If you’ve been reading my posts recently, you’ve probably been following my playthrough of Square Enix’s original version of Final Fantasy VII. I will say I have been surprised by a lot of things, such as how the entire Midgar section was fit into the first Final Fantasy VII Remake game. It’s been a good month or so and I’ve finally beat the game and, frankly, I walked away somewhat disappointed. A part of it does have to deal with the ambiguous ending as, if you don’t know Square Enix pumped up other stuff afterwards, like Advent Children and the subsequent light novels, you might walk away thinking Cloud and company didn’t actually succeed in saving the planet. After all, you only see Red XIII and his pups running up to the ruins of Midgar 500 years after the party defeated Sephiroth.
That’s not my biggest issue, though. The main problem I had with the game is the final boss came off as too easy! I was expecting a rough and tumble encounter with the big bad Sephiroth but I quickly dispatched both of his forms with relative easy. However, I can’t totally blame the game for Sephiroth being a total pushover when I encountered him. The biggest fault lies with me and my playthrough because I leveled up all my characters to level 99, the highest level as possible, matured most of my materia to their maximum and buffed all my party members with their ultimate weapons.
I did this because Square Enix dared me to do it. Final Fantasy VII made me do all of that because it had to dangle the Emerald and Ruby Weapons in front of me.
For those who aren’t familiar with the original Final Fantasy VII, the Emerald Weapon and the Ruby Weapon are optional bosses you can fight at any time. In the lore, the Weapons are the last line of defense of the Planet against grave threats and are unleashed when Sephiroth summons Meteor. As the creatures are unable to detect Sephiroth’s presence, they go on a rampage all over the planet, destroying various towns and the like.
You do encounter a couple of them throughout the main quest, such as the Sapphire and Diamond Weapons by following the main story. The Ultimate Weapon, Emerald Weapon and Ruby Weapon, however, are optional bosses you can tackle during the latter part of the game. Ultimate Weapon is the monster you face off in Mideel but it flies off. Emerald Weapon can be found swimming around the ocean and you can face off against him once you get the submarine. The fight against Ruby Weapon can be triggered by running into the little red nubbin that’s found in the desert surrounding the Gold Saucer.
I actually beat Ultimate Weapon with some difficulty. This wasn’t because he was terribly strong. The issue was he kept on running away once you deplete his life to a certain degree. Ultimate Weapon, because he is a flying monster, can only be hit using long range attacks, drawing out the battle a bit longer if you’re not prepared. Still, I did eventually take him down with a few Knights of the Round summons and some Limit Breaks.
This really boosted my confidence. If I could take down Ultimate Weapon, beating the other optional Weapon bosses should be a breeze. After all, it’s called the Ultimate Weapon! So, like an overconfident lummox, I raced to my submarine, dove underwater and rammed right into Emerald Weapon. Then, I proceeded to get spanked so hard, it hurt my soul!
The same thing happened when I tried to beat Ruby Weapon. These guys seemed impossible to beat! Then again, I wasn’t exactly leveled up properly. I was around Level 50 during my first attempts but I was so confident because I did beat Ultimate Weapon handily! This didn’t deter me, however, as my devastating losses to Emerald and Ruby Weapon only strengthened my resolve to eventually beat them. So I continued to the main game and made it all the way to the Northern Crater. Most of my characters were around Level 70 or so. I decided to try once again. I did manage to hold my own somewhat thanks to grinding a lot to birth a few extra HP Plus materias. I even had Cloud have the maximum amount of HP yet he, along with his entire party would get wiped out in a minute or so because they hit so hard!
By this point, I was angry. I didn’t feel I was dying because it was a fair fight. I mean, getting wiped out in just a few hits just wasn’t fun! The thing is, despite my fervently in trying to devise a strategy to beat them, I just couldn’t! So I had to look up some walkthroughs and strategies online on how to beat Emerald and Ruby Weapon. The strange thing is they followed basically the same strategy but with a few tweaks here and there.
In a nutshell, the most efficient and sure-fire way to beat either Emerald and Ruby Weapon is just to have a few specific materias in your designated character, usually Cloud, and link them in a certain way. Have the Knights of the Round summon linked to HP Absorb so Cloud will recover most of his health back after the attack. Then, link Mimic to Counter as this will enable Cloud to summon Knights of the Round as many times as you want without using any MP. Linking it to counter also has the benefit of having Cloud summon Knights of the Round automatically if he ever gets hit by any attack. There are other strategies but this was the simplest one.
You can generally beat Ruby Weapon with the same setup but there is the addition of using the W-Summon materia and the Hades summon. The strategy is still virtually the same but you have to knock out your party members before initiating the attack to get to Ruby Weapons tentacle phase. Once in battle, use the W-Summon materia to call on Hades first and then Knights of the Round. Hades will paralyze Ruby Weapon, preventing him from countering the Knights of the Round summon with Ultima.
I utilized these strategies and, after some time, I was able to beat both Emerald and Ruby Weapons. My characters were, as a result, super buffed out because I first tried to grind my way to victory. Once I discovered I simply couldn’t overpower them with brute force and leveling up to the max, that’s the time I looked up the strategies. Since I already beat them, there was nothing left to do but go to the Northern Crated and take out Sephiroth.
However, since I was already super strong, I was mowing down all of the baddies like they were practically nothing! I had Cloud with the 4X Slash materia, which would let him wipe out practically everything with one Attack command! I wiped out Jenova lickety-split and, despite being rather confused with how to beat him, I demolished Sephiroth’s first form with hardly a scratch on me. Even Sephiroth’s final from was no match as he was barely doing any damage to my party while I was annihilating his HP with normal hits! The battle was over so fast that I didn’t even get to see Sephiroth cast his Supernova summon! I had to look it up online!
I beat Final Fantasy VII yet, because of how easy it was, I felt kind of empty. I did have fun but the final showdown was a letdown. I guess I needed the satisfaction of beating a final boss that put up a modicum of a fight. I didn’t get that because of how powerful I was after beating the Emerald and Ruby Weapons. Maybe if I play through the game again, I’ll try to get to Sephiroth at a lower, but more desirable, level so he would be more of a challenge. Maybe then I’ll get the gratification I feel I should’ve felt.
Who was harder to beat for you? Sephiroth, Emerald Weapon or Ruby Weapon? Did you have to go online to see how to beat the Weapons? Let me know in the comments section below!