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    Materia Downgrade FAQ by ladytanaka

    Version: 1.3 | Updated: 05/23/08 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    ============================================================
    Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-
    
    Materia Downgrade / Stat Transfer Guide
    
    FAQ Created: April-04-2008
    FAQ Modified: May-23-2008
    Version: 1.3
    Author: Ladytanaka
    
    Copyright 2008 Ladytanaka
    
    ============================================================
    Table of contents
    
     1: Purpose of this FAQ
     2: Common problems and issues addressed in the FAQ
     3: Benefits of downgrading a materia's rank
     4: Costs of downgrading a materia's rank
     5: When to downgrade a materia's rank
     6: Warnings and Precautions
     7: Materia Classes and Ranks
     8: FAQ Conventions and Terminology
     9: General procedure for downgrading a materia's rank
    10: Creating Status Defense-class materia with stat bonus
    11: Exploiting Status Defense fusion product ranks
    12: Converting your source materia into ST-type or DEF-class
    
    13: Common problems with Steal, Mug, Smart Consumer, or Gil Toss
        (a) mastered Mug(M) always becomes Gil Toss
        (b) downgrading Gil Toss to Mug (or Steal)
        (c) downgrading Smart Consumer to Steal
    
    14: Common problems with Graviga, Darkness, or Quake
        (a) mastered Darkness(M) always becomes Quake
        (b) mastered Graviga(M) always becomes Darkness
        (c) downgrading Quake to Darkness (or Graviga)
    
    15: Examples of transferring stat bonus (+X) between various materia
        (a) transferring (+X) from Stop Blade, Death Blade, etc.
        (b) transferring (+X) from Darkness (or Mug) to Curaga
        (c) transferring (+X) from HP/VIT/SPR Up++ to Curaga
        (d) transferring (+X) from MP/AP/MAG UP++ to Curaga
        (e) transferring (+X) from Fire/Ice/Thunder Sword to Stop
        (f) transferring (+X) from Graviga to Steal
        (g) transferring (+X) from Darkness to Steal
        (h) transferring (+X) from Darkness to Assault Twister
        (i) transferring (+X) from HP/VIT/SPR-type to Gravity-class materia
        (j) transferring (+X) from ATK-type materia to Gravity-class materia
    
    16: Special considerations when transferring stat bonuses
        (a) transferring (+X) to Ultimate, Punch, or Other-class materia
        (b) transferring (+X) from ATK-related materia
        (c) transferring (+X) from Drain-effect materia
        (d) transferring (+X) from AP-class materia
        (e) transferring (+X) to Gravity-class materia
        (f) transferring (+X) to Dash, Dualcast, Full Cure, or DMW materia
    
    17: Transferring (+X) from mission rewards to other materia
    
    18: More ways to prep your source materia for downgrading
    19: Miscellaneous Notes
        (a) Limited Availability of Steal, Smart Consumer, and Mug
        (b) Building stat bonuses on Drain Sword materia
    20: Frequently Asked Questions
        (a) How do I make Mug?
    21: Credits
    22: Version History
    23: Contact Info
    24: Disclaimer / Legal Information
    
    ============================================================
    Section 1: Purpose of this FAQ
    
    While building up on materia and transferring stat bonuses between materia is
    usually a straightforward task, there are several situations where problems
    arise and normal fusion methods do not work. 
    
    The purpose of this guide is to provide information and examples which will
    allow players to 'downgrade' the rank of their materia, which allows the
    transfer of stat bonuses between materia, particularly from higher ranking
    materia to lower ranking materia.
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    This FAQ has two main parts:
    (1) the general theory of downgrading;
    (2) practical examples, including common problems and issues.
    
    This is an ADVANCED materia fusion FAQ and is meant to be used in conjunction
    with the excellent FAQs (by Kouli and Absolute Steve) and/or the Materia Fusion
    guide (by nunuu), all available at www.gamefaqs.com.
    
    This guide assumes that the reader:
    -- is familiar with the basics of materia fusion
    -- understands the concept of materia levels, materia classes, fusion ranks
    -- understands how to use fusion to UPgrade materia
    -- understands how stat bonus values/types are affected by fusion
    -- knows how to obtain various materia (e.g., from monsters, missions, shops,
    and/or fusion, etc.)
    
    If you're unfamiliar with or have problems with the above topics, you should
    take a look at the other FAQs out there before attempting to use this guide.
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    You can downgrade materia and transfer stat bonuses from almost all classes
    EXCEPT the Ultimate-class, Punch-class, and Other-class materia (due to their
    special nature).
    
