03 Sep 18
186h 34m

Episode Ardyn

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Episode Ardyn

Return of the Founder King achievement in Final Fantasy XV

Return of the Founder King

Earned the top ranking in EPISODE ARDYN.

Return of the Founder King0
22 January 2021 - 3 guidesOffline Game ModeSingle Player

How to unlock the Return of the Founder King achievement

  • DarrcyphfeidDarrcyphfeid240,927
    26 Mar 2019 26 Mar 2019 27 Mar 2019
    56 0 32
    This achievement can be obtained on either Normal or Easy difficulty. Unlike other DLC episodes for XV, Ardyn's challenging battle unlocked upon completing the story is not the required target. You also do not necessarily need to create a new save file after clearing the game, although unless you're reading this in advance you most likely will.

    To earn the A+ rank you:
    - Must not take more than 30,000 cumulative damage from enemies, including the tutorial and final bosses
    - Must not get KO'd and put into the powered up "Overkill" state
    - Must not fail any of the four "strategy" tutorial popups near the beginning of the game

    So long as those conditions are met, you still have an avenue towards the achievement using an existing save. Obtaining the Absolutely Astounding title (A+ rank) requires nearly all categories to have an A+ rating. You may either have all but one category with an A+ and that final category having a B, or two categories with A ratings and the rest with A+. Having a C or lower anywhere will drop the overall rank down to A.

    The categories and known/assumed values to aim for are as follows:

    Total Score: This is the combined amount of points earned via combat and by destroying certain types of objects (e.g. billboards, balloons) in the city. 1,500,000 points yields the A+ rating; 1,000,000 points are required for an A rating.

    Max Combo: What it says on the tin. You need a combo of 400 for an A+ rating. The middle group of four soldiers along the central strip leading towards the palace are good targets for this if you haven't obtained it by the end of the game. Hold B and press the control stick left or right to strafe around an enemy and leave a saw-like projectile in your path that can hit multiple enemies several times.

    Enemies Defeated: Exact value unknown, but this will happen automatically.

    Daemonifications: This is the reaction command that pops up after hitting soldier-type enemies with the final part of your basic 5-hit combo. Minimum known number is 114; assumed actual value is 100 (same as the achievement).

    Sectors Controlled: Your primary mission objective. You only need to complete 3 to finish the game, however you'll need all of them for your achievement and A+ rating.

    Undying States: As explained in the opening tutorial, Ardyn's HP hitting zero puts him in a desperate state wherein his attacks become more powerful. To obtain the A+ rating, simply never let yourself fall to 1 HP.

    Damage Incurred: Total damage done to you throughout the playthrough, including the tutorial and both end bosses. There's no way to track this number without killing the final boss and seeing your results page, so pay close attention and reload a save if you take too much damage during battle. To get an A rating you need to take less than 20,000 damage, whereas for a B rating it's more comfortable at an assumed 30,000~35,000 damage (more data points necessary for exact amount). Assumed value for A+ is 15,000 (credit: Guilty115) and it's not advised you intentionally try for that.

    Successful Strategies: These appear during the tutorial segment before you're given full control of Ardyn in Insomnia. Simply clear all four of them for your A+ rating. As per MemoriesOfFinal, the four strategy tutorials are:
    - Daemonify the enemy (the island)
    - Daemonify five royal guards (the lab)
    - Inflict Royal Retribution (the lab)
    - Issue Ifrit a command (Insomnia)

    Battle Time: This is the amount of time spent in active combat, not your actual playtime. Unless you're being too cautious this should not be a concern; A+ rating requires less than 50 minutes spent in combat (credit: Silver Mitsuki & ArkhmInmate0801). We currently don't know what the cutoff for the A rating is, however SilverArrow20XX in the comments lists 01:12:XX as being a C rank. Based upon that, assumed that 60 minutes is the cutoff point for the A rating.

    For further clarity, notes or information you can refer to the launch day thread located here.

    Guide not helping? View 2 more guides for this achievement.

    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    AllgorhythmShazamFTW; An easy way to get the combo count is to spam attack against a vulnerable guardian. Make sure the phantasm bar is filled so you will have all twelve weapons for a high combo. Proceed to an amplifier. Destroy the manafonts. When the guardian appears, evade until the tech bar completely fills up. Then, execute Meteor Strike. This will render the guardian vulnerable. Press the attack button and circle around the vulnerable guardian building up the combo past the 350 count required for the A+ rank.

    This video at the 3'25" mark demonstrates the technique:
    Posted by Allgorhythm on 24 May 19 at 20:39
    ShazamFTWI'm having a really hard time comboing up to the 350 needed. I know it can be done during the final boss, but I can't get past around 200. Any tips on how to extend that past 350?

    Edit: So I'm going to answer my own question in case anyone thinks like I do. I was constantly holding down RB to target people as I thought I needed to. Turns out, that's a bad idea. Not holding that down & then moving right or left while holding B will do the "buzzsaw" move that people are talking about, which I didn't figure out until an hour ago, and that's a great way to combo up with everything mentioned above. So if you are a serial targeter... that's why none of this made sense. Carry on!
    Posted by ShazamFTW on 25 May 19 at 05:50
    Luis Patinho RJThanks for the tips. I did this on me second run, and that time on Easy mode.

