Materia-Only Challenge FAQ .-----------------------------. | Copyright 2007 Steven Marr | | By Steven Marr (aka Xenomic)| | firstname.lastname@example.org | | email@example.com | | firstname.lastname@example.org| | email@example.com| | firstname.lastname@example.org| | AIM: Xenomic, AnkokuRyu | | YIM: Ankoku_no_ryu| | | '-----------------------------' --------------------------------- Legal Script --------------------------------- All copyrights and trademarks are acknowledged where are not specifically mentioned. If you wish to reproduce this document AS IS, you may do so after asking my permission, and not for profit. If I see fit, I, however, will revoke permission and ask for it to be taken down if necessary. -------------------------------------------------- Table of Contents -------------------------------------------------- To navigate to a separte section, use Cntrl + F and type in the bracket and the corresponding letter at the end of each section. A. About this Challenge....  B. The Rules  C. Tips & Tricks  D. The Guide  -Disc One- I. Midgar [MID] II. Kalm [KAL] III. To Junon [JUN] IV. To Corel Prison [COR] V. To Cosmo Canyon [COS] VI. To Temple of the Ancients [TOA] VII. To City of Ancients [COA] -Disc Two- VIII. To Whirlwind Maze [WHI] IX. To Underwater Reactor [UND] X. To Midgar Raid [MIDR] -Disc Three- XI. To the Final Battles! [NORTH] E. Credits  ------------------------------------------------------ A. About this Challenge...  ------------------------------------------------------ Welcome to my fourth challenge faq! This may very well be my last faq, unless I get enough requests from people to try and do another challenge faq. In any case, this faq is here for those who want a different type of challenge....one that is pretty tough to beat, but only as tough as you make it (unlike some challenges like the SCIENMNANE challenge). Use this faq as a quick reference rather than reading all the way through if you decide that you want to attempt this challenge. That way, you can fully enjoy the challenge without making it too easy for you. There are also much harder and stricter versions of this challenge, such as the Magic-Materia Only, Command-Materia Only, and Necrosis' MO Challenges. If you want something much harder than this challenge, then by all means, try one of the aforementioned challenges. ------------------------------------------------------ B. The Rules  ------------------------------------------------------ Basically, the MO challenge revolves around your use of strictly materia. Here are some of the rules that applies to this challenge (others can be added on to make the challenge harder): -NI (No Items)- You may never use any items throughout this entire challenge. The only exceptions are the Batteries and the Save Crystal. -NPA (No Physical Attacks)- You may never use the Attack command. No materia may interfere with this rule. -NLB (No Limit Breaks)- You may never use the Limit Break command. Ever. -NNMI (No Non-Mandatory Inns)- You cannot use any inns or free recovery spots unless you are forced to. The hardest part of this challenge. Some additional rules that you may add on: -NE (No Escape)- You are not allowed to escape any random encounters. All encounters must be fought and won. This can very well make the challenge downright impossible to complete. -IE (Initial Equipment)- You can only use what equipment the character starts with. Makes you have to think of what materia you'll want each character equipped with, and may force you to use characters like Vincent, Cid, and Cait Sith. -NA (No Accessories)- You can never equip an accessory. Can make the challenge impossible due to Sephiroth. Also, the following Materia are banned: All HP Absorb MP Absorb MP Turbo W-Item Steal Morph Double Cut Slash-All Knights of the Round Added Cut Quadra Magic Final Attack Deathblow Throw Enemy Skill Long Range Counter Counterattack Mega-All Gravity ------------------------------------------------------ C. Tips & Tricks  ------------------------------------------------------ 1) You'll need to fight as many battles as you can before each mandatory heal. Here is a list of mandatory inns (courtesy of lolo26): List of Mandatory Inns: 1. Cloud is healed after you escape Reactor No.1 2. The party is healed in the 7th Heaven Bar 3. Cloud is healed after he falls in the Church 4. The party is healed once Aeris reaches the top floor of the Church 5. The party is healed at Aeris's House 6. Cloud is healed on the way to Wall Market ( just after chitchatting with Aeris) 7. The party is healed as soon as you reach the bottom of the Pillar 8. Cloud is healed after the fight with Reno 9. The party is healed on Floor 67 in the Shinra HQ 10. The party is healed as soon as you have confirmed the death of President Shinra on Floor 70 11. The party is healed before the motorcycle mini-game 12. The party is healed as soon as you reach the World Map 13. The party is healed after the Flashback