    The stat bonus you end up with will always be equal to (or greater than) the
    stat bonus of the source materia.  However, you will lose part of the stat
    bonuses on the other materia used in the downgrading process, simply as a
    result of the way the stat bonus of the fusion product is calculated.
    
    materia(+X) + materia(+Y) = materia(+Z)
    
    Z = (larger stat bonus) + (HALF of smaller stat bonus) + (item bonus)
    
    ============================================================
    Section 2: Common problems addressed in this FAQ
    
    If you are looking for a quick fix to your problem, you can skip the theory and
    go straight to the "Common Problems" and "Examples" sections.  But if you can't
    find any examples that fit your exact situation, understanding the theory will
    probably help you figure out a solution.
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    Commonly occurring problems which can be solved by 'downgrading' the rank of
    your materia while keeping the stat bonus intact:
    
    o Costly Punch keeps turning to another materia.
    
    o Darkness keep turning into Quake.
    
    o Mug keep turning into Gil Toss.
    
    o I have Gil Toss, but I want Mug with the same stat bonus.
    
    o I have Quake, but I want Darkness with the same stat bonus.
    
    o I want to move my stat bonus from HP Up++ to Curaga.
    
    o I can't get Drainga to change to anything else.
    
    o I want to transfer the stat bonus from a mission award to another materia.
    
    ============================================================
    Section 3: Benefits of downgrading a materia's rank
    
    (aka "Why bother?")
    
    The ability to downgrade a materia is important because it enables you to:
    (1) transfer a stat bonus (in its entirety) from one materia to another
    materia;
    (2) prevents undesired transformations into other kinds of materia;
    (3) it allows for greater flexibility in fusion
    
    ============================================================
    Section 4: Costs of downgrading a materia's rank
    
    The downgrading process, while useful, definitely has costs and penalties
    because:
    (1) the steps can be rather complicated;
    (2) it consumes SP (although usually not much as long as you're merely
    transferring the stat bonus and not upgrading it);
    (3) it takes time and/or gil to obtain the specific materia you need for the
    various steps;
    (4) it frequently results in the loss of materia levels -- mastered materia
    often turn into unmastered materia (although that's desirable in some cases);
    (5) it uses up materia, and often the higher-ranking materia.
    
    ============================================================
    Section 5: When to downgrade a materia's rank
    
    Basically, it depends on your particular situation.  It's up to the individual
    player to decide whether it's worth the effort to downgrade and/or transfer a
    stat bonus, or whether it's more convenient to simply start over.
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    When is downgrading NOT necessary?
    
    Downgrading is NOT necessary if:
    (a) you can easily transfer the stat bonus by straightfoward fusion (e.g., when
    your source materia with the stat bonus is Ultimate-class, Punch-class, or
    Other-class); and/or
    (b) you don't mind ending up with an upgraded version of your original source
    materia.
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    When is downgrading helpful (or even necessary)?
    
    A common situation is when you want to transfer that nice ATK+60 bonus from a
    mastered Stop Blade (like the one obtained through mission 8-6-6) to another
    materia (e.g., Darkness).
    
    Another common situation is when you want to increase the bonus on certain
    mastered materia (Mug or Darkness) without changing them into Gil Toss or
    Quake, respectively.  Unfortunately, if you attempt to fuse a mastered Mug or a
    mastered Darkness, you always get an automatic +1 fusion rank bonus, which will
    frequently turn Mug or Darkness into Gil Toss or Quake, respectively. 
    
    So how can you stop a mastered Mug or Darkness from changing to Gil Toss or
    Quake?  
    
    Well, you can't.  But through downgrading, you can revert your mastered materia
    back to an unmastered materia, which gets rid of that unwanted +1 fusion bonus.
    
    ============================================================
    Section 6: Warnings and Precautions
    
    -- Always SAVE, SAVE, SAVE!!! before attempting any materia fusion, just in
    case something goes wrong or something unexpected occurs.  I can't emphasize
    this strongly enough.  Saves are quick and cheap, and there are no prizes for
    getting through the game with the fewest number of saves.
    
    -- Pay close attention to the materia ranks (1-8) and levels (1-4, mastered),
    as well as the order of fusion, to ensure the correct materia dominates and you
    end up with the desired materia in the end.
    
    -- Remember that if you fuse two mastered materia together, you will end up
    with a mastered materia.  In some cases this is good, but in other cases, you
    don't want to end up with a mastered materia.
    
    -- This process works best if the stat bonus you're trying to transfer is the
    largest stat bonus in any fusion you make.
    
    -- Always keep at least one spare lower-rank Item materia (Steal, Smart
    Consumer, Mug) in your inventory AT ALL TIMES and do NOT use that spare(s) in
    fusions! (see Section #19(a)) 
    
    --- There's no way to test every possible scenerio, so I make NO guarantees as
    to a successful outcome.  Use the information in this FAQ at your own risk!
    
