------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Final Fantasy VII - Dirge of Cerberus Ex Hard Guide ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Legal Mumbo-Jumbo You are granted a non-exclusive license to unlimited copies of the FAQ, and to share those copies with others so long as the copies are not modified from their original form. However, because the FAQ is protected by copyright laws, it is illegal: to modify, adapt, translate, create derivative works, rent, stake credit for the work, include in a promotional CD, publish in a magazine, or sell for profit. This document is copyright; GoeTeeks (Neil Ferman), 2006. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Contents (V 1.20) Version Updates ---------------------------------------------------------[Ver0] Introduction ----------------------------------------------------------[Intro1] Helpful Techniques -----------------------------------------------------[Tech2] Bonus Guide -----------------------------------------------------------[Bonus3] Obtaining the Ultima Weapon ------------------------------------------[UWMG] How to Reach ------------------------------------------------------[Reach3A] How to Prepare -----------------------------------------------------[Prep3B] How to Succeed --------------------------------------------------[Success3C] Sea of Flames ------------------------------------------------------------[Ch1] Showdown in the Wastes ---------------------------------------------------[Ch2] Silent Edge --------------------------------------------------------------[Ch3] Headquarters Under Siege -------------------------------------------------[Ch4] Manor of Despair ---------------------------------------------------------[Ch5] Deepground Strikes Back --------------------------------------------------[Ch6] The Shera ----------------------------------------------------------------[Ch7] Midgar Assault ---------------------------------------------------------[Ch8-1] Fight For the Central Complex ------------------------------------------[Ch8-2] An Empire In Ruins -------------------------------------------------------[Ch9] Shinra's Dark Secret ----------------------------------------------------[Ch10] Beginnings --------------------------------------------------------------[Ch11] Omega and Chaos -------------------------------------------------------[Ch12-1] A Finale Chaotic ------------------------------------------------------[Ch12-2] Cumulative Ranking -------------------------------------------------------[CR4] Notes Finale -------------------------------------------------------------[NF5] Special Thanks and Credit -----------------------------------------------[STC6] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Version Updates [Ver0] 1.10 - Added 2 things for Chapter 5 (Area 1 and 2). The Manaheart (obtained by defeating the Dual Horn.) And a more efficient strategy to the Chopper part (tips on destroying the chopper quickly and keeping the WRO members alive). 1.20 - Added a better walkthrough for Chapter 3, which now points out each sniper location. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Introduction [Intro1] This is a simple guide being made to note the changes (mainly additional enemies) for the Ex Mode of Dirge of Cerberus. Take note that it's not a full walkthrough, since you should have completed the game once by now and should be relatively familiar with the areas. I will however, provide info on some of the more tougher parts. I will not point out every Mako Point or item location, and I won't mention any Memory Capsules. I will write this for those that have only played through once or twice and might need reminding of certain areas, and while I mention tips to get S Rank, it is not a guide on how to achieve it. It is mostly to be used to warn you what is up ahead to assist you in surviving this game through Ex Hard Mode. The first thing you may want to take note of is the fact that while you start at Level 1, you keep all the weapons and gil from your most recent file complete. I highly recommend that you don't attempt this unless you have at least a Powered Cerberus. But it helps if you have all three weapons fully upgraded to your liking, and especially helps to have the Ultima Weapon (though I'm writing this while playing through without using it).The biggest reason to have as much upgraded to your liking is so you can focus on adding experience and leveling up at the end of each chapter. Believe me, the game is well adjusted for this. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Helpful Techniques [Tech2] These are a few techniques I've learned to master while playing through the game (and some of the Extra Missions as well). Right-Handed Vincent: Vincent holds his gun with his right-hand. As such, the camera is also positioned over his right shoulder. This is noteworthy because it makes a huge difference when using corners and obstructions. You will expose far less of Vincent's body when you come around a corner from the left side (since it'll be just his arm and half his head), than if you have to come out from the right (because nearly all of his body will be exposed). Factor this in mind whenever you have obstruction and corners to deal with. Corners: Using the camera to see around corners should be second nature to most gamers by now, but I'll give a brief explanation. As you move towards a new open area, start moving your camera to the right and left to see if there's any imminent threats to be dealt with. When you've reached the corner, stand as close to one of the walls as you can and use the camera to peak around to see if anyone is along a hallway or area. Try and locate as many as you can. It's also useful for checking which way holds items or dead-ends, and which way holds enemies. Obstruction uses: This game has a lot of areas where a number of enemies come at you at once, guns blazing, and sometimes from many different directions. If there's a box or rock or wall to hide behind, do it. Sometimes you will need to duck to take advantage of this, in which case you need to temporarily stand to take a shot at a single enemy before ducking back down. Peaking: This technique is mainly for the sniper scope, where when you know where an enemy is, you get your First Person View out and slowly move further out of your corner or obstruction and shoot the enemy before they can hit you (or even see you). It's a major lifesaver you'll need the patience for. Locating distant enemies: This is by-far the most challenging part of Dirge of Cerberus. When one (or more) enemies shoot at you from a high place with decent obstruction (Edge being a prime example). In most situations, it may seem like enemies are shooting at you from every direction, because of the speed the little red line moves. The easiest, though dangerous, way to locating such enemies is to position yourself where the enemy (as few as possible) can see you, face the direction you think they're shooting from (often times if they miss, you'll see the red line move past your shoulder and think they're behind you, but they're not). Pull out your weapon and move it around (while moving around slowly yourself) until you see the reticule turn red, or when the enemy shoots, you'll see their gun blast. The moment you know where they are, seek cover or take them out quickly. The most annoying ones are those that like to duck and hide themselves from view until they shoot. Jump/Double Jump shooting: There are times when your enemy is making use of obstruction that rises to their waist when they stand. This is where Vincent likes to shoot when left to the auto-aim, meaning that he'll almost always shoot the obstruction instead of the enemy. You can either bust out the sniper scope, take the time to find/aim and fire at them, getting shot in the process, or simply jump once (sometimes twice) to hit them quickly. It's faster and safer for sure, and sometimes leads to a critical. Critical Hit timings: Most enemies that have a critical point in their head have ways of getting a critical without sniping them. For the most part, their heads usually lower when they run towards you (the right distance, when they face you directly is the best time to shoot them). You will also score a critical whenever they need to reload their weapon, or if you stand almost directly above them, or if you shoot right after shooting them again. Using Items Wisely: For those that like to go for an S Rank in Item Usage, here's a tip. Use your stronger healing items and let your HP get really low before using them (just watch that you don't die). This way you don't rack up the number of items just for using 4 potions to heal about 800 HP. Also, if the situation calls for it, using a Limit Breaker will restore all your health and increase your defense. Just don't waste it when you know there isn't much danger coming up. ^(thanks to the player's guide for this tip)^ Dodging Missiles: The best way to not get hit by a missile is to destroy it before it reaches you. Of course, there's rarely a time when that's going to be allowed, as they may move too fast to destroy all of them, or there's a lot of other fire coming at you. So if you know a missile is coming, wait until you hear it start to get really loud and use square to dodge it quickly. Be careful that you don't dodge too soon, or it could readjust, or miss you but hit the wall behind you and still hit you with the explosion. Believe it or not, it actually helps (if you have the room) to run up towards the missile and dodge it on your own terms, rather than let it come to you. You'll also avoid enemy fire that way, and get closer to the one shooting missiles. It actually becomes easy when you're used to it. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bonus Guide for obtaining everything in a normal or hard setting. [Bonus3] I'm adding here the best (though tedious and risky) way I know of for getting as much gil as you need. It's located in Chapter 10, Stage Mission 3 (Defeat 100 enemies!). Truly a special mission where you are in an area with some moderate cover as a number of enemies jump down at you and you have to defeat them. When you're done, you will have gil. The last guy drops a gold moogle doll worth 35,000 gil when you sell it. There's two good things about this mission. One, you can leave whenever you want (though upon coming back it restarts), and two, you can do it over and over again (hence, lots of gil). ^(Another tip for being able to repeat this gained from the guide)^. Obtaining the Ultima Weapon [UWMG]: In order to get the Ultima Weapon, you first need to pick up the Model Gun. It's located in Edge, and can be gotten right after the mission to protect the boy. After you obtain the cardkey, head back into the door behind you, the Model Gun is directly on your left. After a certain point in the game (I believe around Chapter 8 or so), you'll see the Model Gun in the Upgrade section of the shop. It costs 15,000 gil to upgrade it to the Silver Model Gun, 35000 to upgrade it to the Golden Model Gun, and a whopping 200,000 gil to upgrade it to the Ultima Weapon. Very pricey, but it is more than worth it. It holds 99 bullets, and has the best range, power, and firing speed than any of the other Cerberus frames. ^(Model Gun location and use pointed out to me by the guide)^ How to Reach [Reach3A]: Starting in Chapter 10-4 (Lure of the Shadows), you should have just seen the video where Vincent is shrouded in darkness (due to Chaos) and quickly escapes. In any case, there will be a small black sphere of purple/black smoke. That's how you know you're in the right area. Anyway, go to the shop and purchase whatever you need to. Head up the stairs and defeat all the DG Sergeants (5 in total, including the one in the fake-shop). Grab the cardkey and head up the stairs. Through the door you'll see the small walkway with a bunch of explosives. Shoot the barrel above the door so that you don't get schooled by it when you approach it. You may double jump or destroy them (and call forth a bunch of enemies, including a rocket launching HA Soldier B). Whichever you choose. Manage through that, then pass through the room with the floating mines (shoot boxes and the soldiers that jump at you quickly). Then you have the room with the falling barrels. There's a close (A) and far (B) one that go in a pattern. B, A, B then both. Usually I wait for B, then A, then I move forward, and jump over the third B as it explodes. However you manage to get through, that's my method in any case (^you could also dash through after the third barrel explodes as the guide suggests^). Anyway, then you have the room with the thirty second countdown (move to the opening on the left, it might have been a challenge if you only had two seconds, sheesh). After all that you're in an area full of DG Sergeants alloted along the roofs of several houses. Head down the stairs and use the small destroyed brick wall as cover to take out the DG Sergeants on the roof ahead of you. Then head further down the stairs (where you'll likely get gattling'd). Use the next partial brick wall as cover to shoot your enemies (preferably starting with the gattling guy) through the windows. When you've dealt with them (should be about five), head down the stairs and destroy the onslaught of enemies rushing through the door (Firaga or Thundaga works pretty well). After all that, you'll have three DG Commanders to deal with. The last one you kill drops a cardkey. Head through the barricade on the East side, move down the stairs, destroy the SOLDIER Troopers that leap out of the wall, followed by the HA Soldier S (Sword guy). Grab his cardkey, go to the shop. How to Prepare [Prep3B] : At the shop, buy a full stock of all the healing items (make sure you already have an active Phoenix Down when you buy one). And buy as much handgun ammo (or whatever gun you prefer to use the most. For me, Cerberus is all I need) as you can afford (hopefully a full stock). There is a mako point in there, but you should go in with a full or mostly full (allowing the Mako Point to finish replenishing it) magic gauge and a couple ethers (magic comes in handy for the DG Elites). It also helps a lot (and I was surprised by how much) to have a Cerberus Relief equipped to your main weapon (the more upgraded the better. ^Another useful tip from the guide^). You should have materia (upgraded to the aga) equipped on a secondary weapon (to switch to quickly when you need to cast magic). When you've filled up on everything, get your item shortcut on Potions (it helps to start weak and work your way to stronger, so you don't cycle endlessly. It should be mentioned that doing this method will you get you a D in Item Usage and Damage Sustained), go through the left barricade and climb the ladder, enter the door, and be welcomed by the Stage Mission 3 taking up your screen for way too long. How to succeed [Success3C] First Wave: first enemies that comes up are 2 DG Sergeants at the far end of the room. Next up will be 2 more Sergeants that assemble on the right balcony. Use the obstruction object covering the mako point as cover to take out these enemies. After these two, 2 more pop out, followed by 3 more DG Sergeants, plus a HA Soldier B (RL). After they're dealt with, another DG Sergeant appears high above the entrance door. Take him out, and 2 more come in from either side. When they fall, three more appear (right, left, and center). Take them out as quickly as you can, but after a few seconds 3 more HA Soldier Bs jump down on the lower balcony. When they appear, shoot them and kill them quickly, because ignoring three leads to an onslaught of being tossed around with explosives (be wary of the annoying sliding bridge that occaisionally likes to get in the way. Return your attention to any remaining DG Sergeants. The moment all three are defeated, a DG elite drops down in front of the stairs leading to the door. This solo one should be taken out with melee kicks to save MP, but be very careful not to accidentally exit from here (you may not be able to afford a restock at this point). Anyway when he's taken out, he drops a nice little 2000 gil for you. You've completed the first wave of enemies. At this point, if you weren't able to afford much ammo or items in your initial preparation, now might be a good time to head out and do so. Better safe than sorry here. DG Elite Note: They seem to have two very different tactics. One consists of them running right at you into close range for you to melee to death (my preference), while the other makes them flee as far from you as they can. If this happens, it will probably save you some HP to magic them once to make the fall down, otherwise you could end up chasing them halfway across the room while getting shot at. Just remember, these are the guys that are immune to bullets 'cause of those shields. Second Wave: This part mostly consists of enemies shooting down at you from above the ceiling (yes, way up there). They'll start appearing from both the left and right sides (4 first, two on each side, and then 8 on each section, try to keep moving a little as you pick them off). Then five more appear at the ceiling opposite the door. After you kill the first one (or a few seconds), 2 SOLDIER Troopers and a DG Elite jump down. Deal with the 5 Sergeants quickly (take out the SOLDIER Troopers if they run at you, as well as the DG Elite. For this you need to deal with the greatest threat first (hopefully you can eliminate all five Sergeants on the roof before you need to worry about the SOLDIERs or Elite. But if the Elite is right up to you where you can't get cover, melee him away, then return your attention to any remaining roof boys). When they're all dealt with, you'll receive 3000 gil from the DG Elite and finish with the second wave. Third Wave: If you're a bit scarce on ammo with your primary weapon, this is a good spot to switch to secondary one (save for the rifle, it may not work so well). 