No-Materia Guide by Maxx_Power

Updated: 10/20/02 | Printable Version


By Maxx Power


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a - Bluffer''s Guide
b - Understanding and explaining the task
c - Character breakdown


v1.0 09/23/02: *Initial version
v1.1 09/26/02: *Corrected a few mistakes pointed out by people. Thanks to Anya
for that. Specifically, added the "no-materia swamp crossing trick", changed
the rating of Yuffie, and a quick typo for Cloud''s initial equipement
*Corrected a few grammatical errors which were lost during formatting
*Corrected Cait Sith''s Ultimate weapon description
*Corrected bad information in the quick tips section
v1.2 09/29/02: *Corrected Tifa and Cait Sith ultimate weapon information
* Added a little information into the limit break section
v1.3 20/10/02: *Correct rocket code. Turns out it was backwards :) Thanks to
*Added how to defeat Emerald Weapon. (Tactic used without permission, although
their name has been credited)


A long time ago, god knows when, me and a friend were sitting discussing the
huge world that is Final Fantasy. Our attention turned to Final Fantasy VII. At
the time we were discussing the different challenges and so on that we had done
on Final Fantasy. I myself had create a party in Final Fantasy VII with max
stats, as had my friend in Final Fantasy VIII. I then mentioned to him one of
the challenges of FF8, which was the low-level game. Asking me if there was a
similar task for FF7. At the time, I didn''t know of any, until I remembered
the central theme to FF7. Materia. Calling his bluff, I stated that a
no-materia game could be done. Then the old arguement started. My friend on one
side, convinced that it couldn''t be done, and me on the otherside, trying to
prove him wrong. Needless to say we never resolved this arguement, deciding on
a stalemate and going on to discuss the finer points of woman''s breasts.

However, after this incident, it got me thinking if it could be done. The game
would certainly be harder without those little, multi-colored balls. So, as a
test, I tried playing through the game as I usually would, minus the use of
materia. On the first attempt, I got my ass kicked on more than one occasion.
The second attempt, after a bit of preparation and careful thinking about how I
should go about it, the task became all the more easier, getting to the point
where I actually completed the game quicker than if I was using materia (this
is most likely due to the fact that I never spent time sorting out materia, nor
did I have to sit through any lengthy battle effects and so on).

The no-materia game is certainly one of those challenges which, if done
properly, can either be extremely hard or extremely easy. After completing the
game, minus hacks of any kind, without the use of materia except on a few
select occasions where it was A) unavoidable or B) necessary. This was only
done a few times at most, and considering I went the whole game without using a
single piece of magic, summon or special attack such as Deathblow, I did pretty
well for myself. This guide will, hopefully, help you fathom your way through
FF7 without materia, and without too much of a headache.

Glad to help.

Maxx Power

=======================BEGINNERS GUIDE TO NO-MATERIA=======================

a - Bluffer''s Guide (or a quick FAQ to the game)

Q: What is a no-materia game?

A: A no-materia game is as it sounds. Its playing through the normal FF7
without using materia once. The game counts as complete when you kill
Safer-Sephiroth, the final boss.

Q: What do you need to play it?

A: Firstly, I strongly recommend you play through FF7 at least once. This
isn''t a walkthrough, and its full of spoilers as well, so don''t bother unless
you''ve been through the game. If you follow the guide lines in this FAQ, you
should have no problems with the no-materia game.

Q: How hard is it?

A: If you have a good understanding of FF7 and what you have to do then it
isn''t as hard as you may think. The biggest problem most people have is
adjusting to lack of materia. You will have to get out of the habit of holding
onto Double and Triple armors, looking after sockets etc. All of this will be
explained later on.

Q: Is there anything special you get?

A: From the game itself, no. You don''t revive Aeris, or get to play as
Sephiroth, or whatever rubbish they want to spread on the internet. The only
reason to play through the no-materia game is because it''s a challenge,
broadening the length of the gameplay, as well as giving some of us FF nuts an
excuse to play through again!