in Kalm 14. The party is healed in Junon after defeating Bottomswell 15. Cloud is healed as soon as you enter Gold Saucer 16. Barret is healed when he fights Dyne 17. The party is healed after you defeat Gi Nattack 18. The party is healed in Gold Saucer, just before heading to the Temple of the Ancients 19. The party is healed in Gongoga, after the Temple of the Ancients 20. The party is healed when you have dug for the "Lunar Harp" 21. The party is healed in the Forgotten City ( you have to sleep to get the Big Fish out of the way, I always found that a bit illogical but oh well....) 22. The party is healed once you get to control Barret at the Execution 23. The party is healed once you re-enter Midgar 24. The party is healed after Hojo, at the end of Disc2. Non-Mandatory Heals - Ultima isn't on the list because you can't get it. To get it you have to catch up with the Shinra Train, but by doing this you get healed afterwards (even if you aren't able to stop it in time) so it's considered a Non-Mandatory Heal and isn't allowed. - In the the Great Glacier you are not allowed to collapse, to avoid the Heal at Holzoff's Shack. - In the Whirlwind Maze you have to have Tifa in your party before she forces herself into the party or else the party will be healed. 2) Watch how much spells cost! Sometimes, it's best just to use weaker, lower costing spells instead of stronger, more-costly spells. Comet is probably the best that you'll get. 3) MP consumption is very important. You'll want to save MP for mostly healing purposes throughout the entire game. Have at least 2 of your characters with the Restore and Revive materia on at all times. Also, having a couple HP and MP Plus materias make this challenge easier. 4) Don't bother with getting super-powerful equipment. Just stick to equipment that'll heal you from elemental attacks, or just has a lot of materia slots in them. This way, you can maximize the amount of materia that you can carry. 5) If you decide to use the IE rule, you'll have to figure out what materia each character will have. Have at least 2 characters with Restore and 1 with Revive. Have the person with the Revive materia in the back row at all times. 6) Sell off all items that you get to fund your materia needs. This way, if you need to run from fights, you can still buy any materia that you'd need, along with multi-slot equipment. 7) Patience is a big virtue here. Don't expect to win all the time. In fact, expect to get beat a lot of times, especially if you decide to do this challenge as your first challenge. 8) Stick everyone in the back row. You won't be attacking much in this challenge (actually....you won't be attacking ever). ------------------------------------------------------ D. The Guide  ------------------------------------------------------ Now, to start the big part of the faq. Remember, only use this section as more of a reference than as a true guide, so that you can enjoy the challenge more thoroughly and give yourself a chance to come up with your own strategies. I. Midgar [MID] -No.1 Reactor- First off, set your Configurations to your likings. Now, pick up the 2 Potions as normal and proceed to your first fight. Use Bolt or Ice to finish off the MPs this time around, and proceed into the Reactor, using Bolt to finish off all enemies. If you need to, run away to conserve MP. Once you get Barret, stick him in the back row. For this area, you'll be having him Defend in every battle on each of his turn (or once, then just skip his turn). If you get into any random encounters aside from the 3 forced ones, just run. You can fight them on your way back through the reactor. Head down to the first save point and save (hopefully you didn't take too much damage on your way down....) and proceed to fight your first boss. Boss Battle: Guard Scorpion HP: 800 Weakness: Lightning See his weakness? Know what spell you're going to use? Good. Just keep using that spell over and over (and hope that Cloud doesn't get attacked too much. Otherwise, you may be forced to restart). Make Barret Defend the whole battle. NEVER attack when the Guard Scorpion raises it's tail! Otherwise, you've made the return trip and the rest of this fight very hard. This fight shouldn't be too hard. Now, after the fight, equip Barret with his new toy (don't do this if you are doing the IE part of the challenge) and head to the entrance of the reactor (right before you escape). Fight as many battles as you can here before your MP runs out, or before your HP drops way too low. Once either one of these happen, leave. This is the first part of the game where you'll want to be able to get as much EXP and AP as possible before you automatically get healed. After you escape, continue onwards and kill the Shinra grunts that appear. [Skip storyline] -Sector 7- Now, before you head straight to Tifa's bar, go to the Train Graveyard and fight as many battles as you can. If you go to Tifa's bar before the Train