This is an Achievement Guide for the Base Game of Final Fantasy 7 Remake!
I am not the original author of this guide. This guide has been copied from this PSN Profiles (https://psnprofiles.com/guide/9997-final-fantasy-vii-remake-trophy-guide) –  to Steam for the convenience of players playing FF7R on Steam to access this guide while playing.
All credit goes to that amazing guide author!
Also this is a guide for the achievements within the FF7R portion of the game. Another guide will probably be made for INTERmission.
Stage 1: Play Through the Story on any Difficulty
For the first stage of the guide, you can play the game on either Classic, Easy, or Normal difficulties. Hard difficulty will unlock after playing through whatever difficulty you’re playing on. However, starting on normal difficulty is recommended so the difficulty of the Hard playthrough doesn’t ramp up too much by comparison.
Here you will earn the 18 story-related achievements as well as the possibility of earning some chapter-specific achievements:
- Chapter 3: Heavenly Dart Player
- Chapter 4: Biker Boy
- Chapter 6: Cleanup Crew
- Chapter 7: In Lockstep
- Chapter 8: Crate Annihilator
- Chapter 8: Say it with Flowers
- Chapter 9: Returning Champion
- Chapter 9: Sultan of Squat
- Chapter 9: Dancing Queen
- Chapter 14: Whack-a-Box Wunderkind
- Chapter 14: Peeress of Pullups
- Chapter 14: Divine Gratitude
It’s also recommended to work on collecting the Music Discs for the Disc Jokey achievement, and it’s also recommended to keep an eye on the requirements for Dressed to the Nines to avoid unnecessary extra playthroughs.
Other than that, most other achievements will unlock along the way. So just sit back and enjoy a wonderful dive back into the world of Final Fantasy VII. Most achievements and collectibles in this guide include the chapter they are obtainable in, so they’re easier to navigate through with CTRL + F.
Stage 2: Hard Playthrough & Achievement Cleanup with Chapter Select
After finishing the game for the first time, there will be two things left: a Hard mode playthrough along with replaying Chapters 3, 8, and 9 to obtain the three remaining dresses. Keep an eye on Dressed to the Nines to avoid a fourth replay of those chapters and you’re good to go. If you haven’t already, you can hand the last finished quests to Chadley on any Chapter you meet him Intelligence Agent
Through chapter select it will be far easier to go back to any missing Music Disc (Disc Jockey) and missing weapons (Weapons Expert). At any point after obtaining all weapons and abilities, you can go for the 300% stagger achievement (Staggering Feat).
Just progress through the story chapter by chapter again on hard difficulty, and you will be able to do the remaining two quests from Chapter 9 and obtain the Best in the Business achievement.
On Chapter 17, a new Shinra VR system will be in Hojo’s lab to tackle new challenges and obtain three achievements: That’s the Smell, Master of Mimicry and Ultimate Weapon. Take a look at this last achievement since it rewards a very powerful accessory.
After that, only the 18th and last chapter is left, another encounter with Sephiroth and obtain Hardened Veteran.
Note About Chapter Select: When using chapter select, you can freely jump from one chapter to another and it will retain all of your game progress (battle intel, materia, equipment, stats, etc). However, if you are trying to get Dressed to the Nines or Hardened Veteran, you will have to finish the chapter for dress data and hard mode chapter clear data to be counted.
Tips & Strategies
The first and most important thing you’ll want to do is play this game once watching all of the cinematics. It’s gorgeous, and it’s worth it.
And now for real, here’s a list of tips that might help you beating the game or making things easier:
- Keep the Assess Materia equipped throughout the game and use Assess on all enemies to determine their weaknesses.
- Through the Battle Settings menu, change the quick shortcut for the different party members.
- Obtain the Level 2 Limit Breaks from Colosseum Challenges (Chapter 9) and equip them as soon as possible through the aforementioned Battle Settings menu.
- Abuse overpowered skills like Cloud’s Triple Slash and Counterstance to defeat multiple enemies at once or to counterattack stronger foes.
- Keep an eye for Weapons Expert as every new weapon will yield you a new ability to use in battle.
- After being able to learn enemy skills (Master of Mimicy) use Algid Aura often. It is a very easy way to damage the enemies over time in a wide area.
- During your Hard playthrough, do NOT play two Chapters simultaneously. Progress is carried from one to another only after the episode has been finished.
- Have patience during your playthough of the chapters on Hard difficulty. Some fights will prove to be hard, especially when you are going for the Ultimate Weapon achievement. Analyze enemy weaknesses and your strengths. Balance the odds in your favor.
The Importance of Materia
Due to items being disabled in your second playthrough on Hard difficulty, you’ll want to make sure that you start focusing on leveling up Materia on your first playthrough. Materia is like magic, and it simply provides a way to heal yourself, revive others, attack enemies with elemental attacks, and help greatly increase your statistics without having to use items. Almost all pieces of materia can be leveled up simply by equipping them to your weapons and armor, and you’ll get AP by fighting enemies which go towards leveling them up.
Here is the materia you will want to focus on leveling up:
- Pedometer– While initially seeming useless as it just counts your steps, this materia transforms into AP Up Materia once you’ve walked 5,000 steps with it equipped. This will help you level up another piece of materia you link it to at double the speed. You’ll find this materia in Chapter 14 in the garden at Aerith’s house.
- Healing Materia – You’ll want this one equipped with you on any difficulty as it will you allow you to cast Cure to heal yourself. After leveling up this materia enough, you can cast Curaga which heals a significant amount of health. Once you level up your healing materia, you can by highlight ‘Cure’ in the spells area on your Commands menu and press the Right arrow to select a more powerful cure magic.
- Revival Materia – This materia will allow you to revive your party members if they go down. Leveling it up will allow you to revive a party member and fully restore their health.
- MP Up Materia – It’s important to level up this materia to max for hard difficulty due to it being more difficult to restore MP on that difficulty. Starting a chapter with more MP can help you significantly as it gives you more opportunities to heal yourself and cast magic.
- HP Up Materia – This will raise the total amount of health (HP) that you have when this materia is equipped.
- Prayer Materia – This materia provides a way to restore a chunk of HP without the need to use MP, which will become highly useful on your Hard difficulty playthrough.
- Magnify Materia – Attaching this materia to healing materia will allow you to heal your entire party when you cast it on yourself, which will be extremely beneficial on Hard difficulty. You could also attach other things like fire materia to it to attach groups of enemies all at once with a magic/elemental attack. You will find this materia in Chapter 9 in the tunnel in the third robotic arm puzzle.
Master of Fate
Earn all FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE achievements.
This includes all achievements from both the base game and the INTERmission DLC.
Complete Chapter 1.
Navigate through the Mako reactor and blow it up with a bomb. This achievement will be earned after defeating the Scorpion Sentinel and escaping the main reactor section in time.
Complete Chapter 2.
Escape the tunnels and navigate through the city to reach the train. This achievement will unlock after defeating The Hunstman and watching the cutscene where Cloud jumps onto the train.
Complete Chapter 3.
Meet Avalanche! In this chapter you will navigate through the Sector 7 Slums and meet the crew, while doing some side-questing and exploring. The achievement will pop after beating a few grunts from Wall Market (The Hoodlums) and you talk to Jessie outside the apartment. You will also obtain the Ifrit summon materia.
Midway through this chapter while waiting for Tifa in the bar, you can attempt the Heavenly Dart Player achievement at the dart board.
Night on the Town
Complete Chapter 4.
Not so fast! Avalanche may need you in the end, but first you will need to defeat a mysterious new enemy: the Spectres. This achievement will be earned when you proceed to the train station and board the train.
At the beginning of this chapter, you can also attempt to get the Biker Boy achievement.
Complete Chapter 5.
Navigate through the train tracks with the help of Stamp to reach the Mako Reactor 5. This achievement will be yours after defeating the Crab Warden and you get on the platform towards Mako Reactor 5.
Complete Chapter 6.