Q: What about X Y Z part of the game where......

A: There are a few exceptions to the hard and fast rule of no-materia. These
are explained in the rules below.

Q: How do I kill Emerald/Ruby weapon, you haven''t said in your guide!

A: The no-materia party has NO CHANCE EVER of defeating of Emerald or Ruby
weapon in a million
years, unless you physically hack the game code to freeze your HP, or something
stupid like that. If you do manage to legitimately kill all four weapons, all
power to you. I''d love to hear how you managed it.

b - Understanding and Explaining the task (i.e. the rules)

The no-materia game isn''t something which is well documented as a task. It
isn''t as easy as something as a low-level game, where you just say "stay as
low a level as possible until the end" etc. There are a few moments in the game
where this is not possible. I thought out every eventuality below, as well as a
few hard and fast rules.









- At the start of the game, Cloud is equiped with an Ice and Bolt materia.
These cannot be de-equiped until after the rector explosion. Be sure to
un-equip them ASAP, and trash them (do not sell them). DO NOT use these
commands whilst battling in this section of the game

- Red XIII has a fire with an all and a sense equiped on him on the raid on the
Shin-Ra building. These must be de-equiped after the battle and trashed. DO NOT
use these comands whilst battling in this section of the game

- Cait Sith and Yuffie both have materia equiped on them when you find them.
Trash them both

- In the flashback sequence of Cloud''s Past, the materia equiped on those
characters cannot be removed, and do not affect your main game, so these can be

- If you visit Wutai, remember that any materia you have in your materia box
will be equiped on your current characters. Don''t forget to de-equip them

- The ONLY materia you can use, for the sake of ease, is the chocobo lure
materia. This is based on the grounds that the materia is only used whilst
trying to catch Chocobo''s, and MUST NOT be equiped at any other time. However,
if you want a true no-materia game, then you are welcome not to use it

- The key items, Black Materia and the four Huge Materia, don''t count as

- You are more than welcome to carry materia with you, as long as it isn''t
equiped on your characters

c - Character breakdown

In this section, we will look at the main playable characters in the game,
giving them a detail desciption as to how well they do as a no-materia pundit.
For reason''s that should be obvious, Cloud is not included on this list, as he
is the main party leader 99% of the time.


Pros - High HP
     - High Attack
     - Long Range attacker
Cons - Poor low-level limit breaks
     - Poor ultimate weapon

Barret is one of the first characters you get, and will be with you until the
end, so you may want to consider using him. He gains HP faster than most of the
other characters, as well as having a lot of strength. His weapons are also
mainly long range, so you can safely put him on the back row, reducing damage
done to him. However, he has rather poor limit breaks until his level four
limit, catastrophe. This isn''t the most powerful of the level four limits
however. Also, his ultimate weapon, the Missing Score, needs high AP materia to
do serious damage (making it completely useless).

RATING: C+ (Good near the start of the game, but get''s weaker as the game


Pros - High attack power
     - High hit rate
     - Useful limit break
Cons - Relatively low HP
     - Poor ultimate weapon

Tifa is the next character you get after Barret. She is a hand-to-hand
character, so try not to put her in the back row. She rarely misses a hit, and
has a relatively high attack power. Her limits also string together in a combo
type way to produce quite a hard-hitting effect. Getting seven criticals can be
deadly. However, she has rather low HP compared to some of the other
characters, and her ultimate weapon, Premium Heart, is rather poor

RATING: B- (Good limits and attacks, but weakened by HP)


Pros - Only character with healing ability
     - Good defense limits
Cons - Low HP
     - Low attack
     - No ultimate weapon
     - She is lost after the first disk

Aeris, holder as the queen of all game''s spoilers, has caused so much
controversy, you would have thought she was a real person. At any rate, it is
recommended to have her in your party until the Temple of the Ancients, as she
will need the levels to take on the boss there (see stragedies below)

RATING: E (It would have been higher, but the little tart just had to die)


Pros - High attack rating
     - Good HP
     - Good ultimate weapon
Cons - Poor high level limits