Graveyard, you will be automatically healed, and that'll ruin the chance to gain more EXP and AP beforehand. After you are done with fighting, go to the bar and proceed with the storyline. Once you get your 1500 Gil and your two party members, go to the Materia shop and sell all items that you have (you should go pick up the Ether first from the Beginner's Hall, and go buy some Iron Bangles first). Buy at least 2 Restores and a Fire, equip all three characters with a Restore, and give Barret the Fire materia. If you have anymore money, buy an Ice materia and give that to Tifa. Board the train, and head straight to the No.5 Reactor. -No.5 Reactor- Go through the train as normal, and when you jump off, just head north. Go down the hole and proceed through this area as normal. I'd recommend fighting as little battles as possible, but that's up to you. Once you are inside the reactor (did you use the save point beforehand?), head to the same area as in the previous reactor, then head back up the elevator and open the doors here. You can try to fight some battles, but don't let your MP run too low. You'll want to be able to use Cure and Bolt in this upcoming fight. Boss Battle: Air Buster HP: 1200 Weakness: Lightning As with all mechanical enemies, Air Buster is weak to Lightning. Don't use Cure unless a character's HP hits about 120, and stick to using Bolt the whole time. This fight is pretty straightforward. [Skip storyline] -Sector 5 to Wall Market- [Skip storyline] Now, equip Aeris with Restore and Cloud with the Titan's Bangle (and any materia not currently equipped). Fight all battles that you can here before Aeris reaches the top of the church. [Skip storyline] Now, on your way to Aeris' house, fight as many battles as you can. Once you've reached Sector 5, sell off anything that you don't need. Then, head straight to Aeris' house. [Skip storyline] Once you head to Sector 6, stick Aeris with a Iron Bangle and give her any copies of materia that Cloud may have on at the time. Make sure that she's in the back row! Try to fight as many battles before you reach the playground! [Skip storyline] At Wall Market, do as you would normally. Also, make sure to update your equipment for EVERYONE! This is important!Try to make it so that Cloud is the one picked to avoid the battles with Corneo's lackies. Once you drop down into the sewers, re-equip everyone so that they have the maximum amount of slots available and equip everyone with a Fire materia, if you have them. Also, make sure that everyone has a Restore materia to boot. Boss Battle: Aps HP: 1800 Weakness: Fire See why I said equip all characters with Fire? Only use Cure when a character's HP falls to about 150, and keep blasting Aps with Fire in the meantime. This fight is about as easy as the previous boss battle. After the fight, navigate your way through the sewers. Run from all battles here until you reach the Train Graveyard. -Train Graveyard/Sector 7 Plate- Now, here's where you'll want to be careful. Your next mandatory heal is when you reach the Sector 7 Plate. So, what you want to do is run from all battles until you get to the area right before you reach the Train Station. Once you get here, fight as many battles as you can. Once you cannot fight anymore battles, head onwards to Sector 7. This will give you the EXP and AP that you'll need for later on in the game. Now, at the Plate, head straight up to the top and equip Barret with whatever you can. Make sure that he gets the materia that Aeris had, and prepare to fight your next boss! Boss Battle: Reno HP: 1000 Halves: Lightning This fight isn't too tough at all. If a character gets Imprisoned by Pyramid, use a spell to break the Pyramid and continue the magic onslaught on Reno. Don't use Bolt on him, as you'll be wasting your MP this way. Nothing hard at all. [Skip storyline] Head back to Aeris' house and go through the storyline there, then head straight for Wall Market and continue on with the game. Before you go charging up to the Shinra HQ, make sure that you have at least 3 of each current materia (excluding Cover, as that isn't going to help very much in this challenge). Now, head on up to the Shinra HQ and prepare for a long assault. -Shinra HQ- Don't bust in! That'll hurt you more in the long run, unless you can manage to avoid getting damaged too much. Otherwise, go ahead! More power to you. If you want to avoid the fights, then sneak on through. Kill off the Mighty Grunts on Floor 59, then head on up and kill all 4 of the Mighty Grunts here for EXP and AP (Bolt works well here). Run from all other encounters if you need to (especially the SOLDIER: 3rd fights, as you can really get killed there). Once you've reached Floor 67, you'll be automatically healed, so keep that in mind. Continue on up until you get to the Save Point. If you picked up the Four Slots and Star Pendant on the way up, equip them on Cloud (hopefully, you got the Elemental and Poison materias? If