4 SOLDIERs will drop down in a line along the center area. Just pick a corner and wait for them to rush to their deaths (they're easilly disposed of for an all capital unit). Next up, 3 more SOLDIERs and a HA Soldier S (Sword guy), which you will need to back peddal away from as you shoot it dead, followed by 2 more SOLDIERs and 2 more HA Soldier Ss, followed by 3 more HA Soldier Ss, lastly followed by 4 HA Soldier Ss AND a DG Elite. My suggestion is to keep moving as you take out the Sword guys before meleeing the Elite. But if he gets in your way, either move around him (if possible) or aerial melee (it's faster) him. Or, if he's grouped up with the HAs, magic them all. He'll drop 5000 gil, and the third wave is done. Fourth Wave: Five enemies, this is probably the most dangerous part. On the ground you have a DG Elite, a HA Soldier S (Sword), and a SOLDIER Trooper. On the balcony above the door, you have a HA Soldier B (Rocket), and above that on the corner to the left is a DG Sergeant on the ceiling. Best to take out the HA B and DG Sergeant, as their long range attacks will interfere with the enemies on the ground (though you'll likely defeat the SOLDIER Trooper as he runs right at you). Then try to focus on the bigger threat, DG Elite or HA S, until they're dead, and if you haven't killed him yet, the SOLDIER Trooper. After that, 6 more enemies appear. On the Balcony, 2 HA Soldier Bs (one above the door, one moving along the balcony to the right of the door), on the ground 1 HA Soldier S, 1 SOLDIER Trooper, and yet another DG Elite, and then on the ceiling opposite the door (on the left when you're facing it) another DG Sergeant. Take out the SOLDIER guy running at you, followed by the HA B's, then the DG Sergeant from above, and then the bigger threat between the HA S, and the DG Elite. Next set, two DG Sergeants on the ceiling in opposite corners (one to the right of the door, the other in the opposite corner), and on the ground, another SOLDIER Trooper, HA S, AND HA B. You'll probably have to deal with the SOLDIER first, then watch out for the rocket launchers as you destroy either the Sergeants or the HA B first (whichever you deem the greater threat, those rockets do hurt), and finally the HA B. When they've all fallen, pull out your weapon with materia and face the center of the room. If timed well, three DG Elites will drop in the center, you want to cast your spell (preferabally Thundaga as it has the best spread) at them just as they land to blow them away. You'll probably have to cast a second one to finish off hopefully all three, but aim for at least two, then melee the third one off. You'll get 3000 gil from each of them. And that's the end of the fourth wave. Fifth Wave: Things get a little easier from here. 4 DG Sergeants drop on each piece of obstruction. Take them out, then take out the 2 SOLDIER and 2 more DG Sergeants that follow. After them, 2 HA Soldier Bs (Rockets), a SOLDIER, and a DG Sergeant drop down on the obstructions. Try to take out the HA Bs first, and the SOLDIER when he rushes you. Keep moving around to avoid the Rockets coming at you. After that, you'll have 2 HA Soldier Ss (Sword guys) and 2 DG Sergeants drop down (again on each of the obstructions). And finally, probably the most dangerous part (it's time to bust out that magic again), 4 DG Elites drop on (again) each piece of obstruction. Try to get at least two of them together before unleashing any magic. If you get close enough, you can also melee them but that's not good until you're down to one, otherwise another could come around and attempt to finish you. If you manage to defeat them, three of them will drop 8000 gil EACH, and the last one drops the gold moogle doll (worth 35,000 gil! With all the other gil obtained, you should rake in around 80,000 gil per completion). Each time you do this takes about 15-20 minutes, so it'd be a good idea to have some spare time (although you could make use of that tempsave). Keep in mind, if you die, you'll have to redo everything but, each time you do it and get familiar with it (as well as get stronger weapons and other upgrades to your guns), you should be alright. In the end, you should have your Hydra and Griffon maxed in their upgrades to however you prefer, and the Ultima Weapon (you don't NEED the Cerberus if you have the Ultima Weapon). I also recommend having the Cerberus Relief r, Materia Floater r, Materia Booster r, all three barrels maxed, the Power Booster r, maybe even the Auto-Reloader and Recoil Limiter if you feel like it. It could also help to have a normal Materia Floater and Materia Booster so you can take advantage of the less MP consuming aras (Both in EX Hard and the Extra Missions). Anything else you want is up to you. When you're done, go through the rest of stage (get as many of the 4 items as you want, though the Bayonet Rifle helps in Extra Missions) until you reach the next checkpoint (before fighting Nero), then breathe that it's over. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- EX Hard Mode Notes [EXNotes4] Other than starting the game with all your weapons and gil, there are a few extra things added to the game (other than enemies ^^). First is the shop, you may now purchase Limit Breakers for 12000 gil, as well as a Cerberus, Griffon, Hydra, and each type of barrel (Short, Normal, Long) for 1000 gil each. Allowing you to create a new version of another gun (though it's probably not necessary, but you never know what you'll want). Enemies still die in pretty much one shot from the Cerberus until closer to the end of the game. Chapter Rankings for EX Hard have also become considerably more difficult. I'll post those at the beginning of each chapter ^A very special thanks to the guide here^. There is also the addition of Silver Moogle Dolls which seem to be in very special locations. These each sell for 5000 gil, which helps if you don't start the game with a lot of gil. Now, the best way to utilize gil is to keep your healing items and ammo (especially of your primary weapon) fully stocked with each visit. You shouldn't need to worry about upgrades or other optional stuff anymore. A rather important issue to take note of is that the game does not pause when you open your menu (just like the Extra Missions). Be aware that you should make any changes to customizations or other such stuff when you're in a safe spot. Bosses are probably easier in EX Mode than they are in Normal or Hard. With your powered up weapons, you'll likely destroy them before they can become a big enough threat (save Azul's Behemoth form). This is especially true with the Ultima Weapon. Magic at much later points in the game becomes less effective, as does the power of Limit Breakers (at least the projectile parts. The defense and melee is still well powerful enough). You will not find the following items in the game itself: Long Barrel, Short Barrel, Griffon, Hydra, Fire/Blizzard/Thunder Materia, Sniper Scope, or pretty much anything other than bonus frames and barrels, not even the very first potion in front of the ladder in the first mission. You also won't be given those mini-tutorials upon reaching the ladder, stepping over the Mako Point, reaching the first barricade, or anything else. The biggest difference to ranking is that it takes nearly twice the amount of criticals and killchains to earn S rank. Plus a few more targets, but that's because there's more to begin with. Still, in order to receive S Rank for criticals, you need to get one for almost every target you kill. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1: The Sea of Flames [Ch1] Ranking Category S A B C D Targets >162 161-150 149-120 119-90 <90 Accuracy >75% 74%-65% 64%-50% 49%-30% <30% Damage <950 951-1600 1601-2400 2401-3200 >3200 Crits >140 139-120 119-100 99-80 >80 Chains >140 139-120 119-100 99-75 <75 Items <6 7-10 11-15 16-18 >18 Magic >8 7-6 5-4 3-2 <2 Mako >90% 89%-70% 69%-50% 49%-30% <30% KO'd 0 1 2 3 >4 Time <20:00 20:01-28:20 28:21-38:20 38:21-38:50 >50:00 Part 1 - Start Area 1: You'll start out like usual, with you gun already aimed at the three soldiers ready to fire at you. Take them out as usual and proceed. You may or may not notice the missing potion I mentioned above, but what you should note is the newly added DG soldier at the top of the stairs. Take them out (you should have a sniper scope now, so you can do it in the distance if you want ^^). Proceed on to your first branch. The right path leads to a box with 500 gil you may or may not desperately need (depending on how much gil you start out with). The left leads to about 5 DG soldiers. Note that the explosive barrel will NOT kill them instantly (but it will weaken them). When you've dealt with that small swarm, you'll reach the area by the door leading to the stairs. There's 2 more soldiers standing outside the door, plus another three waiting inside the stairwell. Take them out, and to the right of the door you'll find your first potion. When you head down the stairs, you'll hear the familiar "Area Secure" voice and see the single soldier standing there. When you kill her, more rush up and immediately start shooting you, so be prepared to Griffon them (you won't have any MP until the first Mako Point). Finish them and head down the stairs. Part 2 - Civilians Area 1: Normally when you have to save the civilians that start rushing out you, there's 3, but now they added a fourth and furthermore, more DG soldiers will slowly walk around the corner of the building one by one from the main area. Ultimately, there's about 10 DG Soldiers in total for the main open area of this section, plus two more that shoot at you from one of the houses above and to the left. You'll probably be down to a mere couple hundred HP after this (Unless you want to sacrifice the three civilians down the market area and take your time). Anyway, if you manage that, collect any items lying around and move on, the lone civilian will rush out from the right followed by the same two DG Soldiers. Take them out. Then you can rescue the civilians along the left alleyway first if you like (taking out the two soldiers and beast first) before proceeding to the next spot (past the Mako Point, with the video of the chopper carrying away the tank). This next area consists of around 4 DG Soldiers. One will appear right away, shoot him, then the beast that's running at you. Then keep yourself on the right wall and aim left until you kill three more soldiers. as they appear. When they're dead, aim right and move towards the left to kill the guy hiding behind the right corner of the area. After that, move in about 3/4 of the way and three more Beasts leap at you from behind the tanks. Backpeddle as you deal with them, then approach the barricade. Turn around immediately and wait for the soldier to pop out of the door. Kill him, then the DG Soldier and 2 beasts rushing at you from the alleyway. Next up you'll hear screaming civis and helicopter fire. All you have to do is aim up and to the left as you emerge out of the alley and shoot the helicopter once to scare it off. If done quickly enough, you'll save all four. And finally, after collecting the Limit Breaker you may find yourself in need of it for the next part, saving our precious Rio. Now, there's a big difference to note here. Instead of the 15 second countdown that appears (you no longer need to activate the door), you'll see a "Targets: 0/30" counter instead. You have to kill thirty targets, which appear in higher abundance (especially after you kill about 15-20). It usually starts with a couple Beasts and at least one Soldier (random directions). Soldiers will also appear in many different windows (from all directions, rather than the one window in Normal). The first thing you want to do is head behind the fountain and pick up (and use quickly) the Phoenix Down. Then it's safest to move to the small niche behind the tank and to the right of where Rio is in. That way, you limit the directions the enemies can come in (beware the ones that pop through the door in that spot). If you get close to low health, go for the Limit Breaker, this is likely the most dangerous part of the chapter. When you finally get your 30 kills, the door will open up slowly like usual, but there will still be some enemies that appear, though in few numbers. When the hound leaps out, kill it, grab the cardkey, and the mission ends (any remaining enemies will disappear). Note that Rio and her mother count as 2 more civis. Area 2: Now we move on to our next Stage Mission: Collect the Card Keys. You'll approach the spot with the little girl getting ganged up on by the 2 DG Soldiers and 1 DG Beast. Shoot one, and the other two turn their attention to you. Take them out and approach the girl to make the rescue count. After that, equip a weapon with long range and a sniper scope. As you move on you'll hear some civilians cry for help. You have to look across the fire to your left to see them being persued by 4 DG Soldiers. With a long range weapon, you can take them out quickly (go from left to right, as the left one starts shooting first). If you kill them quick enough, all three civis have been saved. You should at this point have 21/25 rescued (if not you missed/failed to save some somewhere). Anyway, after that proceed on and you'll reach the area with the cardkey, and around 5 DG Soldiers to take out. Dispose of them (they all peak around the corner of the building) and grab the cardkey. Head back to the barricade, head up the stairs, kill the two soldiers waiting at the top, grab the items tucked away around the corner, then head down and be prepared for four more soldiers (one is hidden to the right of the stairwell). Fire might be a good one to use here. Grab another two items hidden away and proceed to the first boss fight. Dragonfly: If you equip the Long Barrel on your Cerberus (or just use the Ultima Weapon), this chopper will be an easy drop with around 10-12 shots. You could probably kill it before or as it makes it's first pass. If you decide to go with a shorter range weapon, it'll be a touch more grueling but it could add some more targets/exp to your final score. After it's health is depleted to about half, it will drop six DG soldiers to the ground each pass it makes (and start shooting missiles while you deal with them). However, it's still a fairly easy fight. If you're not one to concern yourself with rank, you could take on as many soldiers as your items/ammo will allow, as there's a shop right after this boss fight. When you're ready, finish off the chopper and move on. Area 3: You'll be inside a building. Behind the table is a Phoenix Down. Grab it if needed. Go into each room and collect the 500 gil and handbullets before you hit up the shop. Now, take note that you can now buy Limit Breakers for 12,000 gil, along with each basic type of weapon frame and barrel. You still can only buy Potions, Hi-Potions, and Phoenix Downs at this point (no Ethers, Mega-Potions, etc. yet). Stock up on items and ammo (make any upgrades you may wish as well, but make sure you keep about 2-3000 gil on-hand as much as possible in case you need more items/ammo. It's key to survival). Head on up the stairs, eliminate the 10 DG soldiers Azul has the gaul to send at you (the last one takes about as long for your chain to run out to appear, and takes a good 4-5 shots to drop too). And then you finish with this part of the chapter. Part 3 - WRO Members Area 1: The first thing you'll see is the Stage Mission 4 screen: Protect the WRO Members, and a few backs of people in white with large black WRO letters. Anyway, move to the opposite end. **One warning is to not get too trigger happy when the reticule goes red. You could be aiming at an explosive barrel. You don't want to accidentally shoot that as a WRO person moves ahead, unless you don't care about them. They don't actually count as one of the twelve members you need to save.**. DG soldiers only emerge through one door, so take out the 6 quickly. Now you can go around the area and destroy boxes to build up your killchain and gain some items if you want, or just move on ahead. Either way, move on ahead when you please. Next you'll be greeted by three more soldiers, one of which is the guy who gives you supplies, info, and directions. The rations may come in handy, so you should at least get those. (Be careful not to simply skip this video, because you won't be able to get the rations). Now comes the point where you follow them and they split off into two groups. Take the branch on the left first. Watch/skip the video, then move to your left (not the stairs ahead. If you head up those, you'll take a longer route and wind up behind the DG soldiers, who will have had time to kill off some soldiers and civis). Dispose of the 5 DG Soldiers here to save your last 4 civilians and 6 WRO members. Then head back and take the stairs on the right. When you approach close enough, you'll hear one of the WRO say "Civilian safety comes first!" There's no civis around to save, just kill another 6 DG Soldiers and a DG Beast rushes at you eventually, then rescue 3 more WRO members (you should have 10/12 by now). There's a Silver Moogle Doll in this area. Grab that, then get the cardkey, open the barricade on the left first, grab the 500 gil and 4th cardkey, then open the right barricade. Now for the area with the snipers. Get your long range weapon and sniper scope ready, and get ready for the 4 DG Soldiers sniping. Two on the rooftops as you peak out the corners, one by the Mako Point, and one atop the ramp. I recommend Blizzard for the two on the ground, as they can quickly take out one of the WRO. When that's over with, it's time to move on to the last boss of the area. Dragonfly GL: My biggest recommendation here is to make sure your MP is full. There's two Mako Points (one along the South area within a crate, while the other is on the North, behind a building. You have to climb some stairs and run along a narrow path behind a corner to reach it.) I recommend this mainly for the dogs in the next chapter. But after you collect enough MP (or all the Mako points for Rank), start firing away at the chopper with your weapon of choice. You'll hit the wing at first, but eventually it falters a little bit and allows you to hit the top. It shouldn't take much of that to finish it off. Make sure you circle around it while maintaining a small distance to avoid it's gunfire and missiles. After that, Chapter 1 is complete. **Chapter closing note: As you're leveling up after each chapter, don't fret about low HP at the end of a boss fight, as you will be fully healed at the beginning of each chapter. However, if you don't have a Phoenix Down active, you should do that so you can purchase your backup one at the end-of-chapter shop. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2: Showdown in the Wastes [Ch2] Ranking Category S A B C D Targets >65 64-55 54-35 34-20 <20 Accuracy >15% 14%-11% 10%-8% 7%-5% <4% Damage <1000 1001-1400 1401-2000 2001-2800 >2800 Crits >15 14-12 11-10 9-5 >5 Chains >35 34-25 24-15 14-10 <10 Items <3 4-6 7-9 10-11 >11 Magic >8 7-6 5-4 3-2 <2 Mako 100% 99%-75% 74%-50% 49%-25% <25% KO'd 0 1 2 3 >4 Time <11:40 11:41-16:40 16:41-21:40 21:41-26:40 >26:40 Part 1 - Gatling Gunning Hounds Fairly simple area. There's 45 hounds in this section. Try not to get trigger happy and only fire when the reticule is red. The biggest threat here is how much those hounds hurt when they hit you (they take off a good 250-350 HP!). So pay attention to the ones leaping at you and try to take them out first.If you want to go for the Stage Mission S rank, you'll want about 25-30 taken out here. Part 2 - On top of the Shadowfox Make sure you have full (or almost full) MP and an aga ready to go. The first portion consists of some hounds leaping at you one at a time from the cliffs (there is one small wave of 3), so take them out when you get a chance. After that, you'll come to a clearing where you'll see a large number of hounds running towards an upper path. Shoot your aga here (before they reach the ramp) and watch the killchain fly. Now run to about the middle or front of the Shadowfox and aim up at the cliff. They'll all jump down at you, so shoot another aga at them before they land (remember, hitting the Shadowfox damages Vincent, and it hurts!). You'll see another rapid killchain, one or two may survive and land on the Shadowfox, quickly melee them dead. After that, aim at the ground behind the Shadowfox and pick off any survivors. Part 3 - Crimson Hound Collect the 3 Mako points in the area to restore your MP (you may want to switch down to an ara or level 1 if you want S rank in Magic Casted). Then proceed to the next fight with the Crimson Hound. This is the point when you'd want to work on criticals and killchains, since the normal hounds will be continually summoned. Keep watch for the Crimson Hound. When it's on one of the giant rock ledges, is when it's most vulnerable, but it will hop down after a few shots and join in the fray. Simply keep shooting at it until it's finished. Part 4 - Pegasus Riders You'll be surrounded by a bunch of DG Soldiers riding air bikes. The best spot to shoot them is right in front as they come at you head on. One-shot kill. When you've destroyed a couple of them, you'll be able to break away from the circle and collect the Mako Point in front of the barricade. Then you can position yourself to chain-critical the remaining Pegasus Riders until they're all dead. If you need to cast some spells, Thunder would be a good bet too. And that's it with this Chapter. