocked tournaments.
        • You lose every entry in the Battle Simulator except a select few. So far, the first page and the Aeons carried over.
        • The Fiend Arena Config resets to Default.
      • CommSphere Network menu item disappears.
      • Shinra’s Guide to Everything is always the same whether New Game Plus or not.
      • You lose all of your Treasure Spheres.
      • You retain Shinra’s Bestiary and Dossiers.
  4. Everything in the field resets including Calm Lands credits (100 for each company) – spend them while you can, unlocked dungeons, and treasure chests.
  5. O’aka’s debt gets set to a seemingly random amount. I have not noticed any pattern to it. One time it was 1,000 Gil. Another time it was 100,000 Gil.
  6. You lose all of your Sphere Break coins.
  7. You retain all of your Blitzball stats and players.
  8. The Bushido ability Momentum retains its internal kill count and continues to gain momentum.

1 Requires HD Remastered (PS3/PS4) or International

  • CommSphere Network
  1. When watching these, sometimes you have to move the camera and/or zoom in before they start playing.
  2. You don’t have to watch the whole thing if you’re watching for completion or episode complete credit.
  3. When going for completion or episode complete credit, make sure you visit every single location in Spira in Chapter 3 (don’t forget the second floor of the chocobo ranch), you have to watch them multiple times (up to a dozen for some locations), and there are five times you must watch them: as soon as you start Chapter 4, after talking to Buddy (before going to the Moonflow to chase down Tobli), after chasing down Tobli, after practicing for the concert, and anytime in Chapter 5.
  4. If you want to catch chocobos from the Thunder Plains, you have to watch until Shinra uses the Chocoporter (you can do it twice).
  5. Some will become unavailable, immobile, or unwatchable after watching them few times.
    • Besaid: it becomes immobile after watching it once in Chapter 5.
    • Bevelle: it gets shot.
    • Djose: it gets used for parts.
    • Thunder Plains: it gets hit by lightning.
    • Kilika Island: Dona sends it away via balloon and Bartello breaks the other one.
    • Luca: Shinra doesn’t actually put one here, but in Chapter 5 you get static.
    • Moonflow: a shoopuf steps on it.
    • Mt. Gagazet Mountain Gate: it freezes over (not to be confused with getting “snowed in”).
    • Bikanel Desert Excavation Camp: the fiend Nhadala keeps talking about destroys it and a sand storm breaks the other one.
    • Mi’ihen Highroad: it’s broken in Chapter 5 for an unknown reason.
    • Mushroom Rock Road: powerful sphere waves cause interference.
    • Guadosalam: it gets “hunted” ie stolen.
    • Macalania Woods: stolen by Wantz).
  • Crimson Spheres
  1. There are several missable Crimson Spheres:
    • Mushroom Rock Road Den of Woe Chapters 1 and 2 (if you don’t go here in these chapters, you will miss them).
    • Bevelle Chapter 3 (if you don’t go here down to where Vegnagun was after clearing Besaid and Kilika, but before clearing Djose, you will miss this one).
    • Celsius Engine Room Chapter 4 (after the concert Buddy tells you Lablanc is on board and in the engine room, if you talk to Shinra before going down there to talk to her, you will miss this one).
  • 100% Story Completion
  1. Don’t miss an opportunity to interact with Yuna on the Luca docks after the concert in the prologue.
  2. If you’re trying to get 100% story completion in one play through, do not give the Awesome Sphere to New Yevon or you will miss story time with Maechen in the Youth League HQ.