Most games “end” when the credits roll, but not Bravely Default 2. After you defeat the ostensible final boss, sit through the ensuing melodrama, and get booted back to the main menu, there’s a lot more Bravely Default 2 waiting for you.
Spoilers follow for the late-game of Bravely Default 2.
Bravely Default 2 feels like it’s wrapping up by the time you reach Chapter 5. You’ve collected all four of those crystals you’ve been chasing. (Seriously, what is with this series and crystals?) You end up at Musa, the ransacked, abandoned city everyone has referred to in hushed tones for four chapters. You’re tasked with returning said crystals to their rightful places, which happen to be antechambers at the end of four separate pathways, each guarded by a damage-sponge miniboss. Your party members even talk like your adventure is coming to a close, with Elvis occasionally saying as much in level-up screens.
Were that not enough for a final act, the dungeon wraps with a boss fight that more or less has “Hi, I am a final boss” written on its stupid, stupid forehead: Edna, Adelle’s sister.
Among all the shitty bosses in Bravely Default 2, Edna is the shittiest. For one thing, she sports more than 175,000 HP — easily more than any enemy you’ve faced beforehand. For another, she has a series of moves that can wipe your party in one go. She can also counter physical attacks, magical attacks, moves that inflict status effects, and any healing spells you cast on your party (so, basically everything).
Most of the principles outlined in our guide for defeating Bravely Default 2’s bosses hold true here, but there are a few other pointers to keep in mind.
- You’ll definitely want to grind until you’re at least level 50; otherwise, you might not have enough HP to survive her Ultra Flare move, which she starts using after that mid-fight cutscene every boss has.
- When Edna counters physical moves, she’ll store up an extra BP. If you’re not careful, you’ll get caught off-guard by a flurry of attacks. Be sure to constantly check the battle info to see how many BP she has stored up. Once she’s at 2 or 3, pause your attacks and default with your whole party.
- Having a Red Mage/White Mage on your team is helpful for most fights, but it’s essential for the fight against Edna. Again, Edna can wipe your team with one string of moves if you’re not at full health. With a maxed-out Red Mage/White Mage on your team, you’ll cast every spell twice, which means you should be able to fully heal up everyone with one move, while still retaining any stored BP for revival spells as needed.
- For your other magic-user, go with a Spiritmaster/Black Mage. Edna’s weak against light- and thunder-based spells, and if you go with that combo, you’ll get access to both. Plus, the Spiritmaster’s heal-everyone special ability can save you in a pinch.
- Don’t bother with earth-based moves. She’s immune.
Once you beat Edna, the Night’s Nexus — the malevolent presence that’s definitely not a reference to climate change — busts out of its mortal prison. Gloria sacrifices herself to seal it away and save the world. Seth literally screams “GLOOORIAAA!” because he’s a lot. Then it’s off to the credits, an emotional oceanside cutscene, an obligatory save file warning, and then, finally, the title screen.
Reloading your old save file again will replay the cutscene in which Gloria dies. It’s identical to the one you sat through earlier, so you can skip it if you want. But on the second playthrough, your party members will start chattering about “changing fate” or “taking destiny into their own hands,” at which point you might get the impression you need to fight Edna again — an attempt at righting wrongs, or something like that.
But you don’t need to defeat Edna a second time. Instead, turn around and walk out of the chamber you started in. That’ll kickstart Chapter 6.
Yes, Bravely Default 2 is not over. There’s a lot more plot — starting with a sojourn to Mag Mell, the fairy city — plus more jobs to nab, like the Bravemaster. My colleague Ethan Gach tells me I’m facing down several more hours of gameplay. Every time we’ve chatted about Bravely Default 2, I’ve found myself astonished at his blistering pace. (Exhibit A: It took me about 20 hours to get to where he got in 10.) Combine that with my tendency to move through JRPGs at a crawl, and that means I’ll beat the game in about… Oh. Oh, no.
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