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3 - Silent Edge [Ch3] Ranking Category S A B C D Targets >100 99-95 94-80 79-65 <65 Accuracy >75% 74%-65% 64%-50% 49%-30% <30% Damage <1650 1651-2100 2101-2800 2801-3600 >3600 Crits >80 79-70 69-60 59-40 >40 Chains >40 39-32 31-25 24-20 <20 Items <7 8-12 13-17 18-20 >20 Magic >8 7-6 5-4 3-2 <2 Mako >90% 89%-70% 69%-50% 49%-30% <30% KO'd 0 1 2 3 >4 Time <20:00 20:01-30:00 30:01-36:40 36:41-41:40 >41:40 Part 1 - Hounds and Snipers Area 1 (Hounds): The first area you enter will have a lot of buildings with narrow alleyways. There's hounds lurking all throughout the alleyways, so be ready. If you make it to G9, the hound that drops down on you will drop a Silver Moogle Doll, then 3 more Hounds will leap at you at once, so be ready. When you've explored the area, head over towards the F5 area (there will be a Mako Point), proceed through and talk to the soldier to get his cardkey. Return to the Barricade at the beginning area, taking down any hounds that get in your way. Enter through the nearly invisible door. There's a potion in the back corner, but there's no more Hydra case. There's still some ammo at the top. Anyway, head out of the building, there's three more hounds to take care of before we move on to the next portion. Area 2 (Snipers): Snipers, as you might've guessed, are much more accurate, and they hurt. At least 3-400 HP of damage with each shot. Now if you check your status screen to see how many snipers are left, you may notice that instead of 15 (like Normal), there's now 26. There's 7 in the main plaza area you're in (PLUS a DG Trooper by the Mako Point). All the snipers are located on the roofs around the perimeter. Run back to the alleyway you came from and you can start picking off snipers one by one from right to left. You should be able to hit 5 from that alcove. The other two you'll have to move out a little more until you can see them (they'll be at the 7 o'clock and 5 o'clock area of the perimeter, high up and slightly hidden). When you've killed the 7, head to the alcove on the right and take out the DG Soldier by the Mako Point. Before heading in, you should take the time now to collect items in the other alleyways. Once you head down that particular one, the boy will come (and all the Snipers you haven't killed will disappear too). Now it's time to Protect the Boy. Follow him into the building, head up the stairs and take out the two DG Soldiers waiting for you. Use the shop, grab the items at the top of the stairs (potion and machine gun ammo), then head back down and follow the boy out. There's two sets of guards following him, kill two in the first alleyway you come across, then move to the one the boy is in and kill the next to guards. Approach the boy to activate the second stage mission (Protect the Boy). Sniper Count: 7/26 Part 2 - Bodyguard Area 1 (Boy): Note that the boy won't move ahead unless you're by him. So you can feel free to explore the area in between his movement points. Anyway, 1 Beast leaps down past him, be ready to shoot it. Then proceed through the door. Head up the stairs and out to the upper walkways of the main plaza. Two beasts jump up onto the first bridge you cross after climbing the ladder. You can go down the small pathway where the Materia Floater once was (it now contains 1 whole gil for you!). A couple bridges later, there will be two DG Soldiers shooting at the boy from atop some buildings in the alleyway to your right. Take them down, then move on. A couple more bridges later 3 hounds jump up. Take them down quickly, and notice the boy will start sprinting after this (he wises up). The final bridge before the door, a DG Sniper to the left, all the way across the plaza will make his appearance. Duck down and get close to take him down. After that, the boy will unlock the final door. Head in, move straight to the railing of the stairs aiming down, and wait for the DG Sergeant to head up the stairs. As soon as the reticule goes red, fire away until he dies (it might take a couple shots). Grab the cardkey and you're done. After the video, head back in the door behind you and grab the model gun to the right of the door (if you don't have the Ultima Weapon, that is. If you do, you don't have to grab it unless you feel like it). But continue up the stairs and out the door, because 5 more DG snipers have spawned in the Plaza area. They're all on top of a building, well above Vincent's level. You have one almost directly ahead of you, and another a little to the right, one more towards the center, another one far to the right, and the last one is almost directly to the right on the opposite side of the plaza. After they're taken out, head back down and proceed through the barricade. Sniper Count: 13/26 Area 2 (Alley of Snipers): Proceed through the barricade. One Soldier will appear along the upper walkway, accompanied by 5 more soldiers on the ground. When they're gone, you'll have a long narrow path with a lot of twists, and a DG Sniper waiting for you on a couple of them. Slowly move around each turn with your rifle aimed high. They're not too hard to spot (they're not that far away), so when you see them, take them out. After about three twists, you'll emerge into a more open area. Sniper Count: 15/26 **Before moving on, head back to the main plaza (the one where you met the boy) because two more snipers have spawned in the area. The first is on the south end by the white billboard, and the second is on the northwest building in the west alleyway. After that, head back through all the alleyways and proceed.** Sniper Count: 17/26 There's one soldier on an upper walkway (You'll hear "Complete!"), take her out. There's two more on the right side of the buildings leading to another alley (They're fairly high up, just look at about 45 degrees from the corner and you should see one of them.) You'll need to take these two out before it's safe to come out into the open. After that, proceed up the stairs to the walkway and head towards the Mako Point. Be careful not to leave yourself visible to the alleyway, as there's an ambush waiting for you there. It may be wise to shoot a few Blizzard Spells towards the alley, take out a few enemies waiting for you so you have less to deal with. Grab the Mako Point and, you may have noticed a Barricade that rises when you approach. Once you drop to the other side of this, there's no going back. Barricades block every path around. Make sure you have 19 snipers killed before dropping. No going back afterwards. In any case, you'll have around 5 DG Soldiers to deal with, all hiding behind white boxes, and there's another soldier on an upper walkway (to the left). When you take all of these guys out, proceed along the left wall. The first gap contains a Limit Breaker (which, if you're health is low, might be a good idea to use). The second gap plays host to 3 DG Soldiers, one of which is holding a machine gun, directly in front of you. A further 3 lurk in the back around the corner. AND one more Sniper will come out (further up on the left corner of the building you're hugging), plus another sniper, on the right-hand corner of the building will become visible to you. Step back a little bit to avoid the DG Soldiers (they won't come out of their little niche), and take out the Sniper on the right first. Then aim up and to the right, and slowly walk out from under the walkway to deal with the new sniper on the left hand corner. Then go through and kill the six DG Soldiers, and grab the cardkey (and yet another Silver Moogle Doll ^^). Approach the barricade, but look at the top of the building past it, to the left. Another Sniper. Take him out but head back to the previous area. There's a small gap on the right-hand side of the building with stairs leading up (and I'm not talking about the one with the barricade, this set of stairs is across from that). Make your way across the walkway to the white box at the far end. It contains another 3000 gil. Hop down and proceed through the barrier. Hug the right-hand wall and proceed through the door. Kill the two DG Soldiers that jump down and take advantage of the shop. When you're set, exit the door and move out to the next part of the chapter. Sniper Count: 21/26 Part 3 - Warehouse up Ahead Area 1 (Alley of Soldiers): The first thing you see is the video showing the staircase with more soldiers perched on it. Blowing up the barrel might take out 1 or 2 of them, but you'll still have to shoot any survivors. Head up the staircase, and you have another narrow pathway with a lot of twists. This one, though, is sniper-free. But two DG Soldiers will rush out after each twist. When you reach some stairs, head to the railing and aim down. Another soldier will rush out, shoot him quickly, then proceed down and grab the Mako Point, and move on. You'll have a couple more twists before you finally reach an open area with what looks like a very rusty bridge along it. There are three Snipers in this area, all of them ahead of you and decently hidden. Blizzard (or Galian Beast's projectiles) can be useful in locating them. There's one on the ground level at about a 45 degree angle from the left corner. He's your first problem, though he is just a soldier and not a hidden sniper for your mission. From there, you'll have a sniper at the far end of you (along the left). Another is hiding on a building high up on the left side, only visible when you're around the middle of the area. And lastly, the final sniper is hiding behind the cage all the way at the end, behind a couple boards. He's a bit tricky to spot because you've only got a small gap to see him, but he's not too hard to see and kill. When that area is clear, you'll have the final area. Sniper Count: 24/26 A small fenced in area by the warehouse with two barrels, 4 DG soldiers, and two DG snipers. The soldiers are easy to spot and kill, the first sniper is on an upper walkway across from the warehouse door. The second one is perched high atop the roof of the warehouse. When that's all clear, use the shop and enter the warehouse (get a Thunder spell ready). Sniper Count: 26/26 Heavy Armored Soldier This is an annoying boss fight, especially if you want to take out all the snipers in the area. First thing you should do is cast Thunder (maybe ara or aga) on the HA Soldier, this will damage him and likely kill the two snipers at his side. Then move around while aiming at the snipers on the balconies (if you want to take them out. They're not part of the Destroy the Snipers Mission, always be moving around so the missile doesn't hit you). When they're dead, get a decent distance away from the HA Soldier so you can avoid his rockets and start firing away. After some of his health drops he'll pull out a machine gun (so unwise, really) and start firing away with that. When his health drops to about 30%, he'll come at you with his sword. But, his health is probably going to drop so fast you'll kill him as he's changing weapons. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4 - Headquarters Under Siege [Ch4] Ranking Category S A B C D Targets >95 94-88 87-73 72-63 <63 Accuracy >60% 59%-50% 49%-35% 34%-20% <20% Damage <1600 1601-2700 2701-3800 3801-5000 >5000 Crits >63 62-53 52-43 42-33 >33 Chains >45 44-35 34-25 24-10 <10 Items <10 11-14 15-20 21-26 >26 Magic >8 7-6 5-4 3-2 <2 Mako >90% 89%-70% 69%-50% 49%-30% <30% KO'd 0 1 2 3 >4 Time <25:00 25:01-30:00 30:01-36:40 36:41-41:40 >41:40 *Hi-Potion Hi-jinx - If you've been leveling up after each mission (rather than converting exp for gil, as there shouldn't be a need to now), then you should have somewhere around 1600 HP. Since the Hi-Potion only restores 800 HP max, you may see where this can lead to a problem with item usage ranks (if you concern yourself with such). Pay close attention to your health and, if it's well into the critical mark, consider a Limit Breaker or even *gasp* a Phoenix Down over two Hi-Potions. It really depends on how often you need to heal, and what may be coming up. You won't start receiving better items until Chapter 7 & 8. Part 1 (Climbing up): There's a number of DG Soldiers everywhere (on the first floor, 6 running around in different directions). But the main thing to watch out for are the 2 HA Soldier Bs (Rocket guys) on almost every floor. Past that, this first area doesn't offer too much more of a challenge than normal. Just be careful on the 4th floor, when you see a bunch of WRO members and DG Soldiers going at it in close range, not to hit the explosive barrel. And also when you take the left up and head towards the office, try to shoot the soldier heading to the gun turret (on the other side of the walkway) before he reaches it. When you reach the mission where you head to the WRO Command Office, there's a number more enemies to watch out for on the first and second corridor (the two WROs that move ahead of you die quick if you don't act fast enough). When you see some stairs, they'll throw down an explosive barrel at you. Shoot that quickly, then take care of the HA Soldier B and DG Soldiers waiting for you at the top. The final corridor has 3 more DG Soldiers and 2 HA Soldier Bs waiting for you before you finally reach the office. After all of that, you can now do the gun turret mission (swiftly eliminate the reinforcement squad). It's located through the door opposite the door leading to the office. When you hop on the turret, you'll have to eliminate a couple sets of squads, consisting of around 4-5 DG soldiers, and 2 HA Soldier Bs per unit. There's two levels they arrive on, to your upper-right and right angles. You can finally head down to the first floor, use the shop, then proceed through the door on the Northeast corner. Part 2 (Chasing Azul and Shelke): Rather quickly you'll hear a couple cries for help and see a couple DG soldiers right in front of you. For a half second it could confuse you (it did to me) and you might think they're WRO. They're not, kill them quick. Proceed onwards through the corridor, you'll reach a point where you start eliminating soldiers while protecting WRO members (again, watch out for explosive barrels) and collocting their cardkeys. There's also a part where you deal with Bull-Heads (those robotic things that have a plate in front of them. If you start seeing a 0 pop when you shoot something, switch your target). Stay at a distance and equip the sniper scope. Wait until they turn all the way to the right or left (which ever angle exposes them more from your position) then shoot the red and white striped area to kill them. Keep moving along, you'll have two barricade areas to pass through until you reach the final door where you will face Shelke. Shelke: The best way to deal with Shelke is to maintain a distance until she moves up close, then melee her a couple times and move away before she attacks. However, she does have a fast paced move where she rushes upon you and hits you many, many times. It's not a bad idea to use your Limit Breaker and shoot projectiles at her from a distance to knock her down, then melee her up close (careful though, she has a move where she starts flipping mid-air then attacks you at the peak of her spin). She shouldn't pose too much trouble, much like the next consecutive boss fight coming up. Azul: This is probably a fight that's even easier in Ex Hard than in Normal or Hard. Thanks to your boost in levels and more thanks to your upgraded weapons, you can actually damage Azul directly. Although it's not much (usually around 70-80), it still eats at his life decently. The barrels will still damage him more, but he can easilly survive the first five, and is a little less willing to move forward (you need to hide yourself from him). All in all, as long as you strafe left and right and don't accidentally hit a barrel close to you, this battle is easy to win without taking any damage. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5 - Manor of Despair [Ch5] Ranking Category S A B C D Targets >170 169-150 149-130 129-120 <120 Accuracy >80% 79%-70% 69%-60% 59%-40% <40% Damage <4300 4301-5600 5601-7000 7001-8400 >8400 Crits >120 119-105 104-85 84-70 >70 Chains >105 104-90 89-75 74-60 <60 Items <12 13-18 19-26 27-30 >30 Magic >10 9-7 6-5 4-3 <3 Mako >90% 89%-70% 69%-50% 49%-30% <30% KO'd 0 1 2 3 >4 Time <45:00 45:01-55:00 55:01-65:00 65:01-75:00 >75:00 Part 1 (Sewers) - There are now 65 Sahagin to be eliminated (instead of 33). For the most part, you'll encounter most of them as you progress through the sewers. There's a couple areas where you deal with a couple waves of them. I'll point out those areas to give you an idea of what's ahead, as well as give you the locations of the sahagins you could miss or pass up. Missable ones G6: Jumps down by the Phoenix Down H10: Upper level, comes from behind when you get the first Mako Point, also drops a Silver Moogle Doll. E5: Through a tunnel, inside the box. Try to time a melee so you break the box at the first or second attack, and hit the Sahagin right away. That way you can still shoot it for a critical. H9: On top of the pipe almost directly above you. You'll hear it spit. F5: Not actually a Sahagin, but there is a case containing 5000 gil here ^^. After you clear the G11 wave, you'll see a tunnel on your left, and one on the right. Take the left one first. E14 (New map, after the G11 wave and taking the right tunnel): There's two Sahagin on the right-hand side behind a gate that spit at you. If you shoot one and it lives, it will take off around the corner, never to be seen again. You should either aim for a critical, magic them (an ara to be safe), or be prepared to fire two or three times at them. Note that each one only flees when it gets hit (so shooting one won't make them both go away). D10: Falls down when you grab the rifle bullets. C8/9: You'll come across a barricade with a Sahagin nearby that drops a keycard. Open the barricade and grab the items, then 4 more Sahagin will emerge (2 on each side). Grab the cardkey from the last one and open the barricade on the far side to grab another 2500 gil. That should be it for the ones you can miss. By the time you reach the ladder that leads up to storeage area of the mansion, you should have 65/65 Sahagins defeated. If not, you probably missed one of these. Waves E11 area: Drop down from above (By first Mako Point), 2 Sahagin above you, then 2 more jump down, followed by 3. The last one drops a cardkey G11 area: After you kill the 6 Sahagins (two you'll see right away, one spits at you from a tunnel above. The other three are in the tunnel above the ladder). When you take them out, there will be a wave of 4, then three waves of 5 Sahagins that drop down. The best spot to be is at G9 (by the rifle bullets). They'll be forced to come at you in a line where you can pop them one by one. J5 area: The large circular room where you have to press a couple switches to open gates. There's 3 Sahagin on the top walkway, and 3 below. When you jump below, 2 more drop down fairly quickly. Try to kill the 3 below before jumping down. Two more Sahagins will emerge before the ladder to the basement. They should be the last two. After that climb the ladder and be ready to face several DG Soldiers. Three are in a line with their backs turned right as you emerge. When you shoot the first one, the other two, plus another one from the upper walkway will start shooting at you immediately. Strafe and take out the two at ground, by then another one will come out of the corner and start shooting at you. There's still another one on the ground level hiding around somewhere, and 2 more guys (aside of the first one that shoots at you) on the upper walkway. They're difficult to hit because there's lots of obstruction plus the railing to get in the way of your bullets. This is a good area to work on double-jump shooting. When you've finally finished off all (counts) 8 DG Soldiers, you'll have the area underneath the grate to do. Grab the item, then prepare to take out the soldiers emerging from the tunnels. They take their time in appearing (the three that normally come on the large tunnel to the right start coming one at a time). There's two tunnels on the left side that each house a DG Soldier, one on the left by the gate that houses another one, and a large one that houses three more. If you can get the timing right to where you kill them just as they come, it's a great place to build up a killchain count and some extra experience. You can shoot to your heart's content, just don't waste ALL your ammo. Of course, screwing up will lead to a lot of being shot and using items. It's best to back down quickly before using two much of your healing items. Anyway, when you're done with that, proceed up one level of the elevator. Take out anyone you might have missed as you grab the Mako Point, then head to the stairs that wind down. Two more soldiers appear just as you take a step on the stairs, so kill them quick. At the bottom is a shop, make use of it (sell that Silver Moogle Doll ^^), then proceed up the final level of the elevator. Run across the bridge and watch the door slam in your face, then run back and watch that one slam. Then turn to the West side as the wall opens up. Three soldiers will come, followed by two more after they're defeated. Make use of the boxes and try to wait until they have to reload before taking them out (or else you'll get some HP whittled out of you). After the first door closes, you'll probably be waiting for the one on the East to open but... four soldiers will drop down from above, all in a line. Stand at one of the doors and start shooting them down one by one. THEN the East door will open up. You'll have three soldiers, followed by two more and a HA Soldier B (Rocket). Take out the HA B first then make use of the boxes for the last to soldiers. When that closes proceed onwards to the final elevator and you're done with this part. Part 2 - Mako Gear Cait The only real difference on EX Hard here would be how much more those bullets can hurt Cait. So if you're good at staying under cover (where's those Box type Cs when you need them? No one suspects the moving box!), you'll have nothing to worry about. So, first move along to the right until you see the video play. Wait for the guard to turn around and head back past the box, then run up to the box and hide behind it. Wait patiently for him to turn back around and reach the box as you move along the other side of it and run past him. There's a drop off to your left. Simply run off in full force and you'll drop to the pipe below. Repeat again and wait for the two soldiers to turn around. Timed right you can quickly jump to the platform and continue to move ahead. If you fall down and have to climb the ladder, you'll likely have to hide behind the crate until you see the guards return and turn back around. The moment it's clear, take the path to the right and swiftly move behind the crate by the ledge when you get a chance. *Warning: The moment you hit the corner of the ladder, a video will play, and when it returns, Cait will be standing right in the middle of the ladder where the soldier you just worked so hard to pass CAN see you if he looks to his right. If you activate it, quickly move back to the left for better cover.