Red XII is a really good character to use in the no-materia game. He has a high
attack, as well as relatively high HP. His ultimate weapon, Limited Moon, is
dependant on his MP (useful as you won''t be using magic, so his MP should stay
high). The only problem is that his level four limit, Cosmos Memory, is rather
poor. His best limit has to be Starlight Dust by far, so use that instead

RATING: A- (A bit higher HP and he would be perfect)

Pros - Good HP
     - Good ultimate weapon
Cons - Irregular limits
     - No higher level limits

Cait Sith would be good no-materia character, if he didn''t have so little in
the way of limits. His Dice and Slots are unpredictable. They can cause loads
of damage, or, in the worse case scenario, kill everyone in the party off! His
ultimate weapon, HP Shout, is reliant on MP, so it increases his usefulness.
However, he doesn''t have much in the way of attack power

RATING: D+ (Recommended if you want a challenge, not good for much else)

Pros - He''s drunk, always smoking, and swears a blue streak. What more do you
     - Brilliant level four limit
     - Good ultimate weapon
Cons - Medicore HP
     - Most likely a wife beater

Cid is one of my favs on the ''cool'' factor. He''s a breath of fresh air in
all the goody-two-shoes-ness of the other characters. As a no-materia
character, he''s also not that bad. His level four limit does loads of damage,
and his ultimate weapon also works of MP, hence his high attack. However, he
doesn''t have as much HP as some of the other characters.

RATING: A (Whip your bottles of scotch out!)

Pros - Long range attacks
     - Good Ultimate Weapon
     - Good limits
Cons - Poor HP

Yuffie is a suprisingly useful character to use in a no-materia game. Despite
her tendency for love of materia, the fact that she has long range attacks, an
ultimate weapon which is poweful against anything above her level, and two of
her limits, Pure Tranquill (restores half your parties HP) and Bloodfest (high
damage attack) can be essential when up against some of the harder enemies. A
lack of HP, though, dampens her down a bit.

RATING: B+ (Useful to have around in any circumstance)

Pros - Long range attacks
     - High hit rate
Cons - Uncontrollable limits

Vincent is a really good character to have. His ultimate weapon, Death Penalty,
get''s more powerful with each kill, in theory making him the most powerful
character you can have. He also has two weapons with 255% hit rate. His only
problem is with his limits, as they automatically put him in berserk mode,
which will only end when the battle ends of if he is killed.

RATING: B- (Good attacks , but could be better)

Here are a list of parties that you could try to take on the game with


Cloud, Cid and Red XII


Cloud, Vincent and Yuffie


Cloud, Cait Sith and Anyone else


Tifa, Cloud and Yuffie (in that order) :-)

=======================GAME STRAGEDIES=======================

Here''s the crunch time. Here is a big list of all the tips and tricks that you
need to know to get through the game. Follow these guidelines, and you should
be just fine

- Phoenix Down''s are your greatest ally. Make sure you have enough of them at
all times.

- Keep hold of all the potions, hi-potions, x-potions, elixirs and megaelixirs
that you can.

- In the first part of the game, keep Aeris in your party where-ever possible,
until she leaves

- Tent''s should also be kept in stock at all times. When you reach a save
point, make sure you use the tent before you save

- Save regularly. You never know what may happen next

- Your levels should be a bit higher than the recommended amount. Many FAQ''s
have a ''recommended
party level'' before each area. Know that you should be about three or four
levels above that throughout the first disk. In the second disk, after you get
the highwind, try to be about eight or nine levels above this total. And before
you enter the final dungeon, if you''re at level 70 or above, you should have
no problems against the final boss.

- Search everywhere for sources, by this I mean power sources, guard sources
etc. However, be smart with them. There''s no point in raising one person''s
strength to 255, and I''ll explain below.