so, give them to Barret). Save, then head on up to face your next boss. Boss Battle: Sample: HO152 HP: 1000 Halves: Lightning Absorbs: Poison Ignore the flunkies, and focus on using Fire on the main boss. Red XII comes with Fire-All, but don't use the All effect! Make sure to keep your HP above 200 to avoid a character from dying. This fight should be over in a matter of 4 minutes. After the fight, go to any elevator and you'll be captured. [Skip storyline] Once you have control of Cloud again, head on up to Floor 69 and save. Here, you should have Cloud, Barret, and Red XIII in your party. Get rid of the All materia on Red XIII, and give him any materia that he doesn't have. Fight as many battles as you can here, as when you go to the next floor, you'll be fully healed anyways. When you can't fight no more, head on up and proceed with the story. Make sure that you take all materia from Cloud and Tifa before you go to the elevator, and re-equip Aeris, Barret, and Red XIII. Give Barret the Star Pendant and Four Slots. Boss Battle: Hundred/Heli Gunner HP: 1600/1000 Weakness: Lightning This fight is pretty easy if you have all three of your characters with Lightning and Restore. Don't let anyone's HP drop below 100! Once you finish off the Hundred Gunner, Heli Gunner will swoop in. Make sure to keep your HP above 200 this time around, and focus on using Bolt for the majority of the fight. After the fight, make sure Cloud gets his materia back. Boss Battle: Rufus, Dark Nation HP: 500/140 Kill of Dark Nation with whatever, then focus on Rufus. Don't let Cloud's HP fall below 100! After the fight, save and continue on with the story. Note that you'll be fully healed before the motorcycle minigame, so fight as many battles as you can before talking to Tifa. Make sure to save before then too! Put Barret and Red XIII in your party for this boss. Also, try equipping Fire-Elemental in someone's armor. Boss Battle: Motor Ball HP: 2600 Weakness: Lightning Halves: Fire Don't use Fire in this fight. Instead, beret the boss with Bolt spells. Heal if your HP drops to around 200-250. This fight isn't that difficult. [Skip storyline] II. Kalm [KAL] Now, before you even enter Kalm, fight as many battles as possible! Why? Because after the Flashback sequence, your party will be fully healed again. Make the best use of leveling up and gaining AP now! Once you go into Kalm, go sell off anything that you don't need, and see if there are anything that gives you more materia slots. Also, buy the Heal and Earth materia here (get at least 3 Earth materias, for good measures, and at least 1 Heal materia). Now, go through the Kalm Flashback, then head back out of Kalm and start your way towards Junon. III. To Junon [JUN] You can get the Choco/Mog and Chocobo Lure materias if you want, but they aren't needed. You can simply use the save glitch to bypass the Midgar Zolom, so don't waste your time with the Chocobo Ranch. Inside the Mythril Mines, ignore the Long Range materia, as it's banned anyways, and pick up all items here (to sell for later). Once you've reached the World Map again, try and get Yuffie. This may take a little bit of time, and hopefully you'll have the MP to beat her AND beat the boss at Junon. However, she makes for a great addition to the team. Make good use of the PHS at this time! If any of your characters gets low on MP, switch them out for another party member! This will help in continuing in the game, and is vital to your success! Once you've gotten Yuffie (ignore Fort Condor, unless you want to get stuff to sell), head straight to Junon and save outside. Switch out party members who are low on MP with fresh members (Yuffie should be one that gets put in immediately). Re-equip everyone (give someone the Protect Vest), save, and go fight your next boss! Don't forget to un-equip the Throw materia from Yuffie! Boss Battle: Bottomswell HP: 2500 Weakness: Wind Immune: Earth If you equipped the Earth materia, you'll be disappointed. It won't help in this fight at all (though gaining AP on it isn't a bad idea. Plus, the MP boost will help). Anyways, the moment a character is Imprisoned by a Waterpolo, cast a spell on the Waterpolo to get rid of it. Make sure that your HP stays above 200 at all times to avoid death. This fight isn't that tough......yet. [Skip storyline] Go through Junon normally. Try and get the Force Stealer! Great for AP purposes! Don't forget to get 3 Revive materias! IV. To Corel Prison [COR] -Junon Boat- [Skip storyline] Once you have control of your characters again, head straight to the boss. You can pick up the Wind Slash if you want (good for AP reasons). Run from all battles to save HP and MP. Boss Battle: Jenova-BIRTH HP: 4000 This is where the challenge starts to get tough. You'll want to try and keep your HP above 250-300 at all times due to Jenova's constant attacks. Fire is your best bet here, so use it! There's not much else you can do except hope that Jenova