* When the guard by the crate leaves, approach the ladder and move the camera down to see the soldier below. He has a short paced walk, but the moment he turns around, run down and to the left, past the ladder and seek a meager bit of cover from the rusty barrel (not the explosive one). You'll see another video. Wait for the guard to start walking away and push the explosive barrel at him (wait for him to get at least halfway down or the explosion can hit and kill Cait. Who'd want that?). Run down the hall and move to the right, seeking cover by the explosive barrel. This is where it gets tricky. You have the guard who will be a future victim of Cait's ability to roll things (poor guard...), AND the guard from below the ladder (earlier avoided) that may seem insignifacant on your right. What you have to do is wait until the guard on the right turns around, and the guard ahead of you walks behind the corner of crates before pushing the barell (Don't worry, it'll still hit him). Then run behind the crates, jump up to the first crate (wait until the guard turns around again... yes, he's that annoying), then drop behind the shield robots. Approach the hole and watch another video. You're almost there. Head to the stairs leading up and jump over the barrel (might take a couple tries). Time it when the guard reaches about the halfway between 5 and 6 o'clock area, then push the barrel. After this, you've got the last trick. Two guards are circling a pillar at exact opposite ends. You need to sneak in the halfway point between them (you can get a little closer to the guard ahead of you than behind, but not too close) and walk at about their pace until you reach the stairs. After that, take the fork to the right and approach to hole to watch Cait... get caught... after all of that (Just like Metal Gear Solid... they always know you're there before you even arrive). Part 3 - Back to they that can shoot stuff. Yay! Area 1 (Reaching the main part of the Manor): Make use of the shop on the right path before proceeding straight ahead. Enter through the two doors and watch/ skip the video (automatically obtaining the first Omega Report). There's three doors (other than the one you came from). The West one has absolutely nothing to grab or anyone to shoot. The East one has 2 soldiers that rush at you right away. When you enter, three more soldiers rush in, and there's another one hiding on the right edge of the door containing ammo. When you leave through the south door, a soldier and beast will come from the left right away, and another soldier is waiting for you through the little arch on the left. Open the next door and take out two more soldiers. Open the next door and... it's safe, for now. The door straight ahead of you leads to a library. Behind the left bookcase is another soldier waiting, and to the right is a Mako Point. Exit the library and proceed down the hall. When you round the corner, there will be a soldier on top of the bookcase, and two beasts drop down from the ceiling and start to rush you. Proceed through the door to the left, take out the soldiers, move through the door on the right. Two soldiers and a beast move out in a line. Take them out, run all the way to the end and behind the corner to grab Omega Report #2. Move out of that door. Round the corner and two more soldiers await you behind some boxes. You can move through the door at the end make use of the shop if you need to, then head all the way back to the other side of the hall. When you open that door, three soldiers (two walking around and one perched atop some boxes) and a beast await you. When you've taken them out, proceed down, round the corner to take out another soldier rushing you, and a final one behind another crate. Go through that door, then open the door on your left, move in a bit (gun ready), and shoot the SOLDIER Trooper that emerges from Vincent's old coffin. He'll drop another Silver Moogle Doll for you (I like how the coffin where the SOLDIER Trooper emerges from in Normal mode is open). Exit there and move on. When you start to reach an open area, 4 DG Soldiers, 1 DG Beast, and 2 SOLDIER Troopers will immediately attack you. Not a bad time for magic. Proceed through the winding corrider (kill the two soldiers that come running around the corner just as you start to move), and then you come to something I hate. Mines. When you hear the beeping noise, start moving slowly until you see one appear. Take a couple steps back and shoot it (L12, I11, K9, and I6 in case you need to know their locations). When the last one is hit (or set off), it'll drop a cardkey. Proceed through the barricade. Approach the pit slowly and shoot the two beasts below. Drop down to the Mako Point and two more beasts jump down after you. Press the button at the top of the ladder and use the platform to cross the pit. The explosive barrel will not kill the 3 soldiers that emerge right away (just a note). Take them out however you wish, and move ahead. Round the next corner and shoot the 3 soldiers, then the 2 beast that run along the walls (you'll have to wait until they land). Move around the next corner and THIS time the explosive barrel WILL kill all four DG Soldiers standing right by it (remember kids, the safest place to stand is next to an explosive object). Move through the door on the left. Move through the two doors ahead of you (grabbing a Mako Point, then a Limit Breaker and some ammo), and proceed back. Take advantage of the shop and head back the way you came. Next up, as you round the next winding area, you'll come across 1 soldier, then a little later, 2 soldier, and when you reach the door with the stairs (you'll hear "CHARGE!") and 1 DG Soldier and 2 SOLDIER Troopers will rush at you. Now this next part is rather dangerous. The moment you approach the door, 3 DG Soldiers start shooting at you immediately. Probably the best way to not lose too much health is to get as close to the door as you can, and shoot some Blizzard spells up. It may take more than one to destroy them though, so you might not have enough MP for all three. But taking out one or two will at least save your HP by a good amount. Anyone left standing will need to be sniped the moment they're in sight (which is well after they're able to hit you, unfortunately). Waiting at the top of the stairs is a beast and a soldier. When you head in the door at the top, 2 more DG Soldiers rush in. Area 2 (There's no more safe in the Manor!): There's no enemies until you reach the stairwell. There's a Hi-Potion at L-5 you may or may not need to grab (within a white box). Move past the walkway, enter the door on the left, shoot the soldier NOT facing the door and grab the 1500 gil from the white box. Exit and enter the door across from you, and shoot yet another soldier facing the window. Grab the Mako Point. Exit and enter the room at the end, this time there's a smart soldier who's waiting behind some barrels (a little to the left). Shoot him and grab the Omega Report behind the barrels. Head back to the stairwell and snipe one of the two soldiers. Two more rush in joining their friend. Try and shoot who you can (you'll need to snipe or jump-shoot them), but move across to the other side. When you're out of sight, they'll rush up the stairs making them easier targets. Head down stairs, you will soon hear "BELOW!". Two DG Soldiers shoot at you from the top balcony while a beast rushes down the stairs to attempt (miserably) to mangle you. Proceed down the East Branch doors first when they're taken care of. There's nothing in the room on an angle, but the longer narrower hallway boasts two beasts (who jump out along the walls) and the final Omega Report (behind the bookcase). Next head to the rooms on the west side. The door at an angle (with some cobwebs running along it, these soldiers aren't paid for their cleanliness) contains 800 gil. When you move through the final corridor, you'll be rushed by 3 DG Soldiers (two of which make use of cover in the back corners) and then rushed by 3 SOLDIER Troopers. The next room has 2 more SOLDIER Troopers and a Beast. When you approach the next door, another SOLDIER opens the door for you and attacks quickly. There's 2 more DG Soldiers waiting for you in this next room as you head towards the door. And the next door leads to the lab area. Head down the hall and open the door on the immediate left to proceed to the boss. Part 4 - Black Widows Should Have Eight Legs You'll start off in a corridor. The first thing you'll see around the corner is a bunch of little red mines. Fire materia equals a killchain here. But if you're out of MP, you can simply double jump over them. Proceed onward, nabbing the Mako point and hitting up the shop along the way. Now when you enter the battle, head up the stairs first thing (avoid the Mako shot along the way). Head all the way to the back balcony and duck down. Move to the room to the left (E-7 on the map) until you're nice and tucked away. If the Black Widow starts firing its maching gun at you, dash out (stand), run to the other side of the room then duck down and head back. It should lose track of you in any case. Once it starts moving around, wait for it to start climbing the wall and reach the ceiling. When it's in sight along the ceiling, wait for it to open up the mine bomb bay and start shooting at it until it falls. Now, head to the balcony and position yourself to where you can hit it (preferably without falling off. The small broken part of the stairwell is a good spot) and start shooting at its underside until it gets back up. Then head back (crawling when you reach the back wall) to E-7 and repeat. Done right, you'll suffer no damage (When I used this trick, it's the first time I got anything other than a D for damage sustained. Go C!). When it dies, you're ready for the next chapter. ^Thanks to the guide for this very useful strategy^ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 6 - Deepground Strikes Back (I think it should be titled Return of the Deepground myself) [Ch6] Ranking Category S A B C D Targets >120 119-105 104-90 89-70 <70 Accuracy >70% 69%-60% 59%-50% 49%-30% <30% Damage <3800 3801-5000 5001-6500 6501-8000 >8000 Crits >125 124-100 99-80 79-60 >60 Chains >80 79-65 64-45 44-25 <25 Items <8 9-14 15-19 20-26 >26 Magic >8 7-6 5-4 3-2 <2 Mako >90% 89%-70% 69%-50% 49%-30% <30% KO'd 0 1 2 3 >4 Time <25:00 25:01-30:00 30:01-40:00 40:01-50:00 >50:00 Part 1 - Canyon and Bodyguard Area 1 (Extra Mission Enemies) - First thing to watch out for is the extra (4th) Sweeper in the first part of this. Make sure not to stay too close when they fall, due to their exploding deaths. The last one drops a cardkey, nab the Mako point and proceed through the barrier. Make use of the shop and let the hound hunting begin. There is some interesting behavior to be observed by some of the hounds before they decide to attack you. In any case, there's plenty of warning when they start coming (you'll either see them in the distance or hear they're footsteps and heavy breathing). You'll reach the spot with the three Epiolnis (those ostrich-like creatures). Shooting one means they all run off (try to snipe the one of the ones on the left for a critical, as the one on the right runs right at you. Kill it quick). Now, rounding this corner and moving ahead a bit, you'll come across a couple more hounds accompanied by your bestest friend ever from the Extra Missions. Those of you who haven't done those, I'd like to introduce a Dual Horn. With at least 10,000 HP, killing it is difficult to do (but it is very worth it, see below). If you do not wish to try, Simply dodge to the small opening on the left to avoid its deadly attack and move on. After taking out the last two that leap out at you, you'll come across a cave (You'll hear someone say "Area under Deepground control! Securing the Perimeter!" and a bunch of other orders as well.) **Manaheart! If you can take out the Dual Horn, it drops a nifty little item option called the Manaheart (another little trinket from the Extra Missions). The Manaheart has the ability to (gradually) restore your MP over time, and better yet, it's upgradable to the Manamind (32,000) which restores MP faster AND enhances your magic (desperately needed in EX Hard). It is also upgradable to the Manasoul (96000) to speed your MP growth and enhance magic even more. The one possible drawback to this is you have to remove the Power Booster, but it's good to be able to have fun with magic!** *Defeating the Dual Horn: It's actually pretty simple to defeat the Dual Horn. As you make your way through the canyon area, rush through, killing all the dogs and ostrich creatures as fast as you can. Rack up as high a killchain as you can (5-6 should be enough) and by the time the Dual Horn starts coming, shoot away at it (Cerberus works best). You should take a good 1500 to 2000 HP per shot. Even with its high HP (around 10-12000), it will drop quickly enough. Especially when you can shoot it in the back (where it's more vulnerable). This item is highly worth grabbing.* Area 2 (Soldier Camp) - The first thing you'll see is a Bizarre Bug. The only way to critical these guys is to wait for them to turn around and open their backs to shoot some sort of acid at you. This can be tricky for the ones that just want to get right up to you and ram. If you notice they don't stop, start backpeddling a bit until they open up, then shoot. Or just kill them without the critical, whatever works for you. Kill the first one, then move ahead and you'll see another bug approaching a DG soldier, kill those two, and a third makes his appearance to be killed. Move forward a bit and shoot the bug in the hole towards the ceiling on the left. Destroy the two boxes (done quickly enough, you'll have a nice killchain for the next part). Now move to the right and notice all the soldiers around. You want to shoot the two sweepers first (with a good killchain, they'll die in one shot each), as their explosive death will kill the nearby soldiers. Then approach the edge a little slower and aim down, pick off as many soldiers as you can, one by one. The moment you head down the ladder and out into the open, a bunch of Bizarre Bugs will swarm down, and a couple soldiers will start shooting at you (those that you couldn't hit from up above). If you can avoid the bugs while shooting the soldiers, you may be able to take them out one by one as they expose their weak-spot. Otherwise, if you find yourself being rammed by bugs and shot by soldiers, fire a materia shot to take the bugs out quickly allowing you to focus on the soldiers. When that's clear, head to the north tunnel and prepare for another mission screen. Protect the 12 WRO Members! Take out the 7 DG soldiers (try to take out the ones by the gun turret first) and make sure you destroy all the explosive barrels. Next up is destroying 15 helicopters. These choppers love shooting missiles at not only you, but the WRO members you have to protect. The only way to keep them alive is by shooting the missiles before they reach everyone (it won't take much for them to be picked off). Taking down the explosive barrels early will help in that they won't blow up on your friends. As for locating the choppers, wait until the WRO change their focus from the chopper you destroyed to the next. If you're aiming for the Guard N Barrel, you'll have to keep all of the WRO alive, including these 4. Which means you may have to sacrifice some of your own health to shoot missiles aimed at them first (they die in one shot). Usually only one or two of the missiles becomes a threat (for others), but the last couple choppers like to fire several missiles directly at Vincent (almost guaranteeing death), so be wary. When the choppers have all taken their pass (destroyed or not), destroy the 3 HA Soldier S's (Sword guys) heading your way, and grab the cardkey. Collect the items and Mako Point (beneath a white crate) in the area and move on. Probably the best strategy you can do is to NOT use the gun turret and instead use the Cerberus (it destroys the choppers in 2-4 shots depending on the angle). You will need to equip a long barrel first in order to have enough range. But you can often destroy most of the choppers before they even have a chance to fire missiles. Below is a list of the choppers, their starting location, and threat level. These threat levels ARE based on using the Cerberus over the gun turret. Otherwise nearly all the choppers (save 2 and 3) will have time to fire off at least 1 set of missiles, making this mission a lot harder. 1 - Comes from over the rocks to the West. The first round of missiles it fires is usually not a threat to the WRO, though one may be headed to you. You can usually destroy it before the next more threatening batch comes. 2 & 3 - Both come from behind the rocks and head towards the WRO building. They are of no actual threat to you. 4 - Comes from the West, rises over the land by the WRO building. Can usually be destroyed before it can fire off a batch of missiles (if you find it fast enough) 5 - Comes from the mountain to the East (directly behind you). Focuses missiles on the WRO building (low threat). Can be destroyed before it fires anything. 6 - Takes a good while, but comes from the mountains to the right of #5's location (South). It too can be finished off before it fires missiles. 7 - Comes from over the bridge structure (the bridge gets in the way of this one for a little while). It appears shortly after #6 does, so you want to stand by the gun turret and wait until it starts peaking over the structures to start shooting like crazy. It can fire missiles off quickly, but it IS possible to destroy it before it does. 8 - Comes directly from the West a little while after 7. It may be out of range at first but as you have a direct shot at its nose, it should only take 2 or 3 shots to finish it. Otherwise it will fire a barrage of missiles. 9 - Another one that comes from over the bridge structure. Same tactic applies here as it did 7. 10 - Another one similar to 8, only more towards the rocks. 11, 12, 13 - 11 comes from the same location as 8 (take it out quickly). 12 and 13 come from over the rocks (the same area the 1st chopper comes from). These last two both fire off a barrage of missiles (8 in total) before you can get a chance to destroy them. This is by far the toughest part in the entire mission. It's possible to lose all 4 of your WRO members right here. But if you manage to shoot these missiles down, you've basically done it. 14 - Comes in the same location as 8 and 11 do. Destroy it quickly. 