Your base stats affect some of your other stats. HP and MP are not affected by
your base stats in anyway. However, your other stats, such as attack and so on,
are. Here''s how it breaks down

Attack power = Strength + Weapon power. If value >255, then attack power = 255

so, a character, with a weapon with a power of 95 with a strength of 160 does
the same damage as someone with a strength of 255 does at the same level. If
your character''s attack power is already 255 with their best weapon, then they
don''t need any more on strength, so give it to someone else

Defense Power = Vitality + Armor defense.

Again, with the weapon, defense cannot go over 255. So a person with an armor
that has 45 as it''s defense, will have the same defense rating with 210
vitality as they would with 255. The same principal goes for spirit with magic
defense (NB There is a bug where the magic defense doesn''t show up correctly
in the game. Add spirit to your character''s magic defense on the status

- Don''t totally phase the magic stat just because you''re not using materia.
There are several items in the game which use the magic stat to calculate the
damage done by them. Magic will be quite low without sources to increase them,
or without materia.

- Wutai is heaven for the no-materia gamer. In the mountain area''s of Wutai
enemies there drop Phoenix Down''s and X-Potions. Spend a while just fighting
here, until you have the maximum amount of X-Potions and Phoenix Down''s.

- Also the town Wutai sells some essential stuff as well. In the item shop in
town they sell Fire Veil''s and Swift Bolt''s, which cast Fire 3 and Bolt 3
respectively. These are crucial not only for killing off large groups of
monsters, but also for attack resistant monsters.

- Item''s which restore MP, specifically Ether and Turbo Ether, are near
useless to your party, unless you have a character who needs high MP to do high
damage. In any case in the first part of the game, any Ether''s you find can be
sold for a tidy profit in the game, as Ether''s are worth 750 gil each.

- When equiping, totally ignore the solts or the growth in them. You won''t
need them. Only go for weapons which increase your stats in some way. Ditto for

- One of the best armors you can get is Mystile. It''s high evade rates for
both attack''s and magic make it essential. You only get two during the game,
so use them wisely.

- Keep all of your elixirs you find for the final dungeon. Down there you can
find magic pots. Feed them elixirs, then kill them, to recieve a lot of
experience points. Use X-Potions, as they fully heal your HP, which is all that

- Megalixirs are your bread and butter. Use them sparingly.

- Even when you have a really high level party, keep a batch of hi-potions.
Inbetween fights, use them to heal your characters, as oppose to X-Potions,
which should only be used in battle.

- If a party member falls, have one member use Phoenix Down first, and another
use an X-Potion to restore them quickly. Always revive party members the second
they drop, as it''s much easier to get annahilated in a no-materia game.

- Before venturing into the final dungeon, try to have your characters, and
their level four limits breaks learnt (in the case of Cait Sith and Red XII,
level two). Here''s where the level four limit''s are.

Cloud - Gain 32000 BP in the battle square in the Gold Saucer and buy it

Tifa - Play the highwind tune on the piano in Nibelheim on disk three after she
has learnt her other limits. The tune is Do-Re-Mi-Ti-La-Do-Re-Mi-So-Fa-Do-Re-Do

Barret - Save Corel from the Shin-Ra train. Talk to the woman in the house on
the hill to recieve it
Aeris - Don''t bother :)

Cait Sith - Doesn''t have one

Cid - Find it on the Sunken Gelinka, underwater near the Gold Saucer dock

Vincent - On Disk Two, take the submarine underwater, and follow the
cliff-faces near the western
continent. You should find a really long tunnel. At the end you can rise up to
find a waterfall. Put Vincent in your party, and enter the waterfall. After the
short sequence, return here in Disk Three with Vincent. You will automatically
recieve it

Yuffie - Take her to the five level padago in Wutai town, and defeat all five
of the warriors there. You will recieve it at the top of the tower.

As a side note, to increase your limit breaks, use your current level limit
break a certain number of times to get the other move of that limit. To get the
next level limit, kill a certain amount of monsters through any type of attack

- Also, before the final dungeon, try to have the following items


=======================BOSS STRAGEDIES=======================

For the bosses, due to the lack of materia, you would think that the only
tactic you would need would be just to keep on hitting them with attacks. And,
for the most part, you would be right. Below are bosses which require a few
tactics to them. However, if a boss isn''t below, just do the above. Keep
hitting them with attacks, and heal when neseccary.