doesn't get any criticals on anyone. After the battle, pick up the Ifrit materia, if you want it. At Costa del Sol, pick up all items, then set out to Mt. Corel. Run from ALL battles, to conserve MP and HP (unless you use the PHS like it's your best friend). -Mt. Corel- Recommended Level: 21 Hopefully you're somewhere near the recommended level (you have been using that list of mandatory inns to your advantage, right?). Head straight through this area (picking up ALL items. The W Machine Gun will be your best friend!) as normal. Try to fight some battles before you reach the bridge, as when you enter the Gold Saucer, you'll be fully healed. Once you're done fighting, head to the Gold Saucer and proceed on with the storyline. -Corel Prison- Now, make sure to fight plenty of battles before you go fight Dyne! This will give you plenty of EXP and AP (as you are healed before the fight with Dyne....well.....Barret is anyways). Once you're done fighting, go fight Dyne. Boss Battle: Dyne HP: 1200 This fight's very easy. Just keep your HP above 300, and use Bolt and whatnot, and this fight will be over quickly. [Skip storyline] V. To Cosmo Canyon [COS] With the Buggy, you can head to Gongaga if you'd like and fight Reno and Rude. This fight pretty much consists of constant Ices and Cures, so there won't be any in-depth strategy for them (not like there has been any true strats yet, eh?). You can buy the Mystify and Seal materia here, if you feel like it. Anyways, whether or not you do do Gongaga, you'll need to head to Cosmo Canyon. Remember, use the PHS to level up your characters (though Cloud is at a disadvantage somewhat, as he can never be switched out). Once you've reached Comso Canyon, go through the storyline and head to the Gi Cave. Make sure that Cloud has the Force Stealer, Barret the W Machine Gun, and Yuffie the Wind Slash (though you'll have to use Red XIII, so choose the one with the most materia slots on them). Proceed through the Gi Cave as normal (did you pick up a Revive materia or three from Junon?), and if you feel lucky enough, fight some of the battles before the boss fight. Equip all three of your characters with a Revive materia before you go fight the boss. Pick up the Added Effect materia here as well, and everything else. For the Stinger battles, have someone with a Transform materia use Toad on them. Boss Battle: Gi Nattak HP: 5500 Weakness: Holy Give one person the Fire Ring, just in case, and another person the Fire-Elemental armor combo. Try casting Life on Gi Nattak until he dies. Or, if you want to take a more deadly approach (not instant death wise, but still works), keep casting Cure or Cure2 on him until he dies. Keep your HP above 300 in this fight. If you use TOO much MP, then restart. You don't want to use up too much, as your next mandatory heal isn't until you go back to the Gold Saucer for the Keystone..... If you haven't done so yet (for some obscure reason), buy a lot of HP and MP Plus materias and equip them! [Skip storyline] VI. To Temple of the Ancients [TOA] Now, after you are done with Cosmo Canyon (hopefully you didn't use up TOO much MP in that boss fight), continue on to Nibelheim. Pick up everything here (run from all battles, of course) and get the Destruct materia if you so choose. If not, then head straight for Mt. Nibel, ignoring all random encounters. -Mt. Nibel- Here, you don't want to waste your MP on the little guys. You'll want to save your MP for the big boss that's about 5 screens ahead. Don't bother kicking the ladder down, as you aren't going back anytime soon. Save when you get to the save point, switch out any injured characters with more fresher characters, re-equip materia and equipment, and prepare to fight your next boss. Try getting your second Elemental materia here while your at it. Might come in use later on. Boss Battle: Materia Keeper HP: 8400 Absorbs: Fire Don't use ANY Fire spells in this fight, as they heal the boss. Your biggest threat here is the boss's Trine spell, which will do about 500-700 HP to your party. All of his other attacks will do roughly around 300 HP (if everyone's in the back row). Use Cure when your HP falls to about 600, and keep using Ice2 and Bolt2 to win this fight. Try to Poison him with Bio or Added Effect-Poison. After the fight, leave the bouncy little materia there and head on out to Rocket Town. Run from all encounters (yes, I know. You'll be missing EXP and AP, but you can't help that). -Rocket Town- If you want, buy the Barrier and Exit materia. Now, pick up everything in town and sell off all items that you have. Continue on with the storyline until you are forced to go to Cid's backyard. Equip someone with the Fire Ring, another person with the Bolt Ring (if you got it), and someone else with Elemental-Ice and Elemental-Fire in their armor. Boss Battle: Palmer HP: 6000 This fight shouldn't be that hard to complete. Just hammer away with spells (don't use Level 2 spells, as 3 Level 