Turn the lights down! In this chapter you will navigate through the maze of the outside of Mako Reactor 5 to shut down the Sun Lamps and draw its power. This achievement will unlock after you have completed the Sun Plates puzzle and meet Biggs to move into the reactor.
During this chapter, you can also have your go at getting the Cleanup Crew achievement by finding the Chocobo & Moogle materia.
Trapped like Sewer Rats
Complete Chapter 7.
This chapter very much feels like the Mako Reactor 1 to navigate through, though time it will seem easier, until things get complicated. It was all a trap! Navigate through the different areas, it does not matter which parts of the Airbuster you get rid of. This achievement will be earned after you have defeated this Chapter’s Boss, the Airbuster.
Later in this chapter, you’ll come across levers which allow you to open a door. You can attempt In Lockstep at this point as well.
Complete Chapter 8.
Meet a new companion, Aerith! In this Chapter you will get to know another Sector’s Slums and do some exploring and side-questing. There are two bosses: Reno & Rude. This achievement will pop after you sneak out of Aerith’s house (or more like after you’re kicked out of it, huh?) heading towards Sector 6.
Never the Bride
Complete Chapter 9.
Ah, you won’t get rid of Aerith so easily, will you? But this time, Tifa is in trouble! Navigate through the Wall Market chapter, and do some exploring and side-questing again. Be in for a long ride, this Chapter is easily the longest in the game and has one of the trickiest bosses, the Hell House! This achievement will unlock after getting flushed down to the sewer from Don Corneo’s mansion.
u]Complete Chapter 10.[/u]
Meet Abzu! Cute little monkey, ain’t he? Defeat him and navigate through the sewers. This achievement will pop after you solve the last lever puzzle and get out of the sewers.
Complete Chapter 11.
Spooky time. Navigate through the Train Graveyard and get out of there. There will be two bosses here: Ghoul and Eligor. This achievement will be yours after finally exiting the Train Graveyard.
Complete Chapter 12.
Shinra can’t be that bad, can it? You’re in for a long ride. This achievement will unlock after beating Reno & Rude again and escaping the Sector 5 Pillar.
Complete Chapter 13.
Oh yeah, Shinra did it. Find out the aftermath of the plate dropping and navigate through the new underground lab to save Wedge. The new boss here is the Failed Experiment. Defeat it and the achievement will unlock after you get to Wedge a bit further on.
Picking Up the Pieces
Complete Chapter 14.
To Wall Market again. After a bit more of exploring and side-questing (this is the most “Open-World” chapter in the game), Leslie will show you the way to go and save Aerith. Navigate through the sewers and fight Abzufor the second time. This achievement will be earned after climbing the wall with the Avalanche graffiti on the Urban Development Area.
The Pizza in the Sky
Complete Chapter 15.
Oh, this is starting to feel like a Spec Ops. Navigate through collapsed buildings with the Grappling Gun towards Shinra HQ. This achievement will unlock after beating this Chapter’s Boss: The Valkyrie.
No Appointment Needed
Complete Chapter 16.
Knock knock, it’s the squad and we want to take Aerith back! Navigate through Shinra’s HQ and reach Hojo’s lab, you’re in for some Avalanche plot twists. This achievement will pop after you defeat Specimen H0512 and save Aerith.
Emerging from Chaos
Complete Chapter 17.
You’re almost there. Navigate through Hojo’s underlab and reach the rooftop. You will earn this achievement after you meet the son of Shinra’s President, Rufus (which you will need to defeat with Cloud) and you defeat the Arsenal with the other part of the party.
Complete Chapter 18.
This is the end of the Journey. Navigate through the Chapter, defeat some weird Spectres over and over again, and here it is. The final Boss of the FF VII Remake Part 1: Sephiroth . Defeat him and the last story-related achievement is yours!
Win a battle.
This is meant as an introductory achievment, which will be earned at the very beginning of the introductory sequence after fighting few Shinra Soldiers right off the train.
Exploit an enemy’s weakness.
This is meant as an introductory achievement, which will unlock the first time you attack an enemy with the element it is weak to.
In this game there are only four elements and they’re grouped into two opposites:
- Ice is strong against fire, fire is strong against ice
- Wind is strong against lightning, lightning is strong against ice.
Generally, depending on the type of enemy it will also be weak to a certain element:
- Humans are weak to fire.
- Machines are weak to lightning.
- Flying enemies are weak to wind.
- Monsters are weak to ice.
Bonds of Friendship
Free a bound ally.
This is meant as an introductory achievement, which you will earn the first time you free an ally that has been bound by an enemy. A red alert message Boundwill appear on your ally and you can free them by damaging the enemy.
Stagger an enemy.
This is meant as an introductory achievement, which will be earned the first time that an enemy enters the Stagger phase (you fill the stagger bar to its fullest). At the stagger phase, you deal at least 160% more damage to your enemies.
Each enemy has a particular way to fill its stagger bar quicker: with the Assess Materia you will find out its exact weakness!
Collect 3 music discs.
Music Discs are the collectibles found throughout the the game. See Disc Jockey for more information.
Gotta Start Somewhere
Complete a quest.
Quests are the side-quests found throughout the game. See Best in the Business for more information.
My First Ability
Max out a weapon’s proficiency.
A weapon’s proficiency is linked to the weapon’s exclusive ability. To achieve maximum weapon proficiency – and thus unlocking that skill and being able to use it on any other weapon, the proficiency bar must reach 100%. This bar can bee seen on the weapon menu.
To increase weapon proficiency, simply use the weapon-specific ability in combat. To do so, check which ability in particular the weapon you’re carrying has, and once in combat press A > Abilities > and use the specific ability.
Each ability “levels up” differently, but it is at least 10% per ability usage. Using an ability multiple times in the same combat to increase its proficiency rank is possible.
See Weapons Expert for more information.
Materia for Beginners
Level up an orb of materia.
This is meant as an introductory achievement, which will unlock the first time that a materia levels up. You will achieve this after defeating mobs in the Sector 7 scrapyard after materia has been introduced to you by Chadley. Materias are orbs containing elements and different bonuses that apply to your characters after the Materia is active and bound to a weapon or armor.
My First Summon
Invoke a summon.
In this game summoning materia becomes available only during long combat scenarios, such as mini-bosses or bosses. A purple rectangle with a loading bar will show up on top of the party UI, charging a gauge. When it’s full, summon the materia by pressing A and selecting the option.
The first time you will obtain a summon materia will be in Chapter 3. Jessie will give you the Ifrit summon materia by the end of the chapter.
Get praised by Jessie at the end of the motorcycle mini-game.
At the beginning of Chapter 4 there will be a motorcycle mini-game. The requirement to get praised by Jessie is to have about 75% of your HP remaining when finishing the mini-game. It does not matter whether you do a lot of ramp jumps or none.
This achievement is very easy to get in Easy difficulty, as enemies will barely deal any damage. If your first playthrough is on Normal and don’t get it, don’t worry, as you can do it later on through Chapter Select.
Below is a guide for reference from someone that also dodges Roche’s skill, so it’s useful to watch it just in case.
Heavenly Dart Player
Rise to the top of the Seventh Heaven darts leaderboard.
You’ll gain access to the Darts mini-game in Chapter 3 while you kill time to wait for the Avalanche reunion to finish.
The previous high score (by Wedge) is with 8 darts, so you must finish the darts minigame within 7 darts, and it is doable in just 5. Aim for the triple 20 for the maximum amount of points (bulls-eye is only 50) and wait for the outer blue crosshair to go as small as possible for precise shots. When you’re 1 dart away from finishing the game, the zone(s) of the dart board you can shoot at to complete the score will lighten up in yellow.
Wedge will give you the “Luck Up Materia” by the end of Chapter 4 for beating him in the leaderboard.
Obtain the Chocobo & Moogle materia.