Name:Guard Scorpion
Location:Rector 1; Midgar
When it''s tail goes up, don''t attack. Apart from that just keep attacking it

Name:Hundred Gunner and Heligunner
Location:Shin-Ra building
Barret is the only one who can attack here. Have Aeris and Red XII just defend
or heal where neseccary. If Red XIII get''s a limit, then use it, as it will
hit. If you have any offensive items, such as grenades, get the other
characters besides Barret to use them

Location:Junon Harbor
Buy as many grenades as you can before this fight. Bottomswell can only be hit
by ranged attacks, so unless you have Barret, just get your members to use
grenades or their limits. If one of the members gets caught in a bubble, just
wait until they die, as you can''t break it open, but be sure to revive them

Name:Gi Spirit
Location:Cave of the Gi
Keep using Phoenix Downs on him until he dies. Simple

Name:Lost Number
Location:Nibelheim Mansion
NEVER attempt this boss until you have the boat. Then, head for Wutai, going
through the Yuffie side-quest. After that, buy as many Fire Veils or Swift
Bolts as you can. Then come back to this boss and try him again. Keep using the
items on him until he turns into a red tentacle beast. Then attack him normally

Location:City of the Ancients
Have one member equiped with the water ring found earlier on near the city.
This member will take no damage from Jenova at all. Don''t bother trying to
revive your fellow team-mates, as they will always get killed straight away

Name:Carry Armor
Location:Underwater Reactor
Don''t use Swift Bolts on this guy, as if his arms are destroyed he will
continuosly use Lapis Laser against you, which will kill you in two rounds.
Concentrate on the body until he is destroyed

Name:Diamond Weapon
Location:Midgar Area
This will sound weird, but this one of the EASIEST bosses in the game, if you
know how to kill him. Basically, keep using Swift Bolt''s on him. They do about
1300 damage each. Have about fifty of them before you enter the fight (they can
be bought in Wutai). If you keep using them, he will never use his countdown
technique, only stomp on you, which will cause quite a bit of damage, but
nothing too threatening

Name:Ultima Weapon
Have a stock of Swift Bolts and Fire Veils in stock incase you get a fight on
the ship, with you on the deck and with him flying beside you. Use these and
any limits, unless you have ranged attackers, which should attack normally. If
you''re on the ground, just attack him normally. When he flies over cosmo
canyon for the final battle, do this trick. Keep letting him use his Ultima
beam on you about four or five times, healing your party every time he does.
Eventually, when he dies, he will have no MP left to do Shadow Flare, which
normally would kill off the person it hits.

General Boss Hints

- Bosses have MP like you do. If they keep attacking you with magic, some
bosses will eventually have a box over their heads that says "##### spell power
is used up". If this happens the boss will usually just stand there trying to
cast the spell over and over, making them a sitting duck.

- Always try to save before a boss. If you get totally hammered, then run
around for a while and level up and try again

=======================EMERALD WEAPON========================

The following is provided through Mad-Psycho, found on the eyes on final
fantasy forums (

Emerald weapon is hard. Very hard. Under normal circumstances, even in a
materia game, fighting emerald weapon isn''t recommended by the most sane of
people. However, after perusing the internet, it turns out that their is,
indeed a way to defeat emerald weapon, sans materia. Unfortunatly, you won''t
get anything useful out of it (the experience and ap will be useless, and the
Earth Harp will do no good either). However, defeating emerald in itself is a
reward, much like Omega Weapon from FF5.

- Party: Cloud, Yuffie, Tifa
- Limit breaks: Level 4, all limit bars full before battle, hyper status
- Weapons: Ultimate
- Armor: Mystiles or other high defense armors
- Level: 99 for all (see how the experience is useless?)
- Items: 99 X-potions (see above), 10 Megalixirs

Secondary requirements
- Go to the config menu, and set the battle speed to as low as possible, and
the ATB to Wait. If you find that the timer runs out before you defeat him, try
setting the timer as fast as possible. WARNING, this is dangerous, but it will
cut the time taken in battle by one quater.