15 - Comes from the same location as 12 and 13 do. This takes a LOT more damage to destroy (5-6 shots with the Cerberus), but can still be destroyed before it can shoot missiles. Note: The most frustrating thing about this entire mission is there's NO check- point until you reach the part of the bridge with the Black Widow II. So if you fail to save even 1 member until then, you'll have to restart all the way back to the beginning. It's a very dedicated task. Area 3 (Causeway, a.k.a. Bridge) - Head through the tunnel and open the door on the other side. Start shooting at the enemies instantly shooting at you. It's fairly chaotic around here and the best way to survive it with low damage and item usage is to use your Limit Breakers to heal. The homing shots help hit enemies hiding behind smoke or up in balconies. The first half consists of sever DG Soldiers on the ground, all along the East, West, and South walls, plus a couple snipers along the bridge in the center. **There's a cactuar on top of the East red light in the center bridge. You can take out by sniping it when you're done with the first half.** The second half consists of three more WRO members fighting off several more soldiers and hounds (located along the North and West areas mainly). Take them out quickly (try to avoid any explosive barrels that may hit your friends, but the one with three stacks of barrels will kill the sniper up top). Grab the cardkey and move on. The next tunnel features 3 DG Soldiers surrounding a single WRO member. The biggest threat is how easy it is to accidentally shoot one of the explosive barrels, killing everyone ^^... including the WRO member :-(. When you're through there, Move to the next portion of the causeway. Again you'll have several soldiers, hounds, and snipers alotted all along the area. Prepare another Limit Breaker as you blast your way through this area. When all of them are taken out, move on to the next area, and you've finally reached a checkpoint. Part 2 - Black Widow #2 (Still only four legs!) 2 Soldiers on the Right and Left side each, four more up top. Three rush you as you reach the 3/4 point, and three more rush to the stairs when you get close. When all that's done, grab any items on the ground level before heading up the stairs, as they disappear once the boss fight is activated. Black Widow II - Thundara might help eliminate the four soldiers around the BWII. However you do it, off them quick, then destroy the crate on the northwest corner for a Mako Point. Make sure to grab the two items along the bridge (3000 gil and Limit Breaker) before finishing the Widow off, or else you'll lose the chance to grab them again. The missiles will be fairly simple to dodge as will the Mako Cannon (only fired at close range). The gun turret on the East is a good way of destroying this thing while saving ammo. Try to keep it aimed at the missile bay so you can be ready to shoot the missiles down quickly and easilly (it varies the path a bit, so be on guard). Once the soldiers are defeated, this can be yet another flawless boss fight if you time your dodges well. If you don't like the gun turret, go after it at close range and dodge the Mako Cannon (it'll flash yellow right before it fires, that's when you dodge). Part 3 - Storming the destroyed complex Area 1 (Main Entrance) - The first target should be the HA Soldier B towards the left of the center area (standing on a large chunk of rubble). After that, take out the two soldiers in front of you and the one high up shooting down. The other two are easy to spot a little ways inside. Hopefully you're fast enough to save all 3 WRO Members (this is probably the second hardest mission to save everyone). Collect the items and proceed through the door. Head down the hallways until you see some stairs. There's a couple soldiers waiting for you on the right of the stairs (one is behind a pillar along the railing, the other to the immediate right of the corner). Proceed down the stairs and along the pathway and you're done! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 7 - The Shera (2 Hours of Video, 10 Minutes of Playtime) [Ch7] Part 1 ("Old Times"?) - Talk to Yuffie (Just outside the Bridge), Reeve (by the shop), and Shelke (Computer Room) *Note that the shop on the Shera will allow you to purchase X-Potions and Elixers. This will be the ONLY time to purchase these items until Chapter 10, so stock them now (Mega-Potions are also good). Mega-Potions Away - You may have noticed (several chapters ago) that Hi-Potions are not quite cutting it as a major healing item. This is mainly because your levels (if you've been gaining exp. and not converting like you should be in Ex Hard) are a lot higher than they would be for the area you're in. You'll finally start picking up Mega-Potions soon, but even those will soon leave something to be desired (your HP should be around 2000 by now, to the Hi-Potion's 800 and Mega-Potion's 1500 HP restoration). While X-Potions and Elixers are not buyable until Chapter 10, consider using one in the next couple of chapters if you don't need a Limit Breaker and don't wish to use up a Phoenix Down. Part 2 (Do you really think Vincent ever went to a bar to have a drink with Cid?) - Talk to Cid (Bridge), Yuffie, Reeve (changed chairs to the other side), and Shelke several times each (until they reach the point where they repeat themselves), then head to the engine room area. When you activate the video, you're done with this chapter (I know, grueling and tough. Takes so many tries to manage...). ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 8-1 - Assault on Midgar [Ch8-1] Ranking Category S A B C D Targets >95 94-85 84-70 69-60 <60 Accuracy >80% 79%-70% 69%-60% 59%-40% <40% Damage <4300 4301-5000 5001-6200 6201-8000 >8001 Crits >55 54-40 39-30 29-20 >20 Chains >65 64-45 44-33 32-25 <25 Items <7 8-15 16-20 21-25 >25 Magic >8 7-6 5-4 3-2 <2 Mako >90% 89%-70% 69%-50% 49%-30% <30% KO'd 0 1 2 3 >4 Time <26:40 26:41-31:40 31:41-36:40 36:41-46:40 >46:40 Extra Challenging: The game's difficulty at this point rises depending on whether or not you have the Ultima Weapon. Enemies will now start surviving a single shot from the Cerberus along, but not necessarily with the Ultima Weapon. And sure enough, enemies still take a decent chunk of HP even with your particularly high levels (and Hi-Potions are about as useless as potions with 2000 HP, at least as far as Item Usage Rank goes). Bear all this in mind before rushing into groups of enemies. Find cover to keep from getting too beat up, as you may be used to one-shot kills by now (if the Cerberus is your main weapon). Where the Gil's at: This mission contains a lot of gil. There's several briefcases containing 2000 gil scattered throughout the area, plus one containing 10,000 gil! On top of that, enemies have a decent drop rate of s/m/l adjusters. As you probably don't need more than one of these (if any), you can sell any excess for 10 gil a pop (okay, so it's not that much, but there's still around 20,000 findable gil in the area. More than enough to keep your ammo and health items replenished, and maybe even purchase/upgrade some things you may have wanted for a while now). Part 1 (Train Graveyard and 5 members to protect) - Run forward, watch the 2 WRO rush to their deaths (they don't count towards protection, but in area 2 this will become what I call a "problem"). Run through the gunfire (there's a gatling gun going) and aim towards the center right. Hit the explosive barrel to take everyone out (and thank Square that this one actually kills everyone). Keep running towards the back and pick up the 2000 gil (this is the mission that makes you rich). Then move towards the front (along the left) until 2 DG Soldiers and a DG Sergeant rush at you (a barricade pops up behind them). Take them out and pick up the cardkey, there's a shop on the right corner. Take advantage of it, then move towards the 4 WRO to the left. After the video, press forward and take care of the 4 enemies that emerge from the left. Run all the way to the back and pick up the cowardly WRO. Move into the doorway on your left and ready a Firaga. Proceed down the hall, and when you reach the doorway, turn towards the left and rush out. Fire a Firaga at the soldiers waiting to ambush you (it may actually take a couple shots to kill them all). Grab the cardkey and move ahead. The moment you emerge, three enemies will shoot you from the right. Take them out, then turn towards the guy shooting at you from the roof above the door you just came out of. Move forward, watch/skip the video and be prepared for several enemies shooting at you from ahead. 2 in the distance (far distance), 4 at close range (on the right and on the left), and 2 at mid-range (center). Take out the ones closer to you, then turn your attention to the enemies at the area you were just at. There's 4 of them, and they're good at depleting HP quickly. When all the enemies are taken care of (you'll need to snipe the two in the distance), run forward, all the way up to the barricade. A HA Soldier S will jump down to your right. Take him out quickly and grab his cardkey. Head down, take out the 4 soldiers that emerge, and keep moving. Prepare Thundaga. You'll reach a final barricade. 8 of those little Red Saucer robots (that I despise greatly) will head down from the walls from behind, ahead, and on the left (all sides but the barricade). Take them out before they pick off your WRO (Thundaga works quite well here). After the last one falls, pick up it's cardkey and... you're done with this portion! Congrats if you managed to save all 5. But that's kid's stuff compared to what's coming. Part 2 (Rescue Impossible) Area 1 (Snipers in the graveyard) - Take advantage of the shop behind you, then bust out your Rifle. Proceed out the door, and aim up and to the right. There's a DG Sniper up there to take out. Move forward (ignore the missiles being fired, it's just background war stuff). There's another Sniper on the roof straight ahead of you, take him out quick. Run all the way to the back, turn left and jump over the boxes. Grab the Mako Point and 10,000 gil (^^) in the area then turn around and U-Turn around the train. Another sniper awaits just around this corner, up and right (behind the bluish-gray sign). As you move ahead a little more, 2 DG Soldiers and a Sergeant come running around the corner. After taking them out, run all the way to the wall and head left, grab the 2000 gil. Veer to your right and follow that path to another briefcase with 2000 gil, but this one is guarded by 2 DG Sergeants (who jump out when you get close to it). Head back and make another U-Turn around the train. Jump through the car with the open door. When you hop out the other side, move to the wall and inch your way to the left a bit. Aim up above the traincar you just came out of, there's 2 Snipers perched high above the building behind it (you'll see that bluish-gray sign again). Snipe them. Move on, as you move past a small freight, a bunch of enemies will start rushing towards you. Wait until they get close to the barrel and take them all out with that (be prepared to pick off survivors). the tricky part is to come. Area 2 (The Last 9 WRO) - This is the last portion of protecting WRO Members in the chapter. And believe me, it's the most difficult of them all. When you open the barricade, crouch down and move into (BUT NOT THROUGH) the doorway and stick to the right side of the frame. Aim underneath the train car (you'll need the scope) and inch to the left until you see the feet of a HA Soldier B. Shoot the feet a few times until it dies. The reason to not proceed ALL the way through the door is because when you do, the Stage Mission will activate, and the HA Soldier B shoots its missile at the 2 WRO Members right away (killing them). They won't suffer any damage at all until you actually activate the Stage Mission. After he falls, turn your attention to the gun turret soldiers on the water tower (high up and to the right). Shoot the one closer to you (he's the harder one to take out). When he falls, the other will start shooting at you right away (they start shooting when all of the soldiers the 2 WRO are fighting are killed, or if they're fired at). Take the second one out. If all three of the enemies the 2 WRO are fighting (they are capable of killing them without you) before the Stage Mission activates, a third turreter will start shooting, switching his attention between you and the other 7 WRO he's meant to take out. So before you take out the other two soldiers from beneath the train, move forward a bit until you see him and take him out. Then you can finish off the DG soldiers and move ahead. As you approach the gap in the next train area, 4 more soldiers run out at you. Take them down. Now, before you cross the tracks (this is the trickiest part in the entire game), aim back at the water tower. If you haven't taken out the third Turret soldier, do so now. But your attention should be at the fourth turret. The gunner for it won't appear until you cross the tracks, in which case you'll have about 1 second to shoot him dead before he manages to kill at least one of your WRO friends waiting on the other side. It may take a couple of tries before you get a feel for his location before you can successfully take him out in time. Of course, this is only if you want S Rank for this particular mission (You only need 8/9, which is good since the turret guy seems to kill off one before he even boards the turret -_-). Otherwise there's no need to stress and Restart a hundred times. When you're ready to move on, do so. Grab the Mako Point, count your losses (there should be 7 looking around), or revel in success ^Thanks to the guide for telling me about the invisible triggers^. Keep heading past the WRO and collect another 2000 gil. Then head back and move towards the garage area. Area 3 (The final section) - Take out the soldier that appears atop the train. Run behind the chair-like thing and grab the 5th Omega Report. Proceed on, shoot the soldier across the empty trailer, then the one that jumps down from the car to the right. Jump across the trailer, head towards the right and pick up the 2000 gil in the area, then turn around and head the other way. There's 2000 gil and Limit Breaker in the area before another garage entrance. Head into the garage (there's 2 more Briefcases with 2000 gil before the WRO in the traincar). Head into the car when read (watch/skip the video), then move on. Take advantage of the shop on the left before going through the large opening. Just before the Mako Point, a Stage Mission begins (Defeat the Deepground Commander). This can be dealt with in one of two ways. You can either destroy the commander directly (dodging all the missiles and gunfire from his lackeys), or you can fight off about 5 waves of different enemies before killing him. When he dies, all the enemies disappear. It depends on if you want the experience and targets destroyed rating. In any case, the Sweepers pose an annoying threat with their missile barrages and high defense. The rest of the soldiers that come (soldiers, HA B's and S's, and Red Saucers) will fall easilly. Just keep moving around and don't be shy about using limit breakers if your health gets low (the HA soldiers and Red Saucers are likely to drop one anyway). When he drops, proceed through the barricade and down the tunnel. You'll reach a long tunnel and probably see three enemies at the end. Shoot them and press forward. HA Soldiers will appear through the arch at the end of the tunnel, however you won't be able to damage them until they come through the arch. When they're dealt with, move forward. There's a Mako Point to the right of the arch on the other side. Head down the tunnel and 3 more soldiers plus an HA B soldier will appear at the end of the tunnel. Again you'll have to wait before you can start damaging them. Head all the way through the rest of the tunnel and up the stairs. There's 2000 gil at D4 (to reach it, jump through the car at E8 and follow the path), and a Mako Point at I7. Make sure you pick these up before heading to the next boss fight. Shrikes - The best advice to handle these guys would be to stay on the move until you've found a good spot for cover (the train car to Vincent's right seems like a suitable spot). You will take some damage, however if you're not entirely impatient and play it smart, you should be able to defeat these guys without using an item. If your HP is running low and there's at least 2 or 3 left, the best item to use would be a Limit Breaker, as it's homing projectiles will put a quick end to these guys. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 8-2 - Fight For the Central Complex (WRO Are Human Shields Now ^^) [Ch8-2] Ranking Category S A B C D Targets >70 69-55 54-40 39-20 <20 Accuracy >70% 69%-60% 59%-50% 49%-30% <30% Damage <5000 5001-6500 6501-8800 8801-11000 >11001 Crits >50 49-40 39-30 29-20 >20 Chains >80 79-70 69-60 59-40 <40 Items <10 11-17 18-28 29-36 >36 Magic >8 7-6 5-4 3-2 <2 Mako >90% 89%-70% 69%-50% 49%-30% <30% KO'd 0 1 2 3 >4 Time <28:20 28:21-36:40 36:41-50:00 50:01-60:00 >60:00 Note: There's only one more mission here for assisting WRO. There's a slightly tricky part to it but it's not all that difficult. All the others are as expendeble as you wish them to be. Part 1 (Climbing Up) - Follow the 2 WRO to the front of the doorway. Destroy the 2 soldiers standing on the other side, then proceed down and aim towards the left to defeat a third soldier hiding behind the corner. Grab the cardkey and jump to the back right corner for a Hi-Potion if needed. Make use of the shop. Head back and through the barricade. A group of soldiers plus a Black Widow will appear. Try to dodge or destroy the missiles and focus on the soldiers first. You can use the boxes to build up a killchain but with all the enemies firing at you (and since getting hit cancels a killchain), I prefer to destroy the enemies first, then go around shooting all the boxes and barrels in the area to get a good killchain count (though it is good to make use of the explosives by the enemies). Thundaga works well here, but be careful to not be too close to an explosive barrel when you fire one off (one or two should destroy the Widow if you're close enough, and build up a good killchain as well). There's a Limit Breaker at A10. Proceed on, the WRO will start shooting at a couple soldiers that come around the corner. There is a barrel on top of a box, but you have to use the scope to shoot the box because the auto-lock on only targets the barrel. It's a hassle for only two enemies, and the explosion may not even kill them. After these two, there's another two a little further down with a similar situation (barrel on box). When they're dead, proceed on towards the gun turret spot. A wave of enemies come (3 sit down in the opposite gun turrets while 2 shoot at you from the front). Stand by the corner on the left side and snipe the soldiers as they come in, as well as the turret users (don't bother with the gun turret yourself. This leads to a lot of HP loss and lower accuracy). As more enemies rush in, they'll sit back on the turrets, so be ready to keep that up. Some enemies will come in close to you, melee or Griffon/Cerberus them, then return to sniping. When everyone is dead, a final soldier emerges, kill her for a cardkey. Cross through the barricade, grab the Mako Point and 1000 gil in the box, then climb the ladder. Stage Mission 1: Avoid the Aerial Mines. Three mines float around between several barricades that pop up and down of their own timing. As you proceed, soldiers will come at the end of the hall and start shooting you (You'll hear "I found him!"). They're a nuisance and good at distracting you when it's time to move. Study the movements of the mines and proceed slowly, one or two barricades at a time. Getting hit will almost definitely kill you, and the timing is very tricky to explain. You basically want to move towards the next safest barricade available to you. Move through the first two barricades when they open up and the first mine is just clearing the space between the second and third barricade. When the third barricade drops, you have a tight window between the second aerial mine moving just past the space ahead of you, while the first one is heading towards you, AND there may be a soldier shooting at you. If you can clear that, consider it an almost miracle. Next you want to move through the fifth and sixth barricades as the second aerial mine is moving along the right side. And finally clear the final three barricades as the third aerial mine sweeps along the left. If everything times out right, you'll be fine. If not, you'll probably use a Phoenix Down. When you've cleared that, proceed on down the tunnel. You'll have another fight with a few DG Soldiers and a couple WRO backing you up (make use of the barrels in the back), then as you proceed down you'll reach the checkpoint (It's one of the only ones that doesn't have a video to accompany it). Part 2 (Stage Missions Galore) Area 1 - Ready a Thundaga and make sure you've got enough MP for 2 shots, then proceed down the hall. Stand about 10 feet from the base of the stairs and wait for the Black Widow to get close to the bottom of the stairs before firing your first shot of Thundaga. Backpeddle, if it lives, fire a second one shortly after the first. It should fall after that, if not, fire until you're out of MP and keep shooting. If it reaches you, a WRO, or the wall, it will self-destruct and you won't get the credit for it. Proceed on, make use of the shop. Down the hall on the right is a DG Sergeant manning a turret. **New Attack: DG Commanders are now capable of tossing mines that roll along the floor. Be very watchful for this, because it's sneaky, unattentive, and quite painful.