While not everybody was thrilled with how frequently Sephiroth appeared throughout Final Fantasy VII Remake, it’s difficult to argue that he doesn’t make for a great final boss. The one-winged angel has some of the most devastating attacks in the game (including one or two from the original release) and will definitely put your skills and understanding of the game’s combat to the test.
It’s a difficult fight, especially because of how long it goes on for. On Hard Mode, it will take about 20 minutes to complete and any slight lapse in concentration during that time can lead to your party being wiped out in an instant. You’ll need to put some thought into your setup and have a decent strategy going into the fight; the latter of which can be achieved by understanding which of Sephiroth’s moves and attacks are likely to cause you trouble.
One of the most annoying things about setting up for this battle is that you don’t have too much control over which two party members will be joining Cloud. It’s determined by the actions taken by Barret, Tifa and Aerith in the fight with the Whispers and whilst it is possible to manipulate, it’s far easier to just plan for all possibilities. In all likelihood though, you’ll probably end up with Aerith and Tifa.
Equip Cloud with Parry, Steadfast Block, Revival and Healing materia paired with Magnify. If you managed to get both of the Elemental Materia, pair them with Fire and Ice in his armor. If not, pair the one that you have with Fire while being sure to bring an orb of Ice along as well. The rest of his slots (assuming that there are any, that is) can be filled with HP and MP Up materia while his summon should be Bahamut.
Give all three of the other party members Lightning, Wind, Revival and Healing materia and then fill out the rest of their slots with HP and MP Up materia with Aerith also getting one or two orbs of Magic Up. You could consider equipping one or two of them with Time and Barrier, although you should be fine without either if you play your cards right.
For weapons, it’s best to equip everybody with something that has Reprieve (Twin Stinger, EKG Canon, Purple Pain and Reinforced Staff) although some may prefer going with the Mythril Sword, Mythril Rod and Metal Knuckles to maximize damage. If you have it, give Cloud the Gotterdammerung, although a Champion Belt should work just fine too. Equip Aerith with a Circlet and give Tifa and Barret either a Champion Belt or Supernatural Wristguards.
The first phase of this battle is incredibly easy. Just switch to Punisher Mode or use Counterstance to counter every time Sephiroth uses Telluric Fury. Dodge everything else. You might be able to get one or two quick attacks in after countering, although he recovers very quickly so don’t push your luck.
Keep this up for a few minutes and you’ll eventually stagger him which will mark the end of this phase. At this point, Cloud will be joined by either Tifa, Aerith or Barret. If you went with the Elemental materia approach, don’t forget to use his Firaga and Blizaga casts to heal yourself (assuming you mastered the Elemental materia, that is).
Sephiroth will gain access to a few new attacks in the second phase (see below), but the general strategy remains the same. Exploit Telluric Fury and dodge everything else while using your second party member to heal and hit Sephiroth with the occasional elemental attack. Once Sephiroth’s health falls to around 50%, the third phase will begin and the final party member will join.
Sephiroth will sprout his infamous single wing and start using Elemental Infusion in this phase, so pay close attention to which element he picks. He’ll become weak to the opposing element, while Fire or Ice infusions can also provide Cloud with a free source of healing if you have maxed out Elemental materia equipped and appropriately paired.
Try to keep Sephiroth focused on Cloud as much as possible, although be sure to hit him with the other party members whenever he casts Wind or Lightning infusion. Other than that, Cloud should be dodging as much as possible while continuing to counter Telluric fury at every available opportunity.
After you’ve depleted around 75% of Sephiroth’s HP, he’ll summon a giant meteor by casting Divine Proclamation and begin to use some of the most powerful moves in his arsenal. In particular, he’ll use Fallen Angel an awful lot during this phase and so be sure to have Cloud start casting Curaga every time you see him warming up.
The only way to avoid Divine Proclamation is by staggering or defeating Sephiroth before his countdown is complete. With this in mind, you’ll need to switch to a more aggressive approach now. Hit him with everything you’ve got, but be sure to keep an eye on everyone’s HP and be sure to get out of the way of some of his more powerful attacks. It’s definitely worth saving your limit breaks for this phase and Bahamut too if possible.
Aeolian Onslaught (Phases 1, 2 & 3)
This is a two hit move that cannot be blocked or countered, so dodge it using the circle button instead.
Boundless Void (Phases 2 & 3)
Sephiroth creates pockets of gravity that will suck the party in and deal a lot of damage. If he uses it, use circle to roll away from them.
Divine Proclamation (Phase 4)
Sephiroth will count down to zero and then release a devastating attack that will wipe out the entire party. Stagger or defeat him before he gets to zero.
Elemental Spells (All Phases)
Sephiroth will cast third tier elemental spells throughout the battle and so try to dodge them when possible. You can also use Elemental materia in Cloud’s armor to either reduce the damage or absorb it entirely depending on the materia’s level and the element that Sephiroth is using.
Elemental Infusions (Phase 3)
Sephiroth’s elemental infusions serve as much more powerful versions of the basis spells and cover a wider area of the battlefield. They do make it much easier to stagger him though if you hit him with the opposite element of his infusion.
Heartless Angel (Phase 4)
Sephiroth will leap into the sky and then cause a large explosion upon landing. Anybody caught in the blast radius will be reduced to 1 HP, so try to keep your party spread out to reduce the number of party members who get hit.
Hell’s Gate (Phases 2 & 3)
Sephiroth starts using Hell’s Gate once you’ve staggered him twice. After he plunge his sword into the ground, use the glowing lines to dodge the resulting shockwaves.
Masamune In Waiting (Phase 2)
Sephiroth will raise his sword in front of him an block any incoming damage. All you can really do here is wait for him to lower it or accept that you’ll be dealing reduced damage.
Octaslash (Phase 3)
Sephiroth’s iconic limit break will deal eight powerful blows that can’t be blocked. It’s almost impossible to dodge, so have one of your party members ready to heal or revive as needed.
Telluric Fury (Phases 1, 2 & 3)
This move consists of three powerful physical strikes but can be easily countered. Use either Punisher Mode or Counterstance to do so.
Scintilla (Phases 1, 2 & 3)
Scintilla is Sephiroth’s version of Counterstance, so if he uses it, hang back until he lowers his guard. You can use this time to heal or attack using magic.
Shadow Flare (Phases 3 & 4)
Sephiroth manifests a large black orb of energy that deals damage upon contact. In the final phase, however, he’ll summon many at the same time. The best strategy here is to just avoid them.
Wave Of Nihility (Phase 4)
This attack is similar to Hell’s Gate; albeit a bit more powerful. Use the glowing lines to preempt the shockwaves and make sure that you don’t get hit by them.
NEXT: Final Fantasy VII Remake Boss Guide
- Final Fantasy VII Remake
Tom spent the better part of a decade working in broadcast news before moving out to Japan in 2017. He loves adventure games and RPGs, but is also partial to a spot of FIFA from time to time.
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