After you have turned off the 3 Sun Lamps in Chapter 6 and are about to hop on the platform to enter Mako Reactor 5, if you open the map you will see an unexplored area west of the objective. You will find a vending machine selling the song “Electric the Chocobo”, and past the door there will be a 1-minute sequence where you need to defeat the enemies in time and reach the generator on the other side of the room to stop the timer. Through that door, you will find the red Chocobo & Moogle summon materia.
If you miss this on your first playthrough don’t worry, as you’ll be able to get it again through chapter select after finishing the game for the first time. Additionally in Hard difficulty on the opposite side of the ventilator there will be a manuscript “The Way of the Fist VI” giving 10 SP to Tifa.
Bypass the delta-level security lock in Mako Reactor 5.
In Chapter 7, after disposing of several different parts of the machine in the Mako Reactor 5, you will reach a lever puzzle to open up a door. Before going back out and proceeding with the main quest, open the second door that leads to the disposal room (a Discovery Quest will show up). You will need to complete more lever puzzles four times (Alpha, Betta, Gamma and Delta) by coordinating the levers with both the left and right joystick. This achievement will unlock when the door opens. To know the moment when to operate the levers, you can follow the audio cue (recommended) or visual cue (the arrows will glow orange – but it’s harder).
Complete all Normal difficulty Whack-a-Box challenges.
The Whack-a-Box minigame will be available after the side-quest “A Verified Hero” in Chapter 8, see Best in the Business.
To obtain this achievement, beat the Pro challenge. Your aim is to focus on getting the extra timer boxes (+10s) to complete the challenge with ease.
Here is a video illustrating a route to beat the challenge. It can be improved as no abilities are used and those will deal more damage to the 1,500 point boxes blocking the way (use the ability bound to L1 X by default – Braver).
Say It with Flowers
Decorate the Leaf House with a floral arrangement.
This achievement will unlock naturally during Chapter 8. As part of the story quest, you will pick up flowers with Aerith on her garden and bring them to the Leaf House. Later on when you head back to Aerith’s house as part of the story quest (or well, walk near the Leaf House when roaming around), a woman will let you know that they have made the flower arrangement and showing it you, unlocking the achievement.
Defeat a summon in battle.
This can be done as early as in Chapter 8. To defeat a summon in battle, you will have to battle them through Chadley’s VR Missions.
The first summon battle is Shiva, which will be unlocked after you have completed the first 4 intel reports for Chadley, although there are a total of four in the game. After defeating each summon, you will obtain their summon materia as a reward.
See Intelligence Agent for more information.
Sultan of Squat
Complete all squat challenges.
The Squat minigame will be available after the side-quest “Burning Thighs” in Chapter 9, see Best in the Business.
To obtain this achievement, beat the Pro challenge. Your aim is to follow the Y B A X and speed it up as Cloud also ramps it up.
Received a gift from Andrea for being a dance superstar.
At the end stages of Chapter 9, you will show off your dancing skills in the Honeybee Inn! You can make a save before you enter the Honeybee Inn just in case, although you will be doing this sequence at least 3 times for the Dressed to the Nines achievement. Also, the tutorial will give you already some practice on how the “dance” mechanic works, it’s not too complicated. Simply be ready when the hexagon reaches the lowest point to click A B X Y
The threshold is unknown, but you can go as low as 23x Great and 5x Good, it does the trick.
Emerge victorious from a colosseum sparring session.
Right after beating the Hell House in Chapter 9 (story-related) and exiting the Colosseum, you will be greeted by the colosseum guy saying that anytime you want you can go back down and combat more enemies. Do so, and by beating any of the available challenges you will obtain this achievement. If you missed doing this during Chapter 9, you’ll have another chance to come back and get this achievement during Chapter 14, or by utilizing chapter select after finishing the main story.
Also, right after beating the Hell House is the only moment where you can use Aerith to complete her challenge, so do so. It will be necessary later on for Ultimate Weapon.
Obtain three bridal candidate outfits.
You will obtain this naturally when you’re almost done with Chapter 9. For efficiency purposes (minimize the amount of Chapter Select playthroughs), head to Dressed to the Nines for information on how best to tackle this achievement.
Dressed to the Nines
Obtain all nine bridal candidate outfits.
The bridal outfits are tied to the choices on different chapters, specifically Chapter 3, Chapter 8, and Chapter 9. In your first playthrough based on your choices, you will have Tifa, Aerith, and Cloud wear a specific outfit in Chapter 9 based on the choices you’ve made in Chapter 3, 8, & 9. Then you’ll have to go back after completing the game and replay part of the game again at least 2 more times to make different choices to obtain the remaining six outfits. At the end of the achievement description, you will find a recommendation on how to most efficiently tackle this achievement.
Below is each character and the bridal candidate outfits tied to each:
Tifa (Chapter 3) -Choices are tied to the Discovery Quest “Alone at last”, available after completing all side-quests in Chapter 3
- Blue Dress. Obtained by: 1) not doing all the side-quests or 2) choosing the option “Mature” when Tifa asks what to wear.
- Chinese Dress. Obtained by choosing the option “Sporty” when Tifa asks what to wear.
- Kimono. Obtained by choosing the option “Exotic” when Tifa asks what to wear.
Aerith (Chapter 8) -Choices are tied to the amount of side-quests completed during Chapter 8.
- Simple Pink Dress. Complete between 0 and 2 side-quests during Chapter 8.
- Pink Dress. Complete between 3 and 5 side-quests during Chapter 8.
- Red Dress. Complete all 6 side-quests during Chapter 8.
Cloud (Chapter 9) -Choices are tied to the side-quests completed during Chapter 9
- Black dress with white ribbons. Complete 0 side-quests during Chapter 9.
- White/black dress with tiara. Complete Set 2 of side-quests (Burning Thighs, The Price of Thievery, Shears’ Counterattack)
- Blue/black dress with black ribbon. Complete Set 1 of side-quests (Burning Thighs, The Party Never Stops, A Dynamite Body)
Important: How Dress Progress is Saved
It’s important to note that the game saves your choices after you complete the chapter and ONLY IF you have completed the chapter, so you can skip from chapter 3 to 8 to 9 when replaying them. To be clear, you must start on Chapter 3 and make choices there, make choices in Chapter 8, and then make a set of choices in Chapter 9. This means the game will not log a bridal outfit as “obtained” until you actually see the outfit in chapter 9, based on the decisions you’ve made in Chapters 3, 8, & 9. Thankfully, after completing Chapter 3, you can skip ahead to Chapter 8 using chapter select, you don’t need to play through chapters 4 – 7 for this achievement. You must then play on from chapter 8 until you see the character wearing the outfit in Chapter 9 and it logs that dress progress in the pause menu under “System” and “Play Log”.
Another important note is that you don’t have to play all the way through Chapter 9 to get your progress logged, for example when you see Tifa for the first time in Chapter 9 in the carriage, the game will actually log her dress in the pause menu under “System” and “Play Log” at that moment, and it will be the same when you see Aerith and Clouds dresses for the first time later in the chapter. After those are logged, you’re welcome to jump back to Chapter 3 and work on the remaining dresses without having to finish Chapter 9.
The Most Efficient Path
Below is the most efficient way to do this (in just 3 playthroughs), you will need to do the following:
Playthrough 1 (Watching all cinematics):
- Complete all side-quests in Chapter 3 and choose “Sporty” or “Exotic”.
- Complete all side-quests in Chapter 8 and unlock that beautiful red dress for Aerith… just like the trailer!
- Complete a set of side-quests in Chapter 9.
Playthrough 2 (Hard mode playthrough):
- Complete all side-quests in Chapter 3 and choose the other option from “Sporty” or “Exotic”.
- Complete 3 side-quests in Chapter 8 (or 5 if you’re doing a Hard playthrough to obtain more manuscripts – “A Verified Hero” doesn’t reward any manuscript upon completion, so don’t hand that one in).
- Complete the other set of side-quests in Chapter 9.