** Now, in Normal Mode, you can duck into the floor duct and safely eliminate the Commander with the Hydra, but NOT ANYMORE! The little pit is the perfect spot for the Commander to roll one of his mines along and get you exploded without any warning. Instead, snipe him from the little crack between the wall and the pipe on the right side, and be careful because it might take more than one headshot to take him out (he has about 1500 HP!). When he's dead, proceed down the hall opposite the turret to the barricade maze. The objective here is to find and shoot 5 little floor mines, each of which drops a barricade. The 1st one is on some boxes immediately to the right of the doorway. The 2nd one is on top of the crates all the way to the back wall. You need to double jump to target it, then double jump again to shoot it. The 3rd one is just behind the boxes where the first mine was, on the floor (move through the barricades to target it). The 4th mine is on the boxes to your left. Now move to the crates where the 3rd Mine was, and target the last mine in the right hand corner away from you. You'll have to jump once to hit it. Grab the items and proceed back to the gun turret. If you sit in it, prepare for a large wave of enemies that rush you. This IS optional, but it does get you some extra experience and targets destroyed points (and a possible killchain/critical boost too). They'll likely whiddle away your HP though. Just be careful not to let your accuracy drop too much. Climb the ladder, grab the Mako Point, and be read to shoot the soldier rushing out from the left. Proceed all the way down the hall, grabbing the 1000 gil in the crate and get your Hydra out. Prepare for Stage Mission 3 (Assist the WRO Members. Last one. I swear!). The first phase of this mission is simple: You'll need to crouch and a barricade will raise up. A WRO member will run to a switch in the back and proceed to hit it and make it work. Every 5 or 6 hits, a soldier will try to hit him and distract him. Aim to the right of the WRO's head and wait for a soldier to come within range and fire away. When he hits 40, the barricade will drop and you can crawl underneath the gate. Follow the three WROs down the hall. They'll stand off with a Commander at the top of the stairs (the occaisional soldier rushes down the stairs). The tricky part here is the barrels that drop from the stairs. It takes a couple shots to destroy them. After the first one, rush up the stairs and start shooting the Commander before he can send anymore soldiers or barrels down to your friends below. If you seem to have trouble with the mission (or your HP is low), you can use a Limit Breaker to rush the stairs, take the hit of the barrel (and probably destroy a soldier rushing downstairs), then head up and proceed to destroy the Commander. But that's a desperation tactic. Climb the ladder and collect the items (they are: X-Potion, Limit Breaker, ammo for each weapon, and most noteably, the first G Report). Don't forget to grab the Mako Point on your way back down. Head through the door to your left. There's a soldier standing across the room (a bit to the left) of you. Kill him quick, but the main threat is the Commander that appears in the upper balcony. He'll shoot and throw mines at you while you try to snipe him. The main trick is that there's another one on the right side of the balcony who also throws mines down (with really good accuracy too), and three Sergeants waiting for you when you rush in (each with a giant engine area for cover). There's also a third Commander on the left side of the balcony. Take out the three Sergeants first, but keep moving, and try not to move back to an area too much (keep an eye out for those mines!). Destroy the Sergeants, then take out the 2 Commanders before moving on. Area 2 (After the Elevator) - Ready Thundaga and your MP (including Ethers). As you proceed down the next hall, the second Black Widow will rush down the hall. Get somewhat close to it before you fire Thundagas to take it out, it'll take probably four shots to destroy it now -_- (don't worry about the soldiers or the WROs). Proceed on, up some stairs and be greeted by yet another Stage Mission (Destroy the Sentry Robots). You have to destroy 10 Red Saucers. The first wave of 4 come at you now. They're resistent to melee and won't die in a single shot, so be prepared to jump over them once or twice as you pick them off. Proceed to the elevator and hit the switch. 4 HA Soldier Bs await you at the top, hiding behind a bunch of white boxes. Don't leave the elevator until you've dealt with them (they'll fire a decent barrage of missiles at you, but they're easy to dodge or destroy). Once you leave the elevator, the last 6 Red Saucers will swarm you. Take them out quickly (Thunder might be good if you've got the MP). Proceed down the hallway, grab the Mako Point to the right of the upcoming split, then make use of the shop on the back wall past the split (fill up on everything you can). Head out the door (Hi Rosso!), and before greeting Red, grab the items on the left and right side of her first before activating the battle. Rosso the Crimson (Red the Red) - The good news is that your Cerberus takes a decent chunk of her health away with each shot (the Ultima Weapon takes a good 9-10% per hit!). So you don't have to endure her fast attacks for long. The first part of the battle, move around and shoot her until the cut-scene. Even in the second part, you don't need to use too much cover, just learn when to dodge. Keep strafing when she fires her bullets, when she launches her wind tracking things, wait until they get really close then dodge forward or in the direction they're heading towards. The only really annoying attack is her butterfly kick (she'll jump at you from a huge distance and almost instantly approach you and start kicking you. It's a fairly wide-spread attack that's hard to avoid, but keep dodging back and start firing away when she lands). It shouldn't take too much to finish her, but depending on your dodging ability, you might need to use an item before she goes down. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 9 - An Empire In Ruins [Ch9] Ranking Category S A B C D Targets >170 169-150 149-135 134-100 <100 Accuracy >75% 74%-65% 64%-55% 54%-30% <30% Damage <5000 5001-6500 6501-8800 8801-11000 >11000 Crits >90 89-80 79-60 59-50 >50 Chains >100 99-80 79-70 69-50 <50 Items <9 10-16 17-22 23-30 >30 Magic >8 7-6 5-4 3-2 <2 Mako >90% 89%-70% 69%-50% 49%-30% <30% KO'd 0 1 2 3 >4 Time <40:00 40:01-45:00 45:01-51:40 51:41-60:00 >60:00 Part 1 Area 1 (Shinra HQ Entrance) - Before entering the building, make a full circle around the area and collect the items, Mako Point, and make use of the shop. Then, equip a Cerberus Relief and Sniper Scope on the Cerberus (and maybe the Hydra) then head in. Stand at the doorway by the destroyed check-in station and aim high and to the right. Pick off the sniper there (long-range) then pull out your Cerberus. As you head in, 4 DG soldiers will appear on the balconies above (1 on the left, 1 on the right, and 1 in the middle, plus 1 more on the top balcony) while 2 SOLDIER Troopers will jump off the balconies to attack you. This doesn't seem threatening but without the Cerberus, it only takes about six-seven hits for them to kill you, and they shoot fast. Not to mention the balconies serve as very excellent cover for them (DON'T use a Limit Breaker here. The projectiles only do a small amount of damage and are unlikely to hit their targets from the bottom level). To minimize damage, Immediately move towards the broken glass wall in the back (try to stay towards the mid-left section) and pick off the 2 SOLDIERs. Then turn your attention to the left DG Soldier, and shoot him. Note that you'll likely need to use the Sniper Scope in order to hit the soldiers on the balconies. You may only get his attention, but he'll jump down to make him an easier target. When he's done, take out the soldier on the right, then turn your attention to the one on the top balcony (you will have to backpeddle a bit to reach him). When you've taken them out, proceed up the stairs on the right. Another SOLDIER Trooper rushes at you when you reach the top, easy prey. Now pull out the Hydra and look across the room. There's another DG Sniper at the top southwest corner, and a DG Soldier on the South side. Snipe them quickly, then start moving towards the stairs on the west side. Before you reach them, 2 more soldiers and 2 DG Beasts will rush in from the entrance. Have your aim out and ready to take them down, but be aware that 2 DG Beasts will come at you, and also that the enemies can climb up the broken stairs on the West side. When you've taken all of them out, you've cleared the more dangerous part of the game. Head up to the top level, drop down the elevator shaft, grab the items in the area and then head down the stairs to the lower levels. Area 2 (Tunnel Bugs) - Head down a couple turns until 3 bugs appear. Take them out and keep moving. Before too long, Another bug will drop down while two of its friends join it from around the corner. Take these three out and move ahead. You'll see another bug hanging in mid-air. Shoot it once to knock it down, then kill it. Another bug from around the corner will be hanging from a fence, it will drop on its own and come to you. Take it out. Proceed on, watch/ skip the video then grab the Red Ether behind you (if needed), then move on. Two DG Soldiers and a Beast rush at you. Strafe and shoot to eliminate them. When you move through the door, you'll be in a room with lots of boxes and a walkway above. 3 DG Soldiers will head in, arranging themselves on the left side. They're difficult to hit at the angle by the door, so move to the right a bit, taking the nearest ones out first. After about ten seconds, 3 more DG Soldiers will come in and align themselves along the far end of the room. Utilize the boxes by the door to take them out. Proceed through the next couple of doors, eliminate the 2 bugs (one will be hanging on a glass window) and move on. The next room contains what looks like a lone bug sitting on a briefcase (Mega-Potion). When you shoot it or get close to it, 3 more bugs drop from the ceiling. Prepare a materia shot if you wish or just shoot them. Next area contains a Mako Point, and down the corner is a door with an explosive barrel by it (hmm...). Sure enough, when you get a bit closer, 2 soldiers run out of the door (remember kids, the safest place to put explosives is right by doorways and corners). Inside the door is a locker room area. A DG Beast will leap over the lockers, and another soldier will shoot at you as he comes around the corner of said lockers. A 2nd DG Soldier awaits you on the left wall behind the lockers. When this is down, move through the door and proceed down the hall, making use of the shop. The next room you'll see a bunch of explosive barrels, and a crate. There's 5000 gil above one of the explosive barrels. If it's destroyed, you will not be able to claim it. A DG Soldier will rush in, followed by 2 HA Soldier Bs. Don't worry about them blowing up barrels, they don't aim for them. Just focus on taking them out (which takes more shots than usual these days) then collect your 5000 gil reward. Infinite Bugs - The next area is a tunnel way with 3 large doors that need to be opened by a switch. When you open the first one, a bunch of bugs drop down from behind you. They will continue to drop for an infinite amount of time. You can close the first shutter door behind you to stop the bugs from following you, but take advantage of the oppurtunity for extra exp and targets destroyed counts (and if you're patient and lucky enough, a few extra critical hits). There's a Mako Point at the end, so feel free to use some magic. Part 2 - Mapless Dual Black Widdow TWs - This is by far the easiest and fast dealing with Black Widdows you'll ever have. You'll have two, one on the ceiling and one on the ground. The one on the ceiling simply drops mines on the ground by its buddy. Easy enough to avoid as you don't want to go near the area anyway. The one on the ground will fire its Mako Cannon at you, which is relatively easy to dodge. Just shoot the one on the ground until it dies, then shoot the one on the top and it will fall to the ground, exposing its weak point. Plug away at that and it will likely die before it gets back up. Head into the elevator when you're done and head down. Area 1 (Executive Offices) - When you get off the elevator, you'll be greeted by the first Stage Mission of this chapter (Collect the Top Secret Files). You will not have a map for a while, so here's a brief description. There's four office type areas in each corner. Move in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction to hit each office up before leaving the area. Each office contains an item and a couple of them have a battle. The one with machine gun bullets (southeast corner) contains a DG soldier and 2 DG Beasts. The southwest corner contains the first Top Secret File, and no enemies. The northwest room will contain rifle bullets, a Limit Breaker, and a Mako Point, as well as a group of Red Saucers (HATE!). The final (northeast) corner contains 3000 gil and no enemies. To leave, find the doorway on the east side (between the northeast and southeast offices). Proceed down the hall and open the door. You'll hear "Open fire on the bridge!". 2 Shrikes will rain bullets down upon the bridge from overhead. Take them out as quickly as possible (stick by the door, they'll focus on the center of the bridge at first) before moving on. This next spot is rather dangerous, as a large group of DG Soldiers rush in on the far end (there's a bunch of display cases of materia blocking the area). Stay by the corner and take out the enemies that rush at you first. Then slowly (equip the scope) move around the corner to take out the enemies hiding. You'll need precise aiming to hit them, as they like to crouch and while you CAN shoot through the glass, the pillars still effectively block the area Vincent likes to target. Prepare to suffer some HP in this spot. The next materia pillar area has a number of female DG soldiers plus a couple dogs. Use the same tactic here, and collect the Top Secret File on the right wall when you've cleared the area. Move ahead, there will be a two spots where a couple DG soldiers pop out of doors. Take them out, another door will open where three pop out, and when you kill one, they'll start running back. You'll have to chase them down until you finish them off. After that, move ahead to the next bridge and watch/skip the scene where you get a map of the area. Part 3 - Mines to Darkness Area 1 (1st Elevator) - Head into the elevator room, run around the outer walkway to grab the handgun bullets on the other side. Then head into the elevator and press the switch. Be greeted by the only other Stage Mission (Destroy the Surveillance Mines) in this rather long chapter. It works on a point system. Surveillance Mines will float around the elevator as it descends. You get 1 point for each mine you shoot, and 3 points for each shot mine that collides into another mine and blows it up. There's a max of 99 points (which is needed for S Rank, and NOT just >90 like in Normal). There's 2 elevators of this mission, don't worry about not having too high a score here (you should have around 35 or so), as the second elevator has lots of chain reactions. When you're done, head out and across the balcony, make use of the shop, then head in the door. Area 2 (Offices) - As you head through, you'll hear "He's Here!" You'll see a number of enemies move through a bullet-proof window. Keep heading down, only one soldier actually comes out of the window. The rest arrange themselves in the four offices you'll need to proceed through. The safest way to proceed through each of these offices is to crouch down and crawl around the desk areas in a counter-clockwise manner (compensate for Vincent's right-handed-ness). Slowly peek around corners and shoot any soldier waiting for you. If done well, you may not even suffer much (if any) damage. There's a Top Secret File in three out of the four of these office areas (1st, 3rd where there are no enemies, and 4th). When you leave the 4th office, immediately move to the left wall and take cover behind the random platings along the wall (it never hurts to put extra human-height wings in a building design for cover). Two soldiers hide behind two Bull-heads (shield things). Use the Sniper Scope to hit the soldiers in the head, then aim for the red and white striped back of the bull- heads as they turn back and forth to kill them in one shot. Proceed down the hall, then across another bridge and into a second elevator area. Area 3 (2nd Elevator) - Again grab the handgun bullets on the opposite side of the room before activating the elevator. This second part is much more dangerous in two ways. 1st, the mines are closer together, which is good for chain reactions, but as they fly across the elevator, this means the explosion is likely to hit you. The best way to avoid this is to shoot the first mine in the group while stand a little away from it, then move away from the consecutive explosions and make your way towards where the first mine was. The second danger point is the 4 soldiers that shoot at you from an outer walkway about halfway down the elevator. If you get to 99 points before you're done, play it safe and don't destroy anymore mines. When you're done, proceed across the bridge. Area 4 (To Blue) - Cross the bridge and enter the next area. 3 HA Soldier S's (Sword) will come at you from both sides. Keep your distance as you shoot them dead. Move down a hall and into another room where 2 HA Soldier B's will be waiting (along with a few explosive barrels). Stay put and keep shooting until they launch a missile at you, then dodge out of the way. They have slow reactions here, so you might only need to worry about one at a time. Shooting the barrels can both damage them and help you build up a killchain to make your shots stronger. The last area will consist of doors that slide open. The first will reveal 6 more Red Saucers, the second one will reveal 3 DG Beasts. After you take them out, proceed on down, through the door. Collect the X-Potion and Machine Gun Bullets (if needed) and make use of the shop. Make sure you have a full supply of Ethers and Limit Breakers. Then proceed down the bridge to the main boss. Azul the Cerulean (Blue the Blue) - There are two phases to this boss fight. The first is a basic repeat of the fight in WRO HQ (only without the barrels and your shots do more damage). Just circle around him, keeping the pillar mostly between him and you and shoot at him until he dies (and jump over his shockwave when he occaisionally shouts and hits the ground). The second part is fighting him in his Behemoth form. He's immune to your bullets and melee. There's two ways of taking him down. Magic (which is rather weak unless you use the Ultima Weapon), or Galian Beast. For MP, there's 8 Mako Points underneath those containers allotted around the room. Unfortunately, you have to get Blue boy to step on them to bust them open. You'll want to do this for 100% Mako Collection in any case. But when they're used up and dried out, he's better fought as Galian Beast. Stand a distance and shoot your energy balls at him. When he starts to charge those horns, rush up to him and deliver some devastating melee blows. If he hunches down a bit (after he's done glowing), run away and jump to avoid his tail. It may take a couple Limit Breakers to finally destroy him. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 10 - Shinra's Dark Secret [Ch10] Ranking Category S A B C D Targets >210 209-180 179-130 129-100 <100 Accuracy >43% 42%-37% 36%-30% 29%-25% <25% Damage <15000 15001-19000 190001-23000 23001-27000 >27000 Crit >75 74-65 64-55 54-45 >45 Chains >165 164-150 149-135 134-115 <115 Items <17 18-26 27-35 36-44 >44 Magic >11 10-8 7-6 5-4 <4 Mako >90% 89%-70% 69%-50% 49%-30% <30% KO'd 0 1 2 3 >4 Time <66:40 66:41-76:40 76:41-86:40 86:41-100:00 >100:00 Part 1 Area 1 (Gargoyles) - Ahh gargoyles. These annoying little beasties boast some annoyance. They fly around (in and out of range, behind and around obstacles, plus they occaisionally teleport) and occaisionally shoot slow moving but nearly invisible projectiles at Vincent. You have to deal with 8 after descending a couple stairs. Add a couple DG soldiers that enter the scene after every few Gargoyles you blast away. 4 Gargoyles come at you right off the bat. The others you'll have to move around to find. Head back towards the entrance way after the first three to four kills (kill the soldier coming out), and kill the gargoyle flying around the pillar near the entrance area. There's another one flying around the platform beneath the entrance area. After killing it, you should have 6 gargoyles defeated so far. Start heading back east for the last 2 gargoyles (and another couple of soldiers). When they all fall (you'll hear "He's here!") and a HA Soldier S will come after you. Kill him and take the cardkey. Open the barricade nearby the shop to gain access to some gil and an X-Potion. Head on, when you drop past the barricade (you'll hear "FIRE!") a HA S and 4 DG soldiers will come at you (many of them very intelligently utilizing explosive barrels as cover). Just stay towards the back, strafe a bit until you've killed all of them (get the sword guy first! Another one will emerge a little later on too!). When that's done, swipe the 6th Omega Report right underneath the barricade you dropped from. Then head to the far side, drop down again and move to the door (grab the rifle bullets if you need to). Drop down another drop area (though this one has a ladder) and collect the first Mako Point. Proceed through the door and shoot the soldiers standing at the bottom of the stairs(facing the wrong direction). There's a Hi-Potion (useless) and a Limit Breaker to the right and left of the door (respectively). Head down the stairs and keep moving to the wall. A DG Sergeant appears by the exit door. Use the cover to snipe him (don't get confused by the barrels Vincent targets in the distance). When he's dead, head towards the exit and be stopped by the barricade. 3 More Sergeants will jump down from behind. Run to the wall for some cover again and shoot them as they come. When they fall, 3 more DG Soldiers drop down by the entrance barricade. Finally, after they die, 3 HA Solder S's will drop down in the far end, middle, and front end. Wait until they group together then start shooting them as you backpeddle from them. The last one drops a cardkey. Head down the ladder but be prepared for the 4 barrels that drop and roll at you! You have to shoot them (jumping over them doesn'tavoid them). Next you'll see a nice area full of briefcases. Unfortunately, a DG Sergeant jumps down and grabs them. You have only a couple shots to kill him or you'll miss them forever. There's nothing particularly valuable in there, so don't stress if he gets away. As you head down, you'll see a Mako Point, and a barricade will rise (you'll hear "Below!"). 4 DG Soldiers shoot at you from the balcony above you. Not too threatening, but a HA Soldier S approaches you from behind (he's also carrying a cardkey). Don't get knocked up by him as you're busy dealing with the soldiers above you (you should probably take him out first). Area 2 (Shield Guys) - DG Elites: I HATE these guys, a lot more than Red Saucers. Magic at this point in the game (at least on EX Hard) is very weak. It probably takes 2-3 aga shots to kill them, and around 4-5 full melee combos.The best thing to do in this area is use a Limit Breaker and melee them dead with Galian Beast. When all 4 Elites are dead, the Commander will come down from his barricaded area and start shooting at you. He has a LOT of HP, so it might take a couple rounds to kill him (or a lot of full melee combos from Galian Beast). The only plus to DG Elites is there decent drop rate of good items (Ethers and Mega-Potions). There's some ammo and a Mako Point on the far end of this area. When you've killed the Commander, he'll drop his cardkey. The exit is the barricade on the right. Head through the other side, grab another Mako Point and make use of the shop. Drop down the ladder, and a large wave of DG Sergeants will drop down from the other side (4 on the right side, 4 on the walkway on the left side, 2 West, 2 East). Stay to the left side of the area you're at and kill each Sergeant immediately across from you. When you're sure they're all gone, aim slowly towards the balcony around the corner of the mini- wall you have for cover. Kill the 2 West Sergeants there. Now aim straight across to your left. Eventually you'll see the peaks of heads of the 2 East Sergeants. When you have one locked-on, double jump and shoot him really quick, then do the same with the other. When they're all dead, drop down the ladder. You'll be surrounded (2 on the left, 4 on the right) by more DG Sergeants from the lower area. There's no cover here, so keep moving as you pick them off (Materia shooting the 4 grouped together may help, though it won't kill them even after 2 shots). Now move to the drop-off point (opposite the barricade) and drop down a couple ladders. Here you'll find a number of boxes. One of them contains a cardkey, while the others contain an enemy (DG Sergeant or HA Soldier S) or ammo. The box on the left side furthest you contains the cardkey. As you go to climb the ladder you dropped down from earlier, another Sergeant will come out of the door on the direct opposite side from you. Take him out before you start climbing. Finally, climb the ladder, open the barricade, drop down, and proceed to the exit. Next up, you'll enter a tunnel (bullets will rain down, don't worry about them). Head down, turn left, but crawl through the opening on the right side just past this turn. There will be a Mako Point and a shop waiting for you. After this, you'll arrive to the first Stage Mission. Area 3 (Mine Cart) - Destroy the 10 pursuers. You'll be followed (they all come from behind) by some DG Sergeants riding carts. You get a point for killing a soldier, and a point for destroying the cart. The first two come, one directly behind, while the other on the upper rail to the left. The tracks will unite eventually and another cart with a Sergeant comes along here. The last cart (overhead rail on the right) will have 2 Sergeants plus the cart to destroy. You don't have a whole lot of time to finish this last one off (and it'll take a couple shots to destroy the cart) before the next area. The final target will be a chopper. Pull out your Griffon or Cerberus and shoot away at it until it blows up (you have plenty of time as long as you keep blasting away at it). Keep an eye on your HP though. After getting off the mine cart, head through the door and along a bridge. It will collapse and you'll fall to a tunnel. Part 2 - The Village. Area 1 (Cerberus knows what to do!) - Head to the open area, make use of the shop. Behind the partially destroyed wall awaits 3 more Sergeants. Take them down then proceed on. 3 DG Elites (><) drop down ahead of you. Use the crate for cover if you need to throw some materia on. Shoot a Firaga at the middle guy to knock them all down, then run up to them and melee them. There will be two more DG Sergeants shooting at you from a distance (a little ways ahead of you), take them out quickly. Around the corner another Elite awaits you. When you approach him, he'll jump behind you, run back and melee him. Then, when you get to the end of the walkway, use the crate for cover as 2 more Sergeants appear across from you (to the left, back towards the shop area). If you didn't shoot the explosive barrel before, you can use that to take them out now. There's another Sergeant perched on a roof below the walkway you're on. When you head down the stairs, you'll be greeted by 2 DG Sergeants on the roof to the right, and a DG Elite right in front of you! Another one (holding a cardkey) is on his way. Rush to the stairs behind you (picking up the Mega- Potion?) and melee the Elite, then turn to the right and shoot the Sergeants. By now the other Elite will probably have caught up to you. Melee him dead. When they're all dead, head down the stairs and run to the back of the roof (behind the chimney) for G Report #2. Then proceed down the stairs and through the door. Proceed through the barricade, then head down. Another barricade raises and 3 SOLDIER Troopers drop down on all sides of you. Kill the one in front of you (before he attacks you) and move to the barricade then turn around to kill the other two. The last one drops a cardkey. Head in, then a HA Soldier S awaits you in between a very tight space (the barricade closes behind you). Kill him for another cardkey. When you head out, you'll be greeted by 4 more Sergeants (two on the ledge across from you, and 2 on the ground level below you). There's an explosive barrel by the 2 on the ground. When all are dead, drop down and be greeted by 3 more soldiers rushing in from the opening. Head through that opening for another soldier shooting at you from your right. Drop down ("AAIIMM!") and be greeted by 4 more Sergeants. 2 on the roof above you (a little to the right), 1 on the ground, and 1 in the window across from you. There's a small corner of cover if you crouch, but you'll need to take the roof guys out first. There's also a Mako Point on this ledge. After you drop down, look to the right and aim high, there's a sniper on the roof. As you proceed through ("Great... Snipers.") you'll have another one to deal with. He's perched atop the building far down from the stairs. Now you can go down and grab the item waiting in the water. When you try to leave, a barricade pops up and a hound will jump down. Kill it, and more hounds jump down (3), followed by 2 more very large waves of hounds. When they all drop (materia shot anyone?), 3 Crimson Hounds will jump down. Keep jumping/moving around them and shooting them until they all drop. Grab the cardkey from the last one and leave. As you proceed up the stairs, 2 more Snipers shoot at you. One in the window of a building behind you, the other between a roof peak and a building side in front of you. At the top of the stairs, 2 more snipers come into play, both of them ahead of you (one atop a pillar in front of you, the other in another window further ahead of you). There's a cardkey on a crate to the back. Pressing on, another one shoots at you from another roof steeple to the right, and 2 more from the large building behind you (they crouch down, making it difficult to locate them). When they're all dead and you move down, 2 HA Soldier Bs emerge and immediately shoot a rocket at you. Defeat them quickly and move on. Area 2 (More damaged structures and the Faerie L Barrel) - Before dropping off the ledge, move to the opening on the right and make use of the shop (You can buy X-Potions and Elixirs now!). Then (DON'T shoot the crate yet!) proceed all the way across the balcony and aim for the explosive barrel in between the two rusty ones. This will knock the box down for probably the best barrel in the game. Though not as long range or powerful as the Nova L Barrel, it defeats the Master N Barrel in every category. Thus making your Cerberus (or Ultima Weapon) even better than before. Whether you get it or not (I strongly recommend it, even if you have to restart), move on. You'll be surrounded by barriers and there will be a turret to the left. When you mount it, Stage Mission 2 (Swiftly eliminate the enemy soldiers) will begin. You will be immediately assaulted by Red Saucers, Bull-heads, and a Sweaper. The saucers are difficult to hit due to their maneuvarability, but it's important they don't get close enough. The Bull-Heads are easy enough to destroy, as is the sweaper. After this first part, Twin Sentries will continually fire from the far windows along the right (3 at a time), while Aerial Mines will begin to approach you, and soldiers start firing at you. The Aerial Mines are the most dangerous (and eventually difficult as they get faster and more maneuverable) ones, so take them out first. Followed by the Twin Sentries, then the soldiers. After all the enemies are squelched, two Black Widows drop down, mainly firing missiles at you. Destroy the missiles as you slowly whittle away their HP. The last one you kill kill drop a cardkey. Use it on the barricade behind the turret first to pick up the items (including an extra cardkey), then move ahead. There's another Sergeant atop the building to left left as you head towards the barricades. When you approach the barriers on the far side, three Sergeants come up to it. Take them out, head down the stairs and shoot another Sergeant immediately to the right, followed by a final one in a window high up to the right. Head down the stairs (you'll see water, items, and a barricade) and loop around the corner, into the opening. There's 4 cases containing 1 gil, and one case containing 10,000 gil. When you grab them (you'll hear "Got him!"), 2 DG Elites appear past the barricade, while 3 Sergeants run in from behind. Rush the Sergeants (if you have MP available, shoot the elites to knock them away), and kill them (get out of the Elite's firing path). Then head back around the corner to deal with the Elites (Did I mention I hate them?). The last one drops a Silver Moogle Doll (haven't seen one of these in a while, have we?). Before moving ahead, look up at the area above the opening. You should see 4 explosive barrels. The second one to the right contains a Cactuar. He'll dance a little when he first appears, it's when he starts running that he becomes vulnerable (he's invincible until then). If you get him or not, head up the stairs and move along the skinny walkway before the barricade, make use of the shop, then move ahead to the obvious trap. Four waves of 4 DG Sergeants drop down from above, after which you'll have a HA Soldier B and S, along with a DG Elite to deal with (You'll hear "STAND YOUR GROUND!" for the final wave). The last to drop drops a cardkey. Move on to the next checkpoint. Part 3 (Where Stage Mission 3 is at) Area 1 (Traps and Sniping galore) - Make use of the shop right away. Head up the stairs and defeat all the DG Sergeants (5 in total, including the one in the fake-shop). The crate contains a barrel which contains a mine which contains a potoin. Grab the cardkey and head up the stairs. Through the door you'll see the small walkway with a bunch of explosives. Shoot the barrel above the door so that you don't get schooled by it when you approach it. You may double jump or destroy them (and call forth a bunch of enemies, including a rocket launching HA Soldier B). Whichever you choose. Manage through that, then pass through the room with the floating mines (shoot boxes and the soldiers that jump at you quickly). Then you have the room with the falling barrels. There's a close (A) and far (B) one that go in a pattern. B, A, B then both. Usually I wait for B, then A, then I move forward, and jump over the third B as it explodes. However you manage to get through, that's my method in any case (^you could also dash through after the third barrel explodes as the guide suggests^). Anyway, then you have the room with the thirty second countdown (move to the opening on the left, it might have been a challenge if you had only two seconds, sheesh). After all that you're in an area full of DG Sergeants alloted along the roofs of several houses. head down the stairs and use the small destroyed brick wall as cover to take out the DG Sergeants on the roof ahead of you. Then head further down the stairs (where you'll likely get gattling'd). Use the next partial brick wall as cover to shoot your enemies (preferably starting with the gattling guy) through the windows. When you've dealt with them (should be about five), head down the stairs and destroy the onslaught of enemies rushing through the door (Firaga or Thundaga works pretty well). After all that, you'll have three DG Commanders to deal with. The last one you kill drops a cardkey. Head through the barricade on the East side, move down the stairs, destroy the SOLDIER Troopers that leap out of the wall, followed by the HA Soldier S (Sword guy). Grab his cardkey, go to the shop. Proceed to do Stage Mission 3 (Defeat 100 enemies) if you wish (you may at least want to collect the Mako Point there), of which there's a useful tactic at the beginning of this guide. The only couple differences for this in EX mode is that the enemies hit harder and you'll have more HP (so healing isn't so easy). If you've done it or not, head back to the gatling gun area and move ahead. Before heading into the once barricaded door, move to the outer ledge and snipe to upper gatling gunner. Take out the 2 other DG Sergeants on the top ledge then back away and duck down before the bottom gatling gunner starts opening fire. Slowly approach the edge, aiming towards the fire and when he stops firing, shoot his head. Then go into the door, grab the Mako Point and head down the stairs. There's two doors, the left one is a shop (you may or may not need), the right one opens to the area where you would face a lot of gun fire had you not dealt with the enemies from above (note the 2 gatling guns?). And now we've reached the final area. Area 2 (Not quite Stage Mission 4) - You'll see an item 0/4 counter above. There's 4 items, and 10 (actually 12) cardkeys. The first item to work on is the one behind 7 Barricades. The first cardkey is at I-8, aim at the pipe above and shoot the inside, a little mine drops down. Shoot that for cardkey #1. Head towards the sewer and watch for the DG Commander coming around the corner. Inside the sewere is another mine by one of the lights on the ceiling. Cardkey #2 is in there (Don't stand too close, or you'll blow up!). Head on up the ramp and board the gatling gun (Mako Point!). Aim towards the upper left at the white box, shoot it once to knock it down. Head back down to break it open for Cardkey #3! Keep moving towards the right to the far barricade from the entry point. Use one cardkey to open it up, for two more cardkeys (ultimately cardkey #4 though). Move past the gatling gun area (kill the Commander that leaps up from the ledge) and drop to the bottom. Another Commander awaits you on the far left of the sewage (Hey, another Silver Moogle Doll!). Climb the two sets of ladders, there's a cardkey (#5) behind the shop, and another one in the white box (#6). Drop down from the opening and head towards the large drop off area. Another cardkey is at the edge of this, but you will have to jump to reach it, and double jump back. If you fall, there's no going back up. It's not as hard as it sounds though. Success means cardkey #7. Cardkey #8 (you may have noticed by now?) is at the top of the second ladder going down. You have to jump to reach it. When you do, go through the seven barricades to collect the Lucky S Barrel (increases exp! But is very short ranged), and 2 more cardkeys (#9 and #10). You should now have 3 cardkeys to get the last three items (from entry point, Elixor, Bayonet Rifle, and Limit Breaker). When you're all set, use the shop to sell any extra items you may have picked up, then head down the cliff. I should probably mention that this isn't a Stage Mission. So if you're concerned about rank, don't be. Nero the Sable (Black the Black?) - He too doesn't take too much to destroy. There's 3 phases to this fight. The first one he'll shoot at you. Run circles and shoot at him until he glows blue. He'll be invincible while he's blue. He'll split into 3 forms and start shooting at you with all three again. Continue to strafe about as you kill 2 of them. When there's only one left, he'll again start shooting at you only at a much faster pace. Keep circling and shooting until he drops. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 11 - Beginnings [Ch11] Ranking Category S A B C D Targets >100 99-90 89-75 74-40 <40 Accuracy >60% 59%-50% 49%-40% 39%-30% <30% Damage <20000 20001-24000 240001-28000 28001-33000 >33000 Crits >90 89-70 69-50 49-30 >30 Chains >35 34-28 27-20 19-10 <10 Items <14 15-22 23-31 32-40 >40 Magic >8 7-6 5-4 3-2 <2 Mako >90% 89%-70% 69%-50% 49%-30% <30% KO'd 0 1 2 3 >4 Time <53:20 53:21-58:20 58:21-1:06:40 1:06:41-1:20:00 >1:20:00 Part 1 (Pipes, Walkways, and DG Elites) - Equip Thundaga at the start. If your MP is full, don't collect the Mako Point yet. If it's down about a third, go ahead and grab it. Round a couple corners and you'll see a pipe hindering a walkway. There's a large pipe that has a box and barrel sitting on it. Shoot the box to knock down the barrel. 3 DG Elites will come running up to the pipe almost immediately (you'll hear "Hail Weiss!"). Wait for them to get in position, then blast the barrel. The blast will hurt them (hopefully kill) and knock them back, melee any survivors to death. Keep an eye towards the ground for Red Saucers. They tend to sneak up on you throughout the area. As you move on, you'll see another DG Elite shooting at you (shoot the Red Saucer heading towards the mini-pipe. He'll need to be taken out with magic. There's another elite right across from him who has a barrel next to him, shoot that to finish this one off. As you head up the stairs, another Red Saucer will sneak up on you. When you approach the Mako Point, a Gargoyle will swoop in through the window. Kill it, grab the Mako Point, head back to the Mako Point at the beginning (if you saved it, that is), then move ahead and kill the last DG Elite in the area with Magic. Feel free to kill the little bug crawling along the wall pipe (you'll hear it a lot) whenever you see fit. Proceed onwards, make use of the shop just past the door. Stage Mission 1: Defeat the gargoyles. 2 Gargoyles fly around the large area and shoot their shots at you. There's also 2 walkways (WAAAAYYY in the distance, but you'll see your targets anyway) that each contain 1 DG Sniper and 1 HA Soldier B (Rocket). And another one that has another single HA Soldier B. You'll have sniper fire, rockets and invisible gargoyle shots coming at you almost constantly. Head down the stairs and seek some cover behind the very large red pillar. Try to take the gargoyles out first, as their the most annoying. Then aim towards the right side of the pipe and take out the sniper and HA Soldier B on the further walkway first. Aim towards the left side to eliminate the lone HA Soldier B. Then head back up the stairs and destroy the sniper and HA Soldier B on the walkway closer to the entrance. Proceed to the next area. Drop down the ladder, there's a Red Saucer immediately to your left that likes to ambush right away, kill it quick, then kill the next one making its way up the stairs. Head down, (you'll hear "He's here!"). There's a DG Elite to your left, and 2 more ahead of you behind another pipe. Turn to the left one and melee him, equip your magic then double jump-fire your materia shot at the 2 past the pipe, if you have the MP, shoot a second shot to finish them. There's also 3 bugs that are behind the pipe as well, but you need to cross it first (two barricades trap you) before they appear. You'll have to kill them (and any surviving elite's) to get the cardkey. This area should start to look familiar. It's where you snuck in at as Cait Sith. There's two bugs climbing along the pipes by the drop-off. One of them has a lot of HP but carries 3000 gil. Be warned that if you shoot it once, it will fall, and there will be 2 Red Saucers in a VERY closed in area waiting at the bottom, along with the bug. Drop down and start melee-ing or Griffon frenzy. After all that, climb the ladder and move ahead. Drop down to where you see a bunch of briefcases (on the floor 9 cases of 100 gil, and the one at the top of the ladder is a Limit Breaker). Grab the briefcases, but once you grab the Mako Point, 5 bugs drop down (right on top of you!). Take care of them for the cardkey. Through the door, and Stage Mission 2 (Defeat the gargoyles part 2) appears. 3 Gargoyles, but only 2 HA Soldier Bs on either side of the room. Kill the gargoyles first while (miraculously?) dodging the missiles. The gun turret may be useful to eliminate the HA Soldier Bs, but it could hurt your accuracy and would not be fun if you had all three gargoyles blasting you at once. When it's all clear, proceed on. Part 2 - Stage Mission 3: Destroy the enemies around the Central Pillar. This rather irritating mission is not THAT difficult with some practice. There are 8 enemies around the central pillar, they alternate between HA Soldier Bs and DG Elites. The more challenging part of this is the 2 Red Saucers that continually come at you throughout the area. Immediately take cover behind the pillar in front of you. Take out the Red Saucers approaching, then shoot the white box above all the barrels on top of the central pillar. Now it's just a matter of avoiding missiles, clearing out Saucers, and shooting each barrel one at a time (and probably finishing off the HA soldiers). Move around the area as your aim gets obstructed by pillars or enemies. When that's all clear, head towards the exit (killing all the Red Saucers along the way). In the next area, Stage Mission 4: Defeat the gargoyles 3. 7 Gargoyles and 2 HA Soldier Bs on the right side walkway. This one is tough because the gargoyles and missiles can do a good job distracting your focus. You can only hurt the gargoyles as they're approaching you or shooting at you. Once they start flying away they're somehow invincible. Dodge/shoot missiles while you wait for the gargoyles to come at you (they come 2 at a time usually). When you've destroyed most/all of them, start focusing on the HA Soldiers. Move through the door and use the shop. Next up, you'll see a cut-scene of a DG Soldier pushing a Gatling Gun on the other side of you. When it gets back to you, a very high endurance DG Elite drops down in front of you (there'll be a barricade). He has a LOT of HP and takes a while to kill (with or without magic). Work on him until he dies, then start shooting the soldier across the room (3-4 shots should do it, it's hard to hit his head) until he dies. Then proceed across to the door. This next part is optional but if you sit in the gatling gun, barricades pop up from each door. 2 HA Soldier Bs enter from across the room, when you take them out, they'll drop a cardkey BUT, when you open the barricade, it pops right back up and 3 gargoyles pop in the room. When they fall, another cardkey appears in the middle of the walkway. When this one is used, the barricade again pops right back up and 5 bugs drop down near you. When they drop their cardkey, you can finally head through the door. Through the next door is 3 DG Elites with their backs turned. If you have MP, use magic to kill them. If not, you'll have to take the punishment of meleeing them (they won't get knocked around or stunned for long, so you'll suffer a lot of damage). Proceed down if you manage to kill them. You'll cross a Mako Point and then come to a room with a holled out walkway above you. 5 DG Elites are on top and shoot down an almost constant rain of fire. You could try to kill them, but even magic doesn't work on them. Best to just rush through, switching sides as you move down. You'll probably want to save your MP for the next room anyway, which contains a bunch of bugs in a closed-in area. Jump over them when you start to get backed into a corner, keep shooting (or fire a couple materia shots to destroy them all at once). The last one drops 1000 gil and a cardkey. I HATE this next room. There's 4 really tough DG Elites on each corner. They don't get stunned when you hit them (with magic or melee). There ARE 4 Mako Points at each corner. When you kill those four, another one will keep coming in from the area above (eventually dropping down). There's a platform in the center of the room that rises up (somewhat slowly) when you stand on it. This takes you up to the top, where the final G Report is waiting for you. A Limit Breaker does very well in this area. When you grab that, you could shoot the two pipes on either side of the room to knock down a bug from each (each one drops 1000 gil), and you COULD kill the DG Elites to boost targets and exp, but it's a lot more damaging than most "infinite enemy" spots would be. Dragonfly PT - This is a VERY annoying boss fight. Aside of the chopper (which can take a good number of hits until it's finally destroyed), you've got Red Saucers coming at you every so often, and the chopper usually sends a gargoyle in. At first, you just shoot at it until around half its health (it mainly just fires at you unless you get under it). Then, It's main tactic (once it's health is at about half) is to swoop in, sending a gargoyle at you to keep you busy, then hide behind the large pillar. It will come out to shoot missiles at you. You must dodge/shoot the missiles while killing the Gargoyle it dispatches. This causes the chopper to swoop in again (getting in your range) and drop off another gargoyle. At a distance, you could blast it with the Hydra (or a long barrel), but you won't have time for critical shot aiming. But with the Ultima Weapon and Farie L Barrel, this part of the fight might not be too troubling for you (just watch for the Red Saucers and keep moving to avoid the gargoyle's shots). Part 3 (On to the boss fights) - Moving ahead, you'll head down a hallway. You'll almost immediately hear a chorus of "Hail Weiss!" and see a DG Elite running down the hall. Get Thundaga ready. Chase him for a good while and wait until he groups with his other 4 friends. Quickly shoot Thundaga at them (twice) to finish them off. Then make use of the shop and move ahead. Be ready for the next couple of boss fights. Part 4 - Nero Arachnero - Wait for the black crystals flying around to fly at you and lower their guard. Shoot them at this time until they're destroyed. There should be 4 of them. When they're all destroyed, start shooting at the barrier around Arachnero (he'll start summing meteors at this point, so be ready to move around. It takes about 5 shots to destroy the barrier with the Cerberus (meaning you get one shot at Arachnero and reload. You should shoot 4 times then reload and destroy the barrier so you can make use of his downtime). He'll quickly restore it after a few shots. Continue shooting the barrier, followed by him, dodging his meteors, until he falls down. Then move to the edge of the center bridge-like thing and shoot him a few times and he'll transform into Gorgonero. Gorgonero - This isn't too difficult. He'll disapper quickly. Look for his black smoke and aim at him. Its a reflex battle, as you need to wait for the reticule to go red and shoot him quickly. If you're too slow or fast, he'll start shooting at you (doing meager damage, really). Shoot him once, and he'll disappear again. Repeatthe process until he's dead. *Note: with the Ultima Weapon, you'll be able to shoot him more than once when you hit him.* Part 5 - Weiss Talk to Yuffie, make use of the shop. Then move down the hall. Watch/Skip the lengthy videos. You'll have one battle of battling Weiss with super-haste3 speed. Take your beating (the phoenix down doesn't activate) and watch/skip another video. Finally on to the real fight. Weiss the Immaculate (Hojo) - The basic strategy for much of the battle is to stand back and shoot Weiss. When he starts twirling his swords, stop shooting (perhaps reload?), and prepare for whatever attack he's going to do. He'll either continue shooting (only at the beginning of the battle), or he'll either rush at you and go sword crazy on you (prepare to dodge), or he'll jump into the air and slam down a ground wave much like Azul's (double jump). When his health is REALLY low, he will start moving around like crazy, eventually stopping somewhere. Find and shoot him. A big threat is when he jumps over the Lifestream pool and fires 4 very powerful tracking shots at you. Weiss will be invincible during this time, so focus on dodging them. The best way is to wait until they get close enough, then dodge forward. As a last note, using your Limit Breaker here will refill your HP, and increase your speed and firing rate (as well as your overall power). ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chatper 12-1 - Omega and Chaos [Ch12-1] Ranking Category S A B C D Targets >75 74-70 69-50 49-30 <30 Accuracy >80% 79%-70% 69%-60% 59%-40% <40% Damage <3000 3001-3600 3601-5000 5001-6500 >6500 Crits >10 9-6 5-4 3-1 0 Chains >50 49-45 44-30 29-15 <15 Items <2 3-4 5-6 7-8 >8 Magic >5 4 3-2 1 0 Mako N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A KO'd 0 1 2 3 >4 Time <15:00 15:01-16:10 16:11-18:20 18:21-25:00 >25:00 Part 1 - Chaos! Hells Yeah! Area 1 (Weeeee!) - This is a very straightforward chapter with little difference to Normal mode. There's a few more Omega Buds and Leafs that fly around, and they still do some serious damage. Other than that, Death Penalty still destroys things with one shot. Just move forward, jump through the tubes, and get to the point where Vincent flies halfway around Omega. Area 2 (Why can't WE fly?) - This area has a few ladders and stairs, as well as the last two Omega Reports (E8 and . At the top, you'll reach a spot where 12 Omega Buds fly around you. Kill them all and you'll reach Part 2. Part 2 - Star Wars-ee Area 1 (Flyiiiinnnggg) - You're flying through a tunnel-type place with Omega Buds on your tale. All you have to do is wait for them to fly in front of you and shoot them (they come 2 at a time). Don't worry about avoiding any of the structures or, shots being fired at you, as it happens automatically. It's a short passage. Area 2 (The doorway) - You'll be on your feet again with a bunch of Omega Buds flying around shooting at you. Strafe and shoot until they're all dead (they seem infinite, but they're not). When they're all dead, you'll move on. Area 3 (Core) - A long ascent upwards as Buds and Leafs fly at you and shoot at you. It gets a bit tricky but you shouldn't have too much trouble. Just enjoy the music until you reach the top (when it sadly ends). Part 3 - Omega's Head All you have to do here is defeat the Omega Buds that fly at all different angles from here then move to the edge of the bridge. And that's the end of this chapter. Make S here? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 12-2 - A Finale Chaotic [Ch12-2] Ranking Category S A B C D Targets >80 79-50 49-30 29-20 <20 Accuracy >70% 69%-60% 59%-50% 49%-30% <30% Damage <50 51-100 101-1000 1001-2000 >2000 Crits >20 19-10 9-5 4-1 0 Chains >20 19-15 14-10 9-5 <5 Items <2 3-4 5-6 7-8 >8 Magic >5 4 3-2 1 0 Mako N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A KO'd 0 1 2 3 >4 Time <15:00 15:01-20:00 20:01-30:00 30:01-50:00 >50:00 Think you can get S in THIS chapter? Especially Damage Sustained... don't get hit... Crystal Feelers - You're in a large area with lots of Omega Buds all over the place. There's 6 Crystals in the area. You can only hit them with melee attacks while their open. Most of the time, the ones that open are on the opposite side of the room. You'll need to use Chaos's increased speed while dodging to reach them in time to destroy them. But don't ignore the buds, they accumulate quickly and can do some serious damage. You should destroy a crystal, destroy the buds, look for the next crystal that opens, and destroy it. Follow that pattern. Omega Coccoon - A very large coccoon is located in the center area way up high. It's very easy to destroy, but again those Buds accumulate quickly. It's not a good idea to stand around and let them sprout. Take a few shots, kill buds, take a few more shots, kill more buds. Circle the Coccoon as you shoot it. Omega Weiss - Very large target. Try to find the right distance at a straight on angle to keep up the double 2000 damage (jumping and shooting helps). Most of his attacks will be firing a large number of missile like life-forms that follow you around. Strafe and dodge at the last second to avoid these, or you can shoot them and get some nice killchains. He'll also slam his hand down to the ground, sending a shockwave. Jump over this (which can be slightly trickier timing without double jumps). When he's at about half, he'll send up a bunch of shields in front of his body. You may also see a white glowing object fall down to the ground. That's Weiss, he'll come to attack you until the shields are destroyed. Make sure you shoot all of them because any left-over will be sent at you (while Weiss is keeping you busy too!). His final phase involves glowing red and moving high to the sky (he's invincible at this point). He'll charge a very large fireball and shoot the battleground. Basically this is your cue to run as far to the edge as possible (jump onto a rising platform if possible). It WILL kill you even at full HP if it makes direct or at least close-to direct contact with you. When that's done, he'll continue to glow red and become faster and fiercer. Keep firing until he falls. Limit Breakers will increase your firing speed, defense, refill HP, and give you more power, AND you have infinite bullets (and won't have to reload) while it lasts (which is shorter than your usual Limits). Save at least one for the final phase of Omega to take him out quickly (before he launches his giant fireball again). When he dies, check out your accumulative rank to see how you did. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cumulative Ranking (Entire Game) [CR4] Category S A B C D Targets >1512 1511-1323 1322-1058 1057-798 <798 Accuracy >67% 66%-57% 56%-46% 45%-29% <29% Damage <65560 65561-83100 83101-1053001 04301-129500 >129500 Crits >933 932-771 770-612 611-465 >465 Chains >790 781-645 644-490 489-310 <310 Items <112 113-184 185-262 263-331 >331 Magic >103 102-77 76-51 50-27 <27 Mako >91% 90%-70% 69%-50% 49%-30% <30% KO'd 0 1-13 14-26 27-39 >39 Time <6:31:20 6:31:21-7:54:30 7:54:31-9:43:20 9:43:21-11:55:00 >11:55:00 Notes Finale [NF5] You may send questions/comments to: email@example.com Corrections are welcome as well as anything I might have missed or messed up royally. "Improved" strategies may or may not be updated. Slight mistakes (IE: number of enemies in a particular spot) will be ignored. Only major corrections are welcome. This guide is intended for the more skilled players trusted to do some things (like grab obvious items or Mako Points, kill enemies, etc.) without me having to tell them to do so. This is my first ever FAQ that I've written/submitted and may look forward to writing more in the future. I have done my best to try and organize things for both people well-versed in terms (such as enemy names) and people who do not know terms or area locations too well (Even though it is Ex Hard Mode, doesn't mean everyone knows everything there is to know about the game itself). ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Special Thanks and Credits [STC6] To all the people whose FAQs have helped me out in many games. Thank you. To GameFAQs for existing and remaining a free source. Consier this guide a sort of payback. Credit for some tips and strategies (^where duely marked^) to the official player's guide. Especially the Ex Hard rankings. Though I can not thank you for any further help on Ex Hard Mode as you don't contain any further data past ranking. (Part of why I made this guide in the first place). To myself for being stubborn enough to write this. To firstname.lastname@example.org for encouraging me to find all the snipers in Chapter 3. To those of you that read it, and further to those that send comments.
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