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Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

What Rough Beast Slouches

Claire Farnworth
Difficulty 3*
Availability From Day 1
Location Temple Ruins Floor 4 and Giant’s Sandbox
Gil Obtained 8200
Item(s) Obtained Pro’s Beret
HP +160
Strength +12
Magic +16

You can find Nolan during your journey through the Temple Ruins in the Scorched Earth section. He asks you to defeat the unique enemy Aeronite and return the Monster Flesh to him. Speaking to him arms you with a copy of the Study of Despair , the Libra information for Aeronite.

Aeronite can be found from Day 7 onwards in the Giant’s Sandbox and his exact location depends on the time of day. Check the map for details. If you Escape, the monster will respawn two hours later and possibly in a different spot so save before you attempt the battle! It will, however, appear immediately in the 22:00 - 23:59 window.

Schemata Setup

Quiet Guardian

Weapon Chaos’s Revenge
Shield Noblesse Veronique
Accessories Preta Hood, Runic Ring
Abilities Imperil, Heavy Guard (locked), Deprotect, Thundara

100% magic resistance is an absolute must to get you through this fight with 5* on a first playthrough. It stops you worrying about everything but the physical attacks and the super-powerful attack Hellflare. The Quiet Guardian’s innate magic resistance coupled with the Runic Ring and Preta Hood allows for this. Debuffs are essential and Thunder attacks work very well.

Quiet Guardian will be your default and staple schema throughout the fight.

Miqo’te Dress

Weapon Morgenstern
Shield Noblesse Veronique
Accessories Soul of Thamasa, Thorn of Speed
Abilities Defaith (not needed really but can help), Mediguard+ (locked), Magic Slash (locked), Thunder

Speed and the ability to stagger quickly are absolute priorities so the Thorn of Speed will help with this. The Soul of Thamasa allows for more finishing moves which can help to inflict more finales and gain Stagger faster. You can also inflict tremendous damage with Morgenstern and Magic Slash again and having two attacking schemas is a must given it’s 11,000,000 HP value.

You will be using this schema as a damage dealer and to Stagger.

Soldier of Peace

Weapon Demon Claw
Shield Noblesse Veronique
Accessories Warrior Hunter’s Mask, White Strap
Abilities Shadowbind (locked), Light Slash, Heavy Slash, Thunder

Artemis’s Arrows will become a staple of this strategy and Demon Claw will allow for even faster Staggers. Protection from Fog is essential or you won’t be able to use your Stagger-building spells and added strength is always useful. Light Slash can help to maintain the Wave because the trick to this battle is quick Staggers.

You can use Soldier of Peace as a quick staggerer and also for damage dealing.


This fight can be very tricky until you understand Aeronite’s tactics and learn when he is about to use a certain attack. Stopping Black Hole from drawing you in is a skill in and of itself. There are four distinct phases to the battle, coinciding with a Stagger. Aeronite uses more and more powerful spells until the final phase so you must be alert and focused throughout. He is the hardest enemy in the game and requires intimate knowledge of advanced tactics but hopefully our guide and video will explain these as you go along. The main aim is to get him to the final phase as quickly as possible.

It goes without saying you will need Recovery items. A Phoenix Down and Hero’s or Warrior’s Potion are also very useful, as is an Enthunder or Enaero Potion. You will need to use minimal recovery items and EP (full EP is a must) for 5* though if you just want to kill him, bring an Ether or two.

Fight Opening

At the start of the fight you want to begin pushing for Stagger as soon as you can so cast your Thunder spells. Aeronite will always open with an ‘aga’ spell so make sure you are in Quiet Guardian when it hits. You will need to keep focused on Aeronite at all times and not your attack setup because you have to be able to see when an attack will hit so you know when to switch to Quiet Guardian.

You should always keep enough ATB on this schema so you can Guard if necessary. With that said, switch between Quiet Guardian and Soldier of Peace initially for this phase. There will be a LOT of switching back to soak up damage. You must keep attacking right up until the last second before you need to switch or the Wave may decrease and Staggering becomes very difficult.

The first Stagger can take some time to inflict so be patient. When Aeronite rears his head and front legs, he is about to use Black Hole so switch immediately to Quiet Guardian. You need the magic protection or he will drag you to him and then emit Roar which will basically kick your ass sideways. If you maintain your distance, Roar will miss you completely so always make sure you are as far away as possible. This also gives you a great chance to spam Thunder spells without having to switch back and forth.