1 spells will do just as much damage as 1 Level 2 spell, and costs a bit less). Keep your HP above 500 though. [Skip storyline] Now, forget Wutai completely! It's impossible to do the sidequest there, as you have to use Materia. Instead, go to the Gold Saucer. Now, if you can be bothered to, fight until you can't fight anymore (use all characters to fight enemies). This is better to do at Wutai, before the activation point for the sidequest. That way, you can level up some and gain some AP for your materia. After you get through with the Gold Saucer, head on down to the Temple of the Ancients. -Temple of the Ancients- A little trick before going into the Temple: Try and go back to the Chocobo Ranch area and fight the elephant enemies. Wait until they put all of your characters in Sadness, then run and then go to the Temple. Go through this area like normal (except don't fight any battles here!). Make sure that you have a save somewhere outside, just in case. Pick up everything that you can along the way (you'll want the Ribbon for sure! Luck Plus is useless here, as is Morph, so ignore them). Once you get to the room with the purple guy and the key, jump down twice and go into the second door. The door should now be unlocked. Save, equip Fire-Elemental in two character's armors, and give the thrid character a Fire Ring. Boss Battle: Red Dragon HP: 6800 Absorbs: Fire No Fire spells! Instead, focus on slamming the boss with constant Ice and Bolt spells. Try using Bio or Stop on him (or Added Effect with Poison or Time). Keep your HP above 700. This fight shouldn't be that hard. After the battle, save and continue onward. Hopefully you have Time equipped? Boss Battle: Demon's Gate HP: 10000 Halves: Earth Immediately cast Slow on the boss. This will help tremendously. Even with Slow on the boss, the fight will still be tough to win. Try also using Added Effect-Poison to try and Poison the boss. Try and keep your HP above 1000 at all times (dedicate one person to constant healing!). You'll probably want somebody to have Bahamut equipped (if they do) and use it immediately to chop off 1/5 of the boss's HP. Spells don't do that much damage against him, so this will turn out to be a very long battle. Summons are your best bet to surviving, but they do cost a lot of MP to use. Hope that you can Poison him, and let the Poison lower him down or kill him. [Skip storyline] After you get control of Cloud again, immediately set your sights on the City of the Ancients. VII. To City of Ancients [COA] Fight as much as you possibly can, since when you dig for the Lunar Harp, you get healed automatically. Take this time to go to Wutai or near Mideel to train, or use Junon's alarm trick. In any case, once you've done this, get the Lunar Harp and make your way to the City of the Ancients. Pick up the Water Ring along the way, and make sure that you equip it once you arrive at the City of the Ancients. You can pick up the Kjata materia if you want, but you'll probably not use it. Bahamut's better anyways.... At the City of the Ancients, pick up everything. You'll want the Aurora Armlet for later on. Now, fight as many battles as you can before you go rest up, since this is a mandatory heal. After you've fought as many battles as you could, rest up, then head straight to the center of the city. Save, then prepare to bust down your next boss. Boss Battle: Jenova-LIFE HP: 10,000 Weakness: Earth Absorbs: Water Since you don't have anything that's Water-based, you don't have to worry about healing the boss. Be careful when using spells on her, as once you hit her with a spell, she'll counter with Reflect. Your best bet is to have the character with the Water Ring also carry a Revive and just sit there while Jenova uses up all of her MP first, then revive the other two characters who will be dead (don't bother using any spells with them until AFTER Jenova runs out of MP). Use Quake or Quake2 to damage her afterwards. [Skip storyline] -Disc Two- VIII. To Whirlwind Maze [WHI] After you get control of Cloud again, head towards Icicle Inn (via the upper-right exit). Pick up all items along the way (the Viper Halbred will be a very nice weapon for Cid, and the Fire Armlet that you'll be getting is going to help in a later boss fight). Don't forget the Magic Plus materia, as this will help you clobber bosses more quickly! Run from battles here, as your next mandatory heal isn't until after the Whirlwind Maze.....so remember that. Once you've reached Icicle Inn, go ahead and sell off anything that you don't need, and skip on through to the Great Glacier. At Great Glacier, ignore all of the materia here (Alexander isn't worth the time to get, and you can't use All or Added Cut....) and head straight for Gaia's Cliff (you have to skip Mr. Holzoff's place). Get the Ribbon here, as you'll need it for the final battle. Equip one person with the Fire Armlet, another with the Aurora Armlet, and the last person with the Fire