Playthrough 3 (Quick play-through)
- Complete no side-quests in Chapter 3.
- Complete no side-quests in Chapter 8.
- Complete no side-quests in Chapter 9.
To obtain all the manuscripts while playing hard mode from Chapter 8 & 9 without “doing” all sidequests, simply complete them and don’t hand them in. It won’t count towards the side-quest completion count, while the manuscript will be awarded by defeating the sidequest bosses.
Complete all Hard difficulty Whack-a-Box challenges.
The Whack-a-Box Pro challenge (the most difficult Whack-a-Box challenge) will be available after going back to the children’s hideout in Chapter 14. This achievement is not much different from Crate Annihilator, only that it’s a little more difficult. You do not have to be playing on hard difficulty to be able to play the Pro challenge.
To obtain this achievement, beat the Pro challenge. Your aim is to focus on getting the extra timer boxes (which add +10 seconds) to complete the challenge with ease. The tricky part on this hard difficulty challenge is that all extra timer boxes are pretty much necessary to complete it on time, and two are hidden behind you when you start!
Below is a video illustrating a good route to beat the challenge. Use the ability bound to LB + X by default – Braver to more easily destroy the 1,500 point boxes.
Peeress of Pull-Ups
Complete all pull-up challenges.
The pull-up minigame will be available after completing the side-quest “Wavering Heart” in Chapter 14. See Best in the Business for more information on that side-quest.
To obtain this achievement, beat the Pro challenge. Your aim is to follow the Y A B X rhythm (it changes) and speed it up as Tifa also ramps it up. Since the pattern changes up with each challenge, it may be useful to memorize the sequence by “up, down, left, right” for example instead of as “Y, A, X, B” as you’ll remember which button to push without having to remember the symbol placement on top of that.
Receive a letter from an angel.
At the moment, the requirements for this achievement can’t be stated for sure as of now. If you do all your sidequests (the 24 out of 26) in your first playthrough, this letter will be 100% waiting for you in front of the chocobo fast travel spot in the Urban Advancement District (end of Chapter 14). You will know you are at the end of chapter 14 after you’ve ventured through the sewers and return to the Wall Market area with the mission objective “Over the Wall” ahead of you. This is the area the letter should be waiting for you ahead on the ground.
It is possible that it just shows up by completing only the Chapter 14 sidequests or by completing a specific one – probably the one where you discover who the Angel of the Slums is 😉 – (or none, who knows!), but to be sure complete all side-quests in your first playthrough.
You will get an Elemental Materia as a bonus, which is really useful to combat bosses. Get this achievement before you finish Chapter 14, as it is a point of no return (you will be warned).
The Johnny Experience
Witness all Johnny-related incidents.
Ah Johnny-boy! During your travels you’ll run into a character named Johnny and will have the option to help him out in his various adventures. Completing all four incidents throughout the story will get you this achievement.
To unlock this achievement, do all Johnny story-related incidents as the description suggests, which are as follows:
- Incident #1: Naturally witnessed during Chapter 3 as part of the story quest. You won’t give up Avalanche, will you Johnny?
- Incident #2: The first time you head towards Corneo’s Mansion in Chapter 9, Johnny will rush past you and a new Discovery Quest will unlock. Do it and “Yeah” him whenever it is the right time.
- Incident #3: Side-quest “The Party Never Stops” in Chapter 9. Follow Johnny around and recover the inspiration for the drunk guy – a VIP card for Honeybee Inn. Who wouldn’t want that? – This quest may or may not appear in your first playthrough depending on your choices. To know what to do in order for it to appear, check Best in the Business for more details.
- Incident #4: Side-quest “Tomboy Bandit” in Chapter 14. Somebody got his wallet stolen… Johnny you’re a mess. Complete the subsequent Kyrie side-quest to recover the wallet and return it to him near the train station. The achievement SHOULD pop afterwards.
Best in the Business
Complete all quests.
You will be introduced to Quests in Chapter 3. They will be indicated by a Green (!) mark on the map. There’s only side-quests in few episodes for a total of 26 side-quests and only 24 are doable in the first playthrough, so you will need to obtain the rest of the side-quests needed for this achievement through chapter select after completing the game for the first time. Below is a list of all quests and their requirements.
- Chadley’s Report – Use Assess on 2 enemy types (this can be done on the scrap mobs near Chadley). You’ll need to equip the Assess Materia to one of your pieces of equipment and then use the Assess ability during combat by pressing A then choosing abilities.
- Lost Friends – Help Betty find her 3 friend cats. The first cat is found after going through a mini-tunnel in front of Cloud’s apartment (you will see a woman with a green (!) on her head), the second is at Seventh Heaven, and the last one is on the way to the train station.
- Rat Problem – Head to the dead-end through the mini-tunnel and defeat some basic Wererats. The Doomrats will appear shortly after (you can do another side-quest in the meantime or go back and talk to the shop owner).
- On The Prowl (Rat Problem required) – Wymer heard wonders about you! Defeat the Shinra-mutated dog found in the scrapyard.
- Nuisance in the Factory – Head to the old factory (previously inaccessible) and slay two batches of lesser drakes inside.
- Just flew in from the Graveyard (Nuisance in the Factory required) – Head back to the old factory and defeat a Cerulean Drake. The key will be on the Shinra boxes next to the location inside the Factory where you can find a vending machine, a bench, and a materia orb.
- The Mysterious Moogle Merchant – Use a Moogle medal to buy the Moogle Emporium Membership card.
- Weapons on a Rampage – Navigate through the scrapyard and slay two batches of Mark II Monodrives (when they have a shield, hit them with magic to remove it)
- Paying Respects (Weapons on a Rampage required) – Buy the key to the graveyard from the Moogle Emporium (if you haven’t yet) and defeat the monsters in there.
- Kids on Patrol – Find the kids with wooden Cloud swords on their back. Talk to Ms. Folia and she’ll tell you where the kids are. First is outside of the community center, second on some pipes (what can be called mini-tunnels), third is in front of the weapon shop, and fourth and fifth are on the opposite ways out of town.
- A Verified Hero (Kids on Patrol required) – Complete the Whack-a-Box minigame. Complete the Pro challenge afterwards to also unlock Crate Annihilator.
- The Angel of the Slums (A Verified Hero required) – Follow the reporter’s instructions and complete the dialogues. Then head out to the location and defeat an enemy to complete the quest.
Here we have two sets of quests, pay attention to which ones you have done for the Chapter Select cleanup.
- Burning Thighs – Complete the Squat minigame which can be started by visiting the gym in Mall Market. Complete the Pro challenge afterwards to also unlock Sultan of Squat.
- The Party that Never Stops (Set 1 of quests) – Find the inspiration of the drunkard. Just go up and down completing the delivery-guy requirements.
- A Dynamite Body (Set 1 of quests – The Party that Never Stops required) – After completing ‘The Party that Never Stops’ and ‘Burning Thighs’, talk to Sam at the Chocobo station right outside of the Wall Market front gates. Then head to the colosseum and fight the special match.
- The Price of Thievery (Set 2 of quests) – Head to the tunnel and defeat the bandits.
- Shears’ Counterattack (Set 2 of quests – The Price of Thievery required) – Head to the colosseum and fight the special match.