Start off the battle with an omnislash from Cloud. This should knock off most
of Emerald''s HP''s. Attack with your other characters limits. Now, NEVER
ATTACK UNLESS YOU HAVE A LIMIT. The rest of the time you should quickly heal
any character who are injured, either with an X-potion or an elixir. If the
whole party is in critical, use a megalixir. As long as you use a limit the
second it appears, you can defeat emerald quite easily. If this doesn''t work
the first time round, keep trying. It''ll be down to luck most of the time, but
perserverance is the key.


Here are a few bits of info that will come in useful during the game

1) In Midgar in the area west of Aeris'' house, in the house in the far right
bottom corner, go upstairs and
check the wall on the left
2) In the Shin-Ra building, check in the lobby area
3) At the Gold Saucer, it is in the lobby area for the Ghost hotel
4) In Cosmo Canyon, in the Shildra Inn, it is on the wall
5) In Cosmo Canyon, to the left of the weapon shop there is a note on the post.
Read it.
6) In Wutai, in Yuffie''s house, on the walls near the trap downstairs is
another banner

If you read all of these during the game, go to the Turtle''s Paradise in
Wutai, to gain one of each of the
sources and a megalixir


When you are on the rocket with the huge materia, the code for the Materia is;


At the bone village, dig in the area where you found the Lunar Harp (where the
smoke from the chimley
rises). With this key you can go back into Sector Five in Midgar


Where you will find everyone''s best weapon (or not as the case may be)

Cloud: Ultima Weapon;
Defeat Ultima Weapon
Increases damage with HP

Tifa: Premium Heart
Go back to Sector 5 in Disk 3 and visit the item shop (the one with the gun on
Increases damage as limit break bar fills up

Aeris: Venus Gospel
Found at Temple of the Ancients in the clock tower
Increases damage if allies have low HP

Barret: Missing Score
On the raid at Midgar on Disk 2, have Barret in your party while going up the
stair case to Hojo, after
defeating Proud Clod. A green chest has it in
Increases damage with AP on materia

Red XIII: Limited Moon
Go back to Cosmo Canyon with Red XIII in your party and go to the observatory
Increases damage with MP

Cait Sith: HP Shout
On the raid in Midgar, follow the tunnels up until you see a ladder to your
left which leads into a shaft. This
will bring you in front of the Shin-ra building. Go to the 64th floor and check
the lockers in the north
Increases damage with HP. The more HP you have, the more damage done

Cid: Venus Gospel
Talk to the old man in town who always looks up at the rocket after the rocket
has exploded
Increases damage with MP

Yuffie: Conformer
Found in Sunken Gelinka
Does more damage to enemies of a higher level than Yuffie

Vincent: Death Penalty
Found in waterfall on disk 3 along with level 4 limit
Increases damage with each kill


Many of you will want to use absolutely no-materia at all through the game for
any reason. So, for you people out there, here''s a way of crossing the Midgar
Zolom''s swamp without a chocobo (a bit underhanded, but it works)

a) Begin walking across the swamp, and let the snake follow you

b) wait until he is just about to pounce on you, and then enter the menu

c) save the game and QUIT FROM THE MENU

d) reload the game again. You should find that you are where you last saved,
but the Midgar Zolom is all the way at the otherside of the desert again. Now
you should be able to cross the rest of the way without hastle


Thanks to Squaresoft for robbing me of hours upon hours of my life with their
RPG''s. Keep up the good
work lads! Also thanks to anyone who ever helped me with FF7 in anyway. Too
many names to mention
here. Also, a big thanks to my mate, who will remain anon, who inspired me to
write this damn thing in the
first place. Thanks to my mum and dad for ''gettin'' down'' in the first place

The following is a list of people who have outlined my arrogance and corrected
my faq (thanks!);