    Finished in 03:05:29 and 1.632.450 points.

    Now, don't exist more FFXV in my life laugh
    Posted by Luis Patinho RJ on 07 May 20 at 17:32
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  • KojaKoja556,408
    06 May 2019 07 May 2019 07 May 2019
    6 1 0
    Just a couple tips to keep in mind to make this a breeze:

    Use Darrcyphfeid's solution, it's everything you'll need.

    Level up your Decension health/mp points as soon as possible

    I only used Ifrit's initial Firaga ability, never needed the others

    Spam the Shadow Glide and get behind enemies (every enemy besides the final boss can be blindsided causing massive damage) The Female statues teleport around a lot, while doing this you can glide up to them if quick and usually get a cn_Y prompt attack in

    Walk around on the ground often to spawn ambushes to easily and quickly get kills plus fill your power bar to x 12 if needed

    I avoided almost every enemy patrol to save time

    Before each tower fight and the King boss fight use one of each of these items (You can buy them from Vending machines for $2000 each) just pop them one after another before the battle begins
    -Power EX
    -Mettle VX
    -Verve WX
    -There is a 4th I can't find the name for that buffs 'Spirit', it's right there in the vending machine though. hard to miss.

    External image
  • PalesiusPalesius1,527,281
    18 Mar 2020 19 Mar 2020 19 Mar 2020
    4 0 5
    Nothing really new here, everything was in the other guides/comments.

    But I got all the As by a wide margin, so here was my general strategy. I did this on easy, as a second playthrough but it would certainly work on the first, it's just a bit easier when you know what to expect.

    Play through the beginning portion, taking as little damage as you can, and not going into undying more than the one required time. There will also be 4 tactics popups that you need to complete. On the island you need to daemonify a single enemy. You may want to save in the lab so you don't have to redo the intro again if you mess up the two tactics popups in the lab. You need to daemonify five and then do a royal retribution. Try to avoid killing too many "normally" as there aren't that many and you could end up not having 5 to daemonify. Also make sure you wait for the royal retribution popup to come up fully. I jumped the gun one time and it didn't count so I had to redo it. Finally after you get back to insomnia you will have to summon ifrit with your tech bar.

    Once you get to the free roam section (you are back in Insomnia, causing trouble) there will be a required fight. You will need to get a 400 hit combo at some point. I did it during this fight but you can easily not worry about it here and just do it later. (The battle at the gate before you fight the bosses could be a decent place, or the small squad of four enemies that spawns a little below the gate). The easiest way is to make sure your Spectral Energy is full and then attack with B while sidestepping with LS. This will make a buzzsaw type attack appear while will get a huge number of hits while doing very little damage. Basically keep holding B and sidestepping around the various enemies until the counter hits 400.

    (I would also recommend buying the safety hat to keep your damage levels down, there is a store on the rooftop on the way to the closest generator.)

    Clear the first shield generator, trying to take little or no damage. It helps if you have royal retribution charged up at the beginning of the fights. It will do a lot of damage AND send the guardian into a vulnerable state, between that and whaling on him, you should be able to kill him handily.

    We will be abusing ethers and spectral charge and doing the bulk of our fighting/damage with Royal Retribution (RB+Y). The only battles you really will be fighting are a bunch of QTE against assassin squads, the 7 shield generators, the soldiers at the gate right before the bosses, and the two bosses.

    I believe the assassination squads don't start appearing until you clear the first generator, which is why I suggest taking care of that first. To farm these assassination squads for APs, run up and down the left side of the map and whenever a squad ambushes you, hit B when prompted and then spam Y. That will get you up to 5 AP depending on the squad size as well as many points, at the cost of only a few seconds of combat time. Save periodically so you don't lose too much time if you mess up and have to reload. (But the QTE is super easy). If you run into non ambush enemies, just use X to warp out of range, fights you run from don't count against your fight time.

    You can buy skills in any order (no prerequisites). Key skills are:
    Mug (64): You get an item every time you daemonify an enemy. Since we will be buying a lot of Ethers to abuse Royal Retribution, this will keep us flush with cash.
    Spectral Charge (16): This lets you convert MP to SE (Spectral Energy: your Armiger equivalent). This one is essential, the rest are just nice to have.
    Meteor Strike (16): Good for the guardian and boss battles
    Daemonification 2 (16): This will let you absorb 6 (rather than 4) levels of SE per enemy you deamonify.
    Rising Phantom (16): Honestly didn't even use this until boss fight and didn't even actually need it then.
    Power Up (4-16): There are 5 of these, they help because with more MP you will recharge more SE for each ether you use, meaning you can do Royal Retribution with one and a half bars or MP rather than 3.

    The rest are not needed but you may as well farm enough to unlock them all for the achievement if you need it, but also to hit the points and daemonify targets.