After Black Hole, Aeronite will sometimes use Roar which, if he managed to drag you to him, will damage you significantly.

It is likely that Aeronite will use Megaton Break just before you Stagger him. This has a long animation time so focus on pushing him over the edge. This is also why you need to keep up your attacks as much as possible so you can avoid dealing with it. You can block it to some degree but it is quite hard to time and there is further damage when he lands again.

1st Stagger Phase

This phase is largely the same as the first one but with one tiny difference: his spells get stronger. If you get hit by Roar, fear not. Block it as best you can and then proceed to put yourself at distance again before he uses physical attacks.

If you see him charging Megaton Break again, Overclock immediately and push for the Stagger to avoid it.

When you see him using this, Overclock immediately.

2nd Stagger Phase

Aeronite will undoubtedly unleash Hellflare soon after reaching this phase. You can learn to Perfect Guard the attack but more often than not, it will pierce any defense you have regardless of magic resistance. It is likely you will suffer a total K.O so make sure you have a Phoenix Down at the ready. Don’t worry too much when it comes as you can quickly recover with a Phoenix Down. What you don’t want happening is a second one though so get back to it!

You will now have buffs from the Phoenix Down and you can continue pushing for the next Stagger. The battle will continue largely the same way other than Hellflare so be on your guard and try to get the next Stagger before you get hit with another one.

Hellflare will kill you outright regardless of resistance. You can Perfect Guard it but it is difficult.

3rd Stagger Phase

This phase sees Aeronite unleash its strongest elemental spells like Chill , Tornado etc. With 100% resistance though, you can just sit back and watch the pretty lights. Aeronite will still use ‘aga’ spells with regularity though so you must be careful to switch to Quiet Guardian regularly. You should gain the final Stagger with ease as Aeronite’s attacks become slower and easier to predict, allowing you more time to keep attacking with Thunder spells. He will also still use Hellflare if you take too long. If you see it activating, Overclock to push him over the edge.

Final Stagger Phase

Finally, Aeronite will keel over and become very vulnerable to debuffs and other attacks. Immediately use a buff potion like a Hero’s Potion and then debuff with Imperil and Deprotect. You are now free to spam Artemis’s Arrows and each hit should do around 230,000 plus.

Be very aware that Aeronite will still use ‘aga’ spells even when down so you must remember to switch to Quiet Guardian at intervals. Switch to Miqo’te Dress while Artemis’s Arrows is recharging and use Magic Slash . You can start Overclocking as soon as he has cast a spell. Doing so before this may catch you out as he sometimes sneaks in a spell during Overclock that you don’t see.

Be on your guard for his attacks. They can catch you unawares and may sneakily take you out so do respect him.

Keep applying buffs during any downtime between attacks and calmly keep attacking as you are. Use all your EP if you wish or you can contentedly carry on attacking as you are. This Stagger phase does not end so once you reach this phase, victory is pretty much assured. You may choose to use another buffing potion if one runs out. Eventually, you will deplete his enormous HP pool and claim your prize. Congratulations for conquering Lightning Returns’ toughest foe!

Trophy/Achievement Icon

Desert Dragonslayer

Proof of victory over the dragon Aeronite who brought terror to the Dead Dunes.

Trophy icon
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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    Square Enix
  • Platforms,
    PC, PS3, XB 360
  • Genre
    Action RPG
  • Guide Release
    8 April 2014
  • Last Updated
    7 December 2020
  • Guide Author
    Claire Farnworth

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The world has moved on. Time is no more. People do not age but they can still die from accidents or murder. And so, the population has slowly dwindled and there remains only four main areas left in the world. Lightning awakes from her crystal slumber with one task: to save as many souls as she can before the world ends in thirteen days.

Join us as we scour every corner of Nova Chrysalia from the Wildlands to the Dead Dunes and back again.

In the main guide:

  • A complete guide as to the best way to complete each main quest, side quest and in what order.
  • Complete side quest and Canvas of Prayers sections.
  • Full Ultimate Lair walkthrough with optimal strategy for Ereshkigal.
  • Aeronite strategy and video.
  • Trophy and achievement guide.
  • HD videos with commentary.

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