To do one set of quests or another, the game uses a hidden point-per-answer system (-1, +0, +1) depending on what you reply, and the final count is tied to a side quest path or the other).
|Set 1 of Quests (Party That Never Stops & Dynamite Body||Set 2 of Quests (The Price of Thievery & Shears’ Counterattack)|
|Describe Tifa as “She’s in great shape”||Describe Tifa as “She’s great handling the books”|
|Complete Johnny’s Discovery Event. Select “Yeah” on the dialogue||Ignore Johnny’s Discovery Event|
|During the main story when playing heads or tails select “Heads”||When playing heads or tails, select “No deal”|
|Talk to the guy in front of Wall Market’s Hotel, say “No thanks”||Talk to the guy in front of Wall Market’s Hotel, ask “How much?”|
|At Madame M’s parlor, select “Poor Man’s Course: 100 G” or leave||At Madame M’s parlor, select “Luxury Course: 3,000 G”|
|When asked about Aerith’s outfit, say “It’s alright”||When asked about Aerith’s outfit, say “It matter what I think?”|
|Taste the mystery drink on the table in the Colosseum||Don’t drink or ignore the mystery drink in the Colosseum|
- The Power of Music – You’ll find Betty in the alleyway next to the hotel near the Wall Market entrance. She will ask you to collect three Music Discs to cheer people up. ‘Good Night, Until Tomorrow’ is found by talking to a person in the hotel lobby next door, ‘Stand Up’ is found next to the Honeybee Inn, and ‘Fight On!’ is found in the Colosseum. Once you find them, you’ll need to interact with the jukebox next to Betty and play them. You can find more information on the locations in Disc Jockey.
- Malicious Goons – To start this quest, talk to Madam M outside of her massage parlor in Wall Market. After talking to her, head to Aerith’s house and defeat Tonberry. If you’re having trouble, know that the A.I. will most of the time dodge Chef’s Knife.
- Wavering Heart – Complete the pull-ups mini-game which can be started at the gym in Wall Market. Complete the Pro challenge afterwards to also unlock thePeerees of Pull-Ups achievement.
- Chocobo Search – Find the chocobos to unlock more fast-travel waypoints. After finding all 3, travelling will be free. Chocobo locations are marked on the map, but talking to the stableguy will give you a location too.
- Missing Children – Similar to Chapter 8’s. However, this time there is only one kid located in the Cemetery. Defeat the enemies and all kids will show up!
- Tomboy Bandit – Head to the church and meet Kyrie, the thief and liar! Head to the colosseum, finish the battle and head back to the Church to get Corneo’s Stash Key and Johnny’s Wallet (necessary for The Johnny Experience)
- Secret Medicine – Talk to the doctor south of the Leaf House orphanage. He will ask you to obtain the three ingredients: Moogle’s Mortar (bought in Moogle Emporium), Medicinal Flowers (found in the Church) and Behemoth Horn (obtained during Subterranean Menace quest).
- Subterranean Menace
- Corneo’s Secret Stash
If you do all possible quests in a single playthrough (24 of 26), there will be a letter on the ground at the end of chapter 14, where at that point you have the mission objective “Over the Wall”. Picking up the letter will get you the Divine Gratitude Achievement.
Collect all music discs.
You will be introduced to Music Discs in Chapter 3. You will see an icon top left of the map with a music disc icon and ???? indicating that there’s an unobtained song nearby. Music Discs are either obtained from a Jukebox, bought from a Shop or Vending Machine (which have Music included in the logo) or given by an NPC. If you miss any music discs at any time you can go back through Chapter Select. It will be indicated which amount of Music Discs you’re missing for each chapter. Here is the list of all the discs and where you can find them, by either number or chapter (scroll down):
Ordered by Number
- The Prelude – Can be purchased from the Item Shop vendor in Chapter 3.
- Bombing Mission – Purchased from the vending machine during Chapter 7, after the lever mechanic.
- Tifa’s Theme – It will be the introductory Music Disc during Chapter 3. Found in the Seventh Heaven’s Jukebox
- Barret’s Theme – Head to the Sector 7 train station during Chapter 3, it will be sold in a food stall for 50 gil.
- Lurking in the Darkness – Chapter 15 along the path. Vending machine.
- Let the Battles Begin! – Chapter 11 Train Graveyard. When you’re about to reach the generator room, there’s a vending machine.
- Turk’s Theme – Located next to a pond north of Wall Market during Chapter 14. Will be given by an NPC.
- Under The Rotting Pizza – Wall Market alley behind the hotel. There’s a Jukebox with the music disc in there.
- The Oppressed – From a Music Vending Machine a few steps away from defeating Abzu in Chapter 10.
- Honeybee Inn – Chapter 9. Wall Market Item Shop Vendor.
- Don of the Slums – Chapter 9. After you wake up from the sleeping gas in the Don’s Vending Machine.
- Fight On! – Can be purchased from the Wall Market Colosseum souvenir shop in the lobby. Necessary for Betty quest in Chapter 14.
- The Chase – During Chapter 14, looking for Corneo’s Hideout from a Vending Machine
- Main Theme of FFVIII – Chapter 13 Vending Machine. At the end of the Underground Test Site.
- On Our Way – Chapter 13 Item Store Vendor on the Playground, after meeting Wymer.
- Good Night, Until Tomorrow – Inside the Wall Market Hotel from a guy with a moustache. Necessary for Betty Quest in Chapter 14.
- Farm Boy – Chapter 9 Wall Market. From where Chadley is, head north and go upstairs. There will be few girls dressing as cowgirls. Talk to the “main” one.
- Electric de Chocobo – After you have turned off the 3 Sun Lamps in Chapter 6 and are about to hop on the platform to enter Mako Reactor 5, if you open the map you will see an unexplored area west of the objective. You will find a vending machine selling the song, and if you go further ahead you can also do Cleanup Crew.
- Costa del Sol – Sector 5 Materia Vendor Shop. Chapter 8.
- Gold Saucer – From the Moogle Emporium in Sector 5 Slums. Available when secondary quests are available after progressing through main story quest. Chapter 8.
- Cait Sith’s Theme – Sector 5 Slums after meeting Aerith when you reach the station in Chapter 8. At the end of it in a vending machine.
- Cosmo Canyon – Chapter 9. After the second robot arm mechanic puzzle, go straight ahead and buy this from a vending machine.
- Descendant of Shinobi – Sector 5 Train Station. Nearby where the Turk came out from at the beginning of the chapter. Accessible on Chapter 8 free roam.
- Wutai – Worker in urban advancement district (next to corneo mansion) Chapter 14.
- Tango of Tears – Sector 5 Slums community center in the Jukebox. Next to the Leaf House. Chapter 8.
- Let the Battles Begin! – REMAKE – Chapter 9. Get 10x great on the practice dance in the Honeybee Inn (you can repeat it as many times as you need).
- Hip Hop de Chocobo – Behind the Seventh Heaven bar from a DJ. You will pass through here when you follow Johnny in the main story.
- Stamp – After you defeat the 2 Flamethower soldiers and the 2 Sentry Guns in Chapter 5, there will be a room a not much further away with a vending machine with this Music CD on sale.
- The Midgard Blues – Chapter 9 Secondary Quests – When you go look for the drunkard with the help of Johnny, go into the bar. Talk to the guy singing karaoke. If you don’t have this side quest, it’s in the bar just right across the Gym.
- Stand Up – In an alleyway area to the left of the Honeybee Inn entrance in Wall Market. Necessary for Betty Quest in Chapter 14.
- Scarlet’s Theme – Chapter 16 Jukebox next to Shinra’s VR facility.
Attain level 50 with a character.
This achievement will unlock early on while you’re doing the Hard mode playthrough, as the EXP obtained is doubled and the AP obtained is tripled. However, if you wish to speed up the process, complete a Shinra VR Simulator battle challenge in Chapter 16 that awards the EXP Up Materia.
Note: Level 50 is the cap for this first part of the Remake.
Deal 300% damage to a staggered enemy.
If you look at this achievement after you’ve completed the game you probably thought… wait, I dealt over 600% damage on a staggered enemy on Chapter 18, is this achievement bugged? No, it’s not. You just gotta do it in the “legit” way.
To do this, the easiest boss is the Fat Chocobo on Normal/Hard difficulty for it to have enough HP to survive (seriously, don’t try on easy or it will die on you) in Chadley’s VR Missions. To increase an enemy’s stagger percentage, you can 1) use Tifa’s Y abilities, 2) use Tifa’s True Strike ability (see Weapons Expert to know how to obtain it) and Aerith’s Ray of Judgement (also see Weapons Expert to know how to obtain it). You will obtain the necessary weapon for Tifa in Chapter 16, so anytime after that you’re good to talk to Chadley and start the challenge.