    Once you have your skills all set, go ahead and save, then start taking out the shield generators one by one. If you don't have a full SE bar, find a patrol, go into battle long enough to fill your SE by pressing down on the D-pad, then warp out. Use Ethers as needed to refill your MP. They are cheap and you should easily be able to buy 99 and have tons of money left over. The basic guardian strategy consists of firing royal retribution.
    If needed you can spam X to warp away if there are functioning enemies near you, but RR will usually knock most if not all of them into a vulnerable state. Immediately use Spectral Charge to refill your SE (feel free to spam it). Warp away from enemies with X if needed, then use an Ether to refill your MP, and do another Spectral Charge if needed to get your meter up to 12. Go back to step one and RR again. You don't usually need to bother warping away before the RR for safety, since it makes you invincible, but it can help to get more enemies in your field of view so you can hit them with it. Keep doing this until the guardian(s) are low enough to finish them with a daemonify. If your tech bar gets high enough, call in a meteor strike or firaga.

    It's up to you how often you save, depending on how comfortable you feel with the fights. If you find yourself taking over 1000 damage during a fight you may want to consider reloading and redoing that one. But save if you want, stock up on ethers if you need to, and move on to the next shield generator. You should have plenty of extra money, so you can also pick up a few Verve VX which you can pop at the beginning of guardian fights to boost the damage on your RR.

    (NB: I don't if the order affects this, I cleared them starting at the bottom and then going up. But the last two I cleared (near the gate), seemed to be treated as a single fight, I never left combat mode after the 1st one, and was unable to summon Ifrit during the second fight. So keep that in mind so you don't unnecessarily rack up too much combat time. Handle one, then quickly run/sprint/warp across the street and deal with the other.)

    Once you clear all the shield generators, the fight at the entrance of the boss area has several waves of basic soldiers then a couple of guardians. Keep spamming RR and Ifrit abilities until they are all gone. (You can actually do this fight anytime after clearing 3 or more generators, Order is up to you, but it offers a handy save point.)

    At this point you just need to get your score up. I would recommend about 1,350,000 to ensure you have enough after the boss fights. You can either farm more assassin squads, or use your rifle to take out decorations. The decorations route is a bit slower but won't increase your combat time. You can either quickly take out the regular squads, or snipe the decorations from a distance and then quickly sprint/warp through the combat zones without engaging them.

    For the boss fights you could also consider getting the two boosters that increase stamina and spirit (Mettle/Spirit VX) since they have some area/magic attacks that are a bit harder to avoid. (Also for Regis it is handy to save up Ifrit until he puts up his shield, as a meteor strike will make short work of it).

    That should get you all the criteria you need. You need to get all A+ except for a single B OR two As.

    Total Score: You need 1.5M for A+, or 1M for A. You should be able to get all A+ on everything else so you could top at 1M and not bother getting this higher. You can farm assassin squads or destroy decorations to boost this easily.

    Max Combo: If you didn't get this yet, see above for the general idea (normal attack while sidestepping with a full SE meter). You can do this against the squad that spawn just below the gates.

    Enemies Defeated: this will happen without even trying.

    Daemonifications: You should already have this since you were farming the assassins for AP/items/points. If you haven't gotten the achievement for 100 yet, that will let you know when you've hit your target also.

    Sectors Controlled: Get all 7 and you will have an A+

    Undying States: Don't die other than the one forced time at the beginning. Reload a save if you die, besides if you died you probably took too much damage anyway.

    Damage Incurred: This is probably the hardest, you need under 15k for an A+. I came in with about 3k, so if you are abusing RR, it isn't too difficult.

    Successful Strategies: These are all mentioned up top and happen in the tutorial. One on the island, two in the lab, and one in the battle right before you can free roam. Just get credit for all 4.

    Battle Time: 50 is the target for A+, using the above strategies, I came in around 33 minutes I think. So you have plenty of time to farm more assassination squads if you want. They take about 5s of combat time, so you can easily net something like 25-35 daemonifies and 100k points or so in a minute of combat time.
    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    I am MindslaveWhere would you rank this achievement amongst the other DLCs in this game in terms of difficulty? I did all the others, but have been putting this off because it seemed hard. You make it sound easy though.
    Posted by I am Mindslave on 15 Apr 20 at 04:23
    AshdoGreat guide and explains a lot! Definately worthwhile doing your first Playthrough on normal to get to grips with what you’ve gotta do!

    I finished with all A+‘s except for strategies (rather annoyingly) and on easy. I saved just before the finale battles so I could go back and work on it if I needed to!

    Can seem a little daunting at first but is easier than it looks considering my first normal play though I took 60k damage!

    It’s also worth noting for the two final bosses After you go through the gate you get 80k point from beating each one. So factor that into the points total!
    Posted by Ashdo on 20 Jun 20 at 19:19
    Poat540Awesome guide - was holding this acheevo off till last..

    Got full A+ following this to a T
    Posted by Poat540 on 06 Mar at 04:09
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