or Bolt Ring. This will help against Stilva's Magic Breath attacks. Have your other two characters with the Ribbon on, to prevent Toxic Breaths and Bad Breaths. Once you get to the Icicles, use Fire2 just on the Icicle to end the battle quicker (if you can, try to kill all of the enemies with Bahamut, but make sure that after you get to the Save Point below, switch that character out for a fresh character). Once you reach the save point before the recovery springs (remember, you can't use this springs), switch out for fresh characters if you have to. Give Cloud the Fire Armlet, another character the Aurora Armlet and Fire Ring, and the third character Elemental-Fire and Elemental-Ice in their armor. Boss Battle: Schizo HP: 18,000 (both necks) Weakness: Ice (Left); Fire (Right) Absorbs: Fire (Left): Ice (Right) This fight is rather simple. You can opt to use Cure everytime your party gets to around 1200 HP and wait until the boss runs out of MP, or you can simply blast one head with constant spells that it's weak against. Just make sure your party's HP is above 1500 before you kill a head at any time. This fight will drain a lot of your MP, so you'll probably need to switch out characters when you get into the Whirlwind Maze. -Whirlwind Maze- Note that you HAVE to have Tifa in your party before you go into the Whirlwind Maze. Otherwise, you'll get healed. Now, once you get to the save point (pick up the Neo Bahamut materia first), switch out your characters with fresh characters. Equip someone with the Neo Bahamut materia (another person should have the Bahamut materia on). Proceed through this area as normal (except run from all encounters). Now, before you get to the next boss, equip one person with the Fire Ring, another with the Fire Armlet, and the last with Fire-Elemental in their armor. Boss Battle: Jenova-DEATH HP: 25,000 If your Fire and Elemental materia were at Level 2 at the very least, and you equipped the rest of the aforementioned equipment, then this fight is a walk in the park. Use Bahamut and Neo Bahamut to really damage the boss (but if you don't want to use too much MP, then go for the low-cost spells like Fire2, Quake2, and the like. This fight really isn't hard by any means. Now, if you can be bothered to, fight as many battles as you can before heading onwards. [Skip storyline] IX. To Underwater Reactor [UND] Now, ignore all non-mandatory fights here and escape Junon. Not that hard. After Junon, head straight for Mideel and proceed on with the storyline. Now, here's one of the 2 most tedious spots of the challenge. Hopefully, you leveled up enough early on before this point? If not, then this is going to be really tough, since your next mandatory heal isn't until you enter Midgar, and you still have 3 bosses to bash through. After you get control of Cid, head to Fort Condor first and use the Fort Condor trick (found in the Glitch faq) to immediately end this part of the sidequest. Now, once you go to North Corel and you get your train, don't bother jumping onto the enemy's train, as this will force a non-mandatory heal on your party. Now, head back to Mideel and do the Ultimate Weapon fight (just use Cure2 the whole time to survive). Skip through the storyline, and head straight to the Underwater Reactor in Junon. -Underwater Reactor- Here, just run from every fight you get into. You want to try and conserve your MP for the fight with Carry Armor (though you'll have a few mandatory fights beforehand). Once you kill off the two mandatory Shinra grunts, save, then proceed onwards (after you switch out for healthy characters) to fight your next boss. Boss Battle: Carry Armor HP: 24,000 Weakness: Lightning You know what to do here? Start by using Bahamut and Neo Bahamut, then ignore the arms and go straight for the main body with constant Bolt2 spells. Don't let your HP fall below 1800 at any time, as Lapis Laser will take care of you then. This fight will drain a lot of your MP. After the battle, you'll be forced to fight 3 battles. Take care of these fights by Bio, and head on to Rocket Town after you claim your submarine. X. To Midgar Raid [MIDR] -Rocket Town- Hopefully, you haven't used Cid that much? Good, because if he's in your party right now, you better swtich him out now, so that you can conserve his MP for the upcoming boss. Make sure that you re-equip Cid with materia! And if you can be bothered, go to Wutai using the Highwind and get Cid's Dragoon Lance from the Da-Chao statue. Boss Battle: Rude HP: 9000 Try using Bahamut and Neo Bahamut right in a row to blast through the attack squads and to damage Rude a lot. Yes, it does take A LOT of MP to do (but that's what the two characters are for, right?), but it'll be worth it. [Skip storyline] After you get control of Cloud again, switch out Cid and your other party member for more fresher party members and re-equip materia to them. Now, go get the Key to the Ancients and proceed to the City of the Ancients. Skip