Before the enemy is staggered, 1) use Unbridled Strength twice to charge Tifa’s Y Omnistrike and then to Rise and Fall to prepare it for when it enters stagger mode and charge 2 ATB bars, and 2) prepare Aerith’s Ray of Judgement, so have 2 ATB bars.
Simply make the Fat Chocobo enter stagger mode, use Rise and Fall (+30% stagger damage), use ally commands L2 / R2 to make Aerith use Ray of Judgement (+20% stagger damage) and keep hitting the Fat Chocobo with Tifa’s X attack to charge the ATB gauge and use True Strike (+30% stagger damage) 3 times.
Complete all battle intel reports.
Chadley will be found on all the “city stops” throughout the game: Chapter 3 (Sector 7 Slums), Chapter 8 (Sector 5 Slums), Chapter 9 (Wall Market), Chapter 14 (Sector 5 Slums), Chapter 16 (in front of Shinra VR Simulator) and when you replay Chapter 17 (Hojo’s Lab). There’s a total of 20 battle intel reports. Combat Simulations are affected by difficulty, thus playing them on Easy will lower the difficulty significantly.
Below is a list of all battle intel reports and how to get them:
Monster Bio Pt. 1
Assess 2 enemy types. You will obtain Assess materia, equip it and use it (A > Abilities > Assess with 1 ATB bar) on 2 enemies to find out their weakness.
Magic Elements Pt. 1
Hit enemies vulnerable to the 3 magic elements: fire, ice, and lightning (1 time per element). You will need to obtain each element materia, equip it and use it on enemies vulnerable to that element (use Assess to know).
The Stagger Effect Pt. 1
Use unique abilities (Y abilities) on staggered enemies and charge ATB gauge 10 times. When an enemy is staggered, use Y skills to charge the ATB gauge bar (Cloud’s Operator Mode, Tifa’s Whirling Uppercut or Barrett’s Overcharge).
The Stagger Effect Pt. 2
Stagger 15 enemy types. You will complete this naturally as you progress.
Combat Simulation: Shiva
Defeat Shiva to obtain the Shiva Summon Materia.
Monster Bio Pt. 2
Assess 10 enemy types, same as Monster Bio Pt. 1
Magic Elements Pt. 2
Exploit the weaknesses of 15 enemy types. This is the same as ‘Magic Elements Pt. 1’ but it’s not restricted to 1 time per element, but rather 1 time per enemy type. Help yourself with Assess to know the weakness to elements.
The Manipulation Technique
Defeat 2 or more enemies with a single attack. Will complete naturally as you progress.
Monster Variants Pt. 1
Defeat monsters of 3 unique varieties. Will complete naturally as you progress.
Combat Simulation: Fat Chocobo
Defeat Fat Chocobo to obtain the Fat Chocobo Summon Materia. To unlock Fat Chocobo, you’ll need to complete battle intel reports 1 – 9. You will be coming back to this to do the stagger achievement/intel report.
Monster Bio Pt. 3
Assess 20 enemy types, same as Monster Bio Pt. 1 & Pt. 2
The Stagger Effect Pt. 3
Increase stagger damage bonus to 200%. See Staggering Feat for more information. If you’re earlier in to the game and already want to complete this, simply load up the Fat Chocobo again and once staggered hit it with Tifa’s Y skill.
Refocus is a limit break equipped by Aerith by default. Simply charge the Limit Break bar and use it twice.
The Stagger Effect Pt. 4
Stagger 40 enemy types. Will complete naturally as you progress.
Combat Simulation: Leviathan
Defeat Leviathan to obtain Leviathan Summon Materia. To unlock Leviathan, you’ll need to complete battle intel reports 1 – 14. If you’re struggling with Tidal Wave (it’s one-shotting you), know that you can use Manaward (level 2 of Barrier Materia) to survive it.
Monster Bio Pt. 4
Assess 30 enemy types, same as Monster Bio Pt. 1 & Pt. 2 & Pt 3. Simply assess everything you come across. If you’re having trouble finding enemy types, you can participate in some of the optional fights at the Corneo Colosseum in Chapter 14 and Assess all of the different enemies you fight. After completing this, you can visit Chadley and start working on the Master of Mimicry achievement.
Acquire all 16 weapon abilities. Well, 16 weapon abilities aren’t all of them (there’s a total of 24), but it will be enough to complete this intel report. Simply bring the proficiency of the weapons up to 100% to unlock their skills (see Weapons Expert for more information).
Master all 12 types of magic materia. Level up to the maximum the magic materia (help yourself linking it to AP Up Materia if necessary), although by the end of the game you will have most leveled up to the max, and with the Hard playthrough it should be enough. The optional fights at the Corneo Colosseum in Chapter 14 is a great place to level these up. This are the 12 materias:
- Healing Materia
- Cleansing Materia
- Revival Materia
- Fire Materia
- Ice Materia
- Lightning Materia
- Wind Materia
- Poison Materia
- Barrier Materia
- Binding Materia
- Subversion Materia
- Time Materia
Monster Variants Pt. 2
Defeat monsters of 10 unique varieties. This should be completed naturally as you progress.
Combat Simulation: Bahamut
Defeat Bahamut to obtain Bahamut Summon Materia. You’ll unlock Bahamut after completing battle intel reports 1 – 19. This boss can be quite hard, so if you’re struggling it’s recommended to attempt this fight on easy difficulty.
Learn all weapon abilities.
To learn a weapon ability, a weapon’s proficiency must reach 100% weapon’s exclusive ability. This bar can bee seen on the weapon menu.
To increase weapon proficiency, simply use the weapon-specific ability in combat. To do so, check which ability in particular the weapon you’re carrying has, and once in combat press A > Abilities > and use the specific ability. Each ability “levels up” differently, but it is at least 10% per ability usage. Using an ability multiple times in the same combat to increase its proficiency rank is possible.
Below is a list of all the weapons available in the game and how to find them.
