Penance
Optional Side Quest Superboss

Penance is the strongest boss in the game. It is an optional fight that you can complete if you’re interested in challenging yourself or if you plan on obtaining all of the Trophies that are available.

Full view of Penance in the Calm Lands

Unlocking Penance

Penance will spawn in the Calm Lands after you have defeated all eight of the Dark Aeons that spawn across Spira. Check out the Dark Aeons side quest section by clicking on the link below for more information on where to find them and how to defeat them:


Penance appearing in the northern section of the Calm Lands
Selecting Penance from the World Map view

Preparing for Battle

The battle against Penance is arguably the most challenging battle of the game. You should prepare your party by making sure that each of your party members are fully leveled, have completed their Sphere Grids (or are close to it) and are equipped with strong, high level armor.

It is likely that you may have already completed these steps while you were completing other boss battles or in order to defeat the Dark Aeons, but if not, make sure you complete them now:

The best armor to equip for this fight is customized armor that includes the following four auto-abilities:

Auto-Haste
Auto-Protect
Auto-Potion
Defense +20%

Check out the "Best Armor" section for more information on how to construct armor with these four abilities:


Setting up for Battle

The strategy that you will be employing for this fight involves equipping armor with the Auto-Potion ability. This will be your primary method of healing your party member. Each time they are hit they will use an X-Potion on themselves which will heal them back up to their maximum HP.



This means that you need to have a ready supply of X-Potions available for your party members to use throughout the fight. The best method of stockpiling X-Potions is to use the Bribe ability on the Valaha enemy in the Monster Arena. You can bribe this enemy for 174,000 gil.

If you’re out of gil use the “Earning Gil” tips and tricks page for additional tips on how to earn gil. Otherwise, use the Bribe ability while in the Monster Arena to build up a stockpile. Remember, you should bribe the Valaha for 174,000 gil to start and then repeatedly bribe it for 1 gil until the bribe takes affect.

A link to the “Earning Gil” page is included below:

Make sure that you have obtained and equipped each party member’s Celestial Weapon. Penance will have Auto-Protect on at all times during the battle with very high defense but the Celestial Weapons ignore high defense stats making them nearly essential for this battle. You most likely have the Celestial Weapons already by now but refer to the Celestial Weapon section below if you’re not sure:


Penance’s Attack Pattern

Penance is made up of three different targets that you can attack. There is Penance’s main body as well as its two arms on the left and the right side of it. The Left Arm and Right Arm will respawn a few turns after you’ve defeated them and will continue to respawn throughout the battle.

Penance’s strongest attack is a move called “Judgement Day”. This move will hit all party members for 99,999 HP and 999 MP but Penance can only use this move if both its Left Arm and Right Arm are alive and active. This makes it imperative that you continue to defeat the arms every time they respawn.



Penance’s main body will use a move called “Obliteration” in the first stage of the fight which will hit all party members and inflict the Slow status effect. For the second phase of the fight, this move will switch to “Immolation” which will drain MP from the target and cause the Armor Break and Mental Break status effect. Having Auto-Haste on each of your party members will prevent the Slow status effect from impacting your characters.

The Left Arm will use a number of attacks during the fight if you leave it alive including Slowga and Tera-Graviton. Tera-Graviton will inflict your party member with Darkness, Doom, Silence and Sleep, similar to Anima’s Mega-Graviton attack.

The Right Arm will petrify your party members and shatter them removing them from the fight. It will also Dispel positive status effects, but again, only if you leave it alive.

Front view of Penance at the start of the encounter
Penance approaching the air ship from above

Battle Phases

The battle is broken up in to two distinct sections. The second stage of the battle begins after Penance loses 3 million of its 12 million HP. You will be able to tell when the phase has changed very easily as the lower portion of Penance will break away revealing its lower body / tail.

Penance will gain the Haste status effect when the second phase of the fight begins but this will only last for a single turn.

Selection window during the battle against Penance
Penance using Obliteration during the final battle

The Battle Strategy

The strategy for this fight involves relying on your armor to keep your party members alive and strategically placing your attacks to take out the Left Arm and Right Arm when they spawn.

As described above, your armor must include the following auto-abilities:

Auto-Haste
Auto-Protect
Auto-Potion
Defense +20%

Use the links above if you need help crafting this armor or stocking up on X-Potions. You should also sell all of your Potions and Hi-Potions to ensure that your party members use X-Potions each time their hit, rather than either of the other two weaker potions. You will not need Break HP Limit or Ribbon auto-abilities as the strategy being employed makes having either of those abilities not necessary.

At the start of the battle you should use the following items using the Use Special Ability:

Three Stars allows magic attacks without using MP for the duration of the battle.

Purifying Salt removes Penance’s haste status effect.

Start off the battle by having Tidus (or any other party member) use Cheer five times to fully charge it. Alternatively, have Rikku use her Overdrive and Mix two Healing Spring items. This will have her use the Ultra Nul-All Overdrive which has the same effect as using Cheer five times. This is necessary in order to ensure that Penance’s attacks don’t do too much damage.

Mid battle against Penance from afar
Tidus using Quick Hit on Penance

Make sure to defeat the Left Arm and Right Arm as soon as they spawn and every time that they spawn. That being said, you should allow for a quick break in between defeating the Left Arm and the Right Arm for the first time. This will ensure that they don’t spawn too close together and will give you extra time to defeat them before they get an attack in.

You will also need to use Dispel on any party member that gets hit by Immolation. Immolation will cause the Armor Break status effect which will cause the next attack to do extra damage and potentially KO one of your party members.



You should have your characters use Quick Hit for every attack to ensure that they get as many attacks in as possible on the main body when both arms have been defeated. Even with Quick Hit, this battle will still take approximately 20 to 30 minutes to complete.

Check out the video below for a demonstration of the full fight:


Rewards

You can Steal the following items during the battle:

Elixir (common)
Megalixir (x2) (rare)

And Penance will drop the following items when it is defeated:

Master Sphere (x3)

You will earn the Perseverance Trophy after the battle has concluded. Congratulations, you’ve defeated the most difficult superboss in Final Fantasy X!

The final attack defeating Penance
The victory screen after defeating Penance and obtaining the Perserverance Trophy on PS4

Perseverance

You will recieve the Perseverance Trophy once you have defeated Penance.

Perseverance Trophy