through the storyline and head back to the Highwind to make Diamond Weapon appear. Go to Midgar and wait for him to arrive. Boss Battle: Diamond WEAPON HP: 30,0000 Weakness: Lightning Halves: Fire This fight WILL be a pain if you don't have enough MP. Start the battle off by using Bahmut and Neo Bahamut. Then, continue the battle by constantly firing off Bolt2 or Bolt3 (Bolt2 is the better choice per se). Keep your HP above 1500 until the countdown, then keep your HP near Max if possible. Having Ribbons on for this fight is mandatory (and a way to prevent Silence on the third party member). After the fight, go to Mideel and try to level up some. You'll be healed automatically when you enter Midgar. Fight as much as you can now! -Midgar- RUN FROM ALL BATTLES! This cannot be stressed enough! You don't want to waste any MP in any unneccessary brawls. Go through this area as normal (ignore the Turks battle) until you reach good ol' Sector 8. Now, before you climb that tower, take the time to equip everyone with an Amulet (if you bought any). This will help increase the damage of your spells slighty, which is what you want anyways, right? Boss Battle: Proud Clod HP: 60,000 This fight just takes a long time to finish, due to the high HP he has. Try to avoid using Bahamut or Neo Bahamut unless you think you can deal more damage by using them (which I still don't recommend using them. They just suck up too much MP to use). Go with Level 2 spells throughout this fight (make sure that you keep your HP up above 1400 at all times). Hopefully, Cloud will still have plenty of MP for the next boss coming up. After the fight, use the save point to switch out your two party members for fresh members (don't you wish that Cloud could be switched out right now?). Head on up (don't forget to re-equip them!) to confront the mad scientist, Hojo! Boss Battle: Hojo HP: 13,000 Ignore the Samples and go straight for Hojo. Use Level 2 spells here. Bos Battle: Hellectic-Hojo HP: 26,000 Ignore both arms, and attack the main body only. Keep your HP above 1500 at all times! Boss Battle: Lifeform-Hojo HP: 30,000 Immune: Earth This fight is cake compared to the last one. Simply attack with spells (don't worry about healing unless you absolutely need to. Use Cure only to heal, if you must. [Skip storyline] -Disc Three- XI. To the Final Battles! [NORTH] Before you go charging in, go get Sadness on ALL of your characters! Don't bother coming back up at all., as you won't be. If you haven't leveled up enough, then this is going to be rough. You'll need to run from all battles (you'll be using the Save Crystal in the area right before you go to fight the final battles). Once you've reached this area (hopefully you haven't been damaged too much, as you can't switch characters out inside the crater), place the Save Crystal, save, and take the time to re-equip 2 characters with Ribbon, and the last with Added Effect-Transform in their armor. Equip whatever absorbs the most elements on, and head on down to your final runthrough (run from all regular encounters). Boss Battle: Jenova-SYNTHESIS HP: 65535 Immune: Earth Don't bother with Quake or summons. Use Level 2 spells on the main body until she starts the countdown. Once you see the Countdown, heal everyone back up as fast as you can. Let Ultima take it's course (just hope it doesn't kill you). Before you fight Sephiroth, choose your highest level characters and give them your best equipment and materia. Make sure that you have 2 Ribbons! Boss Battle: Bizarro Sephiroth HP: 82500 Immune: Earth You'll need to wipe out the core first, so use Bahamut and Neo Bahamut to damage all body parts, then concentrate on killing the core. Once you kill the core, Bizarro will start using Heartless Angel. This is bad, since you don't want anyone to die in this fight. Use Cure2 to heal back from this while one other person bashes away with spells. Hopefully, if you manage to kill him, you'll have enough MP to survive the final battle. Boss Battle: Safer Sephiroth HP: 150,000 Immune: Earth You don't have to worry about any stat increases for Safer. The only thing you need to worry about is Super Nova and Heartless Angel, as they are the worst thing that can happen to you. Reflect is nice in this fight, but also use Slow on Safer to make him DeSpell himself. If you have Comet, that'll be your best bet. Use only Life when somebody dies, and have that person use Cure2 and another use Cure on that person while the third person constantly attacks. Hopefully, you don't run out of MP before you kill him... After you defeat Safer, feel free to Omnislash regular Sephiroth. Congrats! You just finished a pretty damn hard challenge! Now, go play something else! ------------------------------------------------------ E. Credits  ------------------------------------------------------ Thanks to Gamefaqs, for hosting this faq. Thanks to everyone else for giving me a reason to do faqs in the first place.