|Buster Sword – Focused Thrust||Default weapon|
|Iron Blade – Triple Slash||Will be obtained in Chapter 3 as part of the story|
|Nail Bat – Disorder||It is obtainable in Chapter 8 as a reward of the side-quest “Kids on Patrol”|
|Hardedge – Infinity’s End||Purchasable in Chapter 9 from the Weapon Shop Vendor (Wall Market|
|Mythril Saber – Blade Burst||Purchasable in Chapter 14 from the Weapon Shop Vendor (Wall Market)|
|Twin Stinger – Counterstance||It is obtainable from a purple chest in Chapter 17, after Red XIII helping you cross some pods and defeating some enemies. It is next to a staircase and in plain sight, hard to miss.|
|Leather Gloves – Divekick||Default weapon|
|Metal Knuckles – Overpower||Will be obtained in Chapter 5 as part of the story.|
|Sonic Strikers – Focused Strike||It is obtainable from a purple chest in Chapter 7 in simple sight (Mako Reactor 5 – B5 Connecting Passageway)|
|Feathered Gloves – Starshower||It is obtainable from a purple chest in Chapter 10 from the area where water has been drained (Aqueduct 1)|
|Mythril Claws – Chi Trap||Will be obtained in Chapter 13 as part of the story.|
|Purple Pain – True Strike||This is one tricky weapon to get. In Chapter 16, you will play as Tifa and try to reach reception in the lobby of Shinra Tower. At some point you will fall. To get back up you’ll need to climb on top of a car then proceed up a ladder. However, DO NOT climb the ladder, instead head for the bars to the right and you will reach a purple chest containing the weapon|
|Gatling Gun – Focused Shot||Default weapon|
|Light Machine Gun – Lifesaver||Will be obtained in Chapter 6 as part of the story.|
|Big Bertha – Maximum Fury||Purchasable in Chapter 13 from the Weapon Shop Vendor (Evergreen Park, the playground southeast of Wall Market). You can also purchase this from the same shop in Chapter 14.|
|Steel Pincers – Charging Uppercut||Purchasable in Chapter 14 from the Moogle Emporium.|
|Wrecking Ball – Smackdown||It is obtainable in Chapter 14 as a reward from the side-quest “Subterranean Menace”|
|EKG Cannon – Point Blank||It is obtainable in Chapter 16. After talking to the Mayor, head back outside and talk to “Hart”. He will ask for 10,000 gil and give this weapon as a reward.|
|Guard Stick – Arcane Ward||Default weapon|
|Silver Staff – Sorcerous Storm||Purchasable in Chapter 8 from the Moogle Emporium. You can purchase it in later chapters as well (such as Chapter 14)|
|Arcane Scepter – Fleeting Familiar||It is obtainable in Chapter 9 as a reward from the side-quests “A Dynamite Body” or “Shears’ Counterattack” – depending on if you do Set 1 or Set 2 of quests.|
|Mythril Rod – Ray of Judgment||It is obtainable from a purple chest in Chapter 11 not much ahead from the starting point. Right at the start there’s a bench and vending machine, the chest is on the other side of the fence. Backtrack all corners and you will see it, it’s on the room on the other side of where the starting bench & vending machines are.|
|Bladed Staff – Lustrous Shield||Easily the trickiest weapon to obtain in the game. You must use “Steal” on Chapter’s 11 boss Eligor to obtain this weapon. You will fail several times to steal the item, but keep trying. You must equip the Steal Materia before the combat – but don’t worry, at any time you can exit the Eligor combat and you will be sent back to few steps before the combat starts, giving you time to change your equipment. You can only use the steal ability by having the Steal Materia attached, which you can buy from Chadley after finishing Battle Intel Report 7. You can always go back via chapter select and get this after finishing the game.|
|Reinforced Staff – ATB Ward||This is obtainable from a purple chest in Chapter 17. It is at the very beginning and in plain sight, it will be hard to miss.|
Master of Mimicry
Learn all enemy skills.
To learn enemy skills, you must complete the Intel Report #16 (see Intelligence Agent for more information) and obtain the Enemy Skill Materia. While equipped, if an enemy hits you with a certain skill, you will learn it and be able to use it as long as you’re equipped with the Enemy Skill Materia. You can keep track of the enemy skills Cloud has learned by pressing A in combat and selecting “Abilities”, any enemy skills that you’ve learned which are listed below using this materia will be listed within that section.
There are four enemy skills to be learned, and recommendations on where and how to obtain them:
Learned from Phantom when it uses Essence Drain. Found in:
Chapter 14. (“Missing Children” side-quest, you will fight a group of these at the cemetery and it is easy to obtain)
Chapter 16 & 17. Shinra Tower VR Simulations. Found in the four star challenges “Cloud/Tifa/Barrett/Aerith vs. SOLDIER Trainees”.
Learned from Varghidpolis or Proto Trypapolis (summoned by Trypapolis) when they use Apoptosis. Found in:
- Chapter 14. Random encounters in the Collapsed Expressway.
- Chapter 16 & 17. Shinra Tower VR Simulations. Found in the four star challenge “Three-Person Team vs. Team Ragbag”.
Learned from Bomb when it uses Apoptosis. Found in:
- Chapter 9 & 14. The Colosseum “Two-Person Team vs. Team Payback” challenge.
- Chapter 17 Hard Mode. A new set of Shinra VR Simulations will be available in Hojo’s Lab. Found in the “Three-Person Team vs. Monsters of Legend” challenge.
Learned from Smogger when it uses Self-Destruct. Found in:
- Chapter 8 & 14. Random encounters in Sector 5 Slums scrapyard.
- Chapter 16 & 17. Shinra Tower VR Simulations. Found in the four star challenge “Three-Person Team vs. Team Ragbag”.
Learned from Cerulean Drake when it uses Icy Aura. Found in:
- Chapter 3. Side-quest “Just Flew in from the Graveyard”.
- Chapter 11. Story-quest path in the Train Graveyard after defeating the Phantom boss.
- Chapter 9 & 14. The Colosseum “Two-Person Team vs. Team Payback” challenge.
Learned from Malboro when it uses Bad Breath. Found in:
- Chapter 17. A new set of Shinra VR Simulations will be available in Hojo’s Lab. Found in the “Three-Person Team vs. Monsters of Legend” challenge.
That’s the Smell
Defeat a malboro.
After beating the game, a new set of Shinra VR Simulations will be available in Hojo’s Lab (Chapter 17). You can load it up anytime and head to the VR simulation. To get to the Shinra VR challenges, start Chapter 17 and make your way up the elevator to the main level of Hojo’s laboratory, you’ll fight some Unknown Entities and then your party will move some debris out of the way. After that, you’ll encounter Chadley who will tell you he needs your help with his newly reconstructed combat simulator which is also located there on the main level of the laboratory.
Malboro is found in the “Three-Person Team vs. Monsters of Legend” challenge. Even if you load the chapter in Easy or Normal difficulty, you will face the enemies in the challenge in Hard (therefore, items cannot be used).
You will want to make sure each person in your party has revive materia and healing materia, and it’s also recommended that Cloud link Magnify materia and Healing materia together so that when Cloud heals himself, the rest of the party gets healed as well.
You will face enemies in this order:
- This fight shouldn’t be troublesome, it gets staggered pretty quickly.
- Similar to when you fought Tonberry during Chapter 14 side-quest. The A.I. will almost always dodge Chef’s Knife. Avoid standing face to face with it and it shouldn’t kill you in one hit, always try to attack it from behind.
- Similar to when you fought Type-0 Behemoth during Chapter 14 side-quest. Cripple him by focusing the lower and middle parts of his body and hit him hard when he’s staggered. Do not hit him with magic, as 1) it won’t be effective, 2) it will go on “Rampage” status for a short period of time and it will be extremely hard to survive.
Boom + Tonberry
- Not much different from the individual fights. However, focus the Boom and kill it ASAP, since it will grow quickly on size if you ignore him and wipe your party with Self-Destruct.
- This is possibly the easiest fight in the simulation. His only dangerous attack is Bad Breath. Get hit by it once with the Enemy Skill Materia equipped to gain its Bad Breath ability (see Master of Mimicry for more information) and dodge it the following times. When it casts it, it will aim at you and follow you for a short period of time, when you’re able to move without it following your moves, simply sneak behind him and safely hit him from the back.
Defeat the Pride and Joy prototype.
The Pride and Joy Prototype is a boss you have to defeat in a Shinra VR challenge called ‘Three-Person Team VS Top Secrets’. To unlock this challenge, you’ll need to complete all Colosseum challenges and all previous Shinra VR Battle challenges. The tricky one might be the colosseum challenges since you’re able to do Aerith’s only right after beating the Hell House during Chapter 9, because later on she won’t be available anymore neither for the rest of Chapter 9 nor Chapter 14. Pay attention to this when you replay the game in Hard, if you haven’t done it yet.
To get to the Shinra VR challenges, start Chapter 17 and make your way up the elevator to the main level of Hojo’s laboratory, you’ll fight some Unknown Entities and then your party will move some debris out of the way. After that, you’ll encounter Chadley who will tell you he needs your help with his newly reconstructed combat simulator which is also located there on the main level of the laboratory.
The more chapters you have completed in Hard difficulty previously the better, as you will have more manuscripts, more unlocked cores, and therefore more powerful weapons. This battle challenge will only have the option to do it on Hard difficulty, even if you are playing the chapter on an easier difficulty.
Here’s the recommended setup for this challenge:
Weapon (Twin Stinger): Healing, MP Up, HP Up
Armour (Supreme Bracer): Elemental-Ice, Revival
Accessory: Champion Belt
Weapon (Mythril Claws) : HP Up, MP Up, Healing, Barrier, Revival
Armour (Cog Bangle): Elemental-Ice, Resistance
Accessory: Champion Belt
Weapon (Guard Stick): Time, Barrier, MP Up, Magic Up, HP Up
Armour (Rune Armlet): Magnify-Healing, Revival (Magnify-Healing lets healing skills to affect (heal) all 3 members of your party)
Accessory: Healing Carcanet
During the ‘Three-Person Team VS Top Secrets’ VR challenge, you will face these enemies:
The Elemental-Ice link on the armor will make you immune to ice attacks, therefore it will be a walk in the park.
Easiest boss here, nothing different from the VR simulation. Just more HP.
Use Manaward if he uses Tidal Wave and you’re not able to stagger it on time.
The hardest fight in the game. When the count goes down to one, Bahamut will unleash Megaflare and deal 9,999 magic damage to all 3 members of your party. You can only survive it by staggering him on time (pretty much impossible – although on the second Megaflare is manageable), by using Manaward or Manawall (Barrier Materia) if it comes up on time or by having Reprieve (when hit by a fatal spell or atack, you survive with 1HP) on the level 6 weapons (that’s why the choice of Weapons). Save the Limit Breaks (Ascension and Dolphin Flurry) to take Ifrit down ASAP when it spawns.
Pride and Joy Prototype
And surprise! It is not actually the hardest boss in the game… surprising, huh? Fight is similar to Malboro, get on its back as often as possible and defeat him from the safety of being behind it.
After defeating the Pride and Joy Prototype, you will receive the Götterdämmerung, an accessory that allows the party member equipping it to enter battle with the Limit Break Bar at full. This is pretty useful for the Hard mode playthrough.
Complete all chapters on Hard difficulty.
You will have access to the Hard difficulty after completing the game on any difficulty: Classic, Easy, or Normal. It is not a regular second playthrough on a harder difficulty, but rather can be either played linearly from start to finish or by hand-picking chapters. It is pretty much the same story-wise as the normal playthrough, so cutscenes are totally skippable if you wish to finish this playthrough quicker.
From the pause menu, you can select “System” and then choose “Chapter Selection” and play levels on hard difficulty at any time in any order at your leisure after finishing the game for the first time. If you select “System”, then “Play Log” from the pause menu, it will keep track of how many chapters you’ve completed on hard difficulty, but won’t tell you exactly which chapters.
- In Hard difficulty, you cannot use items, MP is not restored by sitting on benches, and enemies are stronger.
- Completing main objectives and bosses will automatically award manuscripts on hard difficulty, but so will side quests on specific chapters (side quest manuscripts to look out for are detailed below). These are character-tied and award 10 SP each to upgrade weapon cores.
- Make sure everyone in the party has Revival Materia, and stock up on HP Up and MP Up materias too. They can be bought from several places, but for example the Materia Vendor in Wall Market has them.
- When fighting melee bosses (Turks – Reno, Rude – Rufus Shinra & Sephiroth among others) abuse the Counterstance ability. It will make your life easier.
- Since sitting on benches will not restore your MP in hard difficulty, you will want to use your MP sparingly – don’t waste it! There are a few ways to restore MP. Destroying Shinra Boxes are the most popular way to recover MP, and you can also save your game and reload the save after destroying a Shinra Box to respawn it and gain more MP. Aerith’s Soul Drain skill can also draw MP from enemies in battle. It’s also recommended to equip Prayer Materia to all party members to heal the party without consuming MP.
- Use Magnify Materia on Healing Materia, so you can heal your whole party with a single heal for the cases you do have to use MP to heal.
- If you want to reset your weapon upgrades and assigned weapon SP, perhaps to reconfigure the weapon to have materia slots than you currently have over other skills, you can always speak to Chadley in Chapter 3, 8, 9, or 14 (along with any other chapters you run into him like the end of Chapter 4) and have him reset those skills.
Chapter 3 – Completing the “Rat Problem” side quest will give Cloud the ‘The Art of Swordplay Vol. V’ manuscript which allows him to upgrade his weapon further. Tifa can get a manuscript by completing the “On the Prowl” side quest as well.
Chapter 4‘s Bike Mini-Game can be skipped (and you be thankful that it can). Roche doesn’t give any Manuscripts for being defeated in this scene (though he will for defeating him later on in the chapter), so you are missing nothing!
Chapter 8 – It’s possible to get four manuscripts for Aerith in this chapter by completing the “Weapons on a Rampage”, “Kids on Patrol”, “The Angel of the Slums”, and the “Paying Respects” side quests, though completing them are entirely your choice depending on if you want to upgrade her weapons more. Cloud has no manuscripts that can be earned in this chapter.
Chapter 8 – When fighting Rude towards the end of the chapter, you will want to immediately switch characters when he focuses his attacks on you. If you remain fighting as a character he focuses attacks on, he will defeat both Cloud and Aerith quickly. Switching to the character he’s not attacking and getting a few hits in will disorient Rude and keep him running back and forth.
Chapter 9 – Completing the side quests “The Price of Thievery”, “Shears’ Counterattack”, and “A Dynamite Body” will all award Cloud manuscripts which allows him to upgrade his weapon further. You can’t do all three of these side quests in one playthrough though as they are available depending on specific choices you make in the chapter. Because of this, it’s recommended that you go for ‘set 2’ of quests detailed in Best in the Business as that will allow you to get 2 manuscripts instead of 1.
Chapter 9‘s Hell House is a boss you may struggle the most with. You may run out of mana if you use the medium or high-level version of the elemental spells, so it is important that you always use the lowest one (4 MP consumption) as it is already enough, don’t use magic in Chapter 9 much up until that point, and have MP Up Materia equipped as well. When it puts its shields up, start hitting its arms (it may be easier to switch to Aerith and do ranged attacks on its arms) in order to break the shield, then when the shield breaks, immediately hit it with the right elemental spell. If it tosses Tornberry’s onto the battlefield, either hit them with a medium-to-high level magic spell, an ability that targets multiple enemies, or Clouds limit break and get rid of them quickly. On the third and final phase of the battle, make sure Aerith has ‘Planet’s Protection’ tied to her limit break and use it when the sweeper and cutter spawn to make you immune to most attacks and let you focus on defeating sweeper and cutter quickly to refocus on Hell House. And just a reminder:
- When it glows red, hit it with ice
- When it glows white, hit it with fire
- When it glows green, hit it with lightning
- When it glows yellow, hit it with wind
Chapter 11‘s second boss, Eligor, may prove difficult in Hard mode. If you’re stuck, try these tips:
- Eligor is weak to Ice, so equip Elemental+Ice materia on Cloud.
- Eligor will become weak to wind on its 2nd phase, so equip Elemental+Wind materia on Aerith.
- On its 2nd phase, it will cast “Reflect” on your party members. It won’t allow for characters to heal other characters with regular spells (abilities like Pray still work) but the effects of Reflect is lost upon death. Therefore, you can make your characters die once and revive them to make the fight easier. It’s a bit contradictory, but it might help.
Chapter 14 – Completing the “Tomboy Bandit” side quest will award Cloud a manuscript which will allow him to upgrade his weapon further. In addition, completing the “Corneo’s Secret Stash” and “Missing Children” side quests on hard difficulty will award you manuscripts for Tifa and completing “Malicious Goons”, “Chocobo Search”, and “Subterranean Menace” side quests will award Barret manuscripts, though completing them are entirely your choice depending on if you want to upgrade their weapons further.
Chapter 17‘s Hojo Lab VR Simulations have good rewards, but are hard. You will be able to obtain some manuscripts to increase the weapon stats and completing Ultimate Weapon will award you the Götterdämmerung, an accessory that allows you to enter all combats with the Limit Break bar at its fullest. The fight is the most complicated in the game, but the accessory will make the Hard mode playthrough way easier.
Chapter 18‘s Bike Mini-Game can be skipped again (and you be thankful that it can) – the mech boss doesn’t give any Manuscripts for being defeated, so you are missing NOTHING.
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