    ============================================================
    Section 7: Materia Classes and Ranks 
    
    (this table is adapted from nunuu's Materia FAQ, with the materia names changed
    to the US version)
    
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Materia Class      | Materia (Rank)
    ==============================================================================
    Fire               | Fire (1), Fira (3), Firaga (5)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ice                | Blizzard (1), Blizzara (3), Blizzaga (5)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thunder            | Thunder (1), Thundara (3), Thundaga (5)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Heal               | Cure (1), Cura (2), Curaga (4) 
                       | Regen (3), Full Cure (6)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Defense            | Barrier (2), M-Barrier (3), Wall (7), 
                       | Elemental Ward (5)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Status Defense     | Esuna (1), Dispel (2), Status Ward (4)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Drain Magic        | Drain (2), Drainra (5), Drainga (7), 
                       | Osmose (3), Osmoga (6)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Status Magic       | Poison (2), Silence (2), Stop (4), Death (5)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Status Fire        | Dark Fire (1), Dark Fira (3), 
                       | Dark Firaga (5), Hell Firaga (7)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Status Ice         | Dark Blizzard (1), Dark Blizzara (3), 
                       | Dark Blizzaga (5), Hell Blizzaga (7)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Status Thunder     | Dark Thunder (1), Dark Thundara (3), 
                       | Dark Thundaga (5), Hell Thundaga (7)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gravity            | Gravity (2), Graviga (4), Darkness (6), Quake (7) 
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ultimate           | Tri-Thundaga (3), Tri-Fire (4), 
                       | Electrocute (5), Flare (6), Energy (7), Ultima (8)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Speed Sword        | Jump (1), High Jump (5),  
                       | Assault Twister (3), Assault Twister+ (7)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Status Speed Sword | Poison Aerial (3), Silence Aerial (5), Death Jump (6),
                       | Poison Twister (2), Stop Twister (4), Death Twister (7),
                       | Status Strike (8)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sword Skill        | Power Attack (1), Vital Slash (3), Exploder
                       | Blade (6), Blast Wave (5), Elemental Strike (7)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Status Sword Skill | Poison Blade (1), Silence Blade (2), Stop Blade (4),
                       | Death Blade (5), Dispel Blade (7)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Fire Sword         | Fire Blade (1), Fira Blade (3), Firaga Blade (5)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ice Sword          | Blizzard Blade (1), Blizzara Blade (3), Blizzaga
                       | Blade (5)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thunder Sword      | Thunder Blade (1), Thundara Blade (3), Thundaga
                       | Blade (5)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Drain Sword        | Drain Blade (2), Power Drain (5), Aerial Drain (8), 
                       | Osmose Blade (3), Power Osmose (6)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Item               | Steal (2), Mug (6), 
                       | Smart Consumer (4), Gil Toss (8) 
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Punch              | Goblin Punch (1), Iron Punch (2), Magical Punch (4),
                       | Hammer Punch (6), Costly Punch (8)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    HP                 | HP Up (1), HP Up+ (3), HP Up++ (5)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    MP                 | MP Up (1), MP Up+ (3), MP Up++ (5)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    AP                 | AP Up (1), AP Up+ (3), AP Up++ (5)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ATK                | ATK Up (1), ATK+ (3), ATK++ (5)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    VIT                | VIT Up (1), VIT Up+ (3), VIT Up++ (5)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    MAG                | MAG Up (1), MAG Up+ (3), MAG Up++ (5)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    SPR                | SPR Up (1), SPR Up+ (3), SPR Up++ (5)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    SP Turbo           | SP Turbo Magic (4), SP Turbo Attack (5), SP Turbo (6),
                       | SP Barrier (7), SP Master (8)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Other              | Libra (1), Dash (3), DualCast (8), All DMW (8)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    ============================================================
    Section 8: FAQ Conventions and Terminology
    
    Here are some shorthand terms used in this FAQ:
    
    "source" is the original materia you start with
    "target" is the materia you want to end up with
    
    "dominant" is the higher ranked/leveled/placed materia in the fusion
    "subordinate" is the lower ranked/leveled/placed materia in the fusion
    
    "(+X)" indicates the stat bonus you want to transfer
    "(M)" indicates that the materia is mastered
    
    If a materia is not labeled (M), assume that it is unmastered.
    
    "ST-type" refers to the following classes of status-inflicting materia:
      - Status Magic
      - Status Fire
      - Status Ice
      - Status Thunder
      - Status Speed Sword
      - Status Sword Skill
    
    "DEF-class" = Defense class
    
    "StDef-class" = Status Defense class
    
    "Status Fire/Ice/Thunder" refer to the following classes:
      - Status Fire
      - Status Ice
      - Status Thunder
    
    "Fire/Ice/Thunder Sword" refer to the following classes:
      - Fire Sword
      - Ice Sword
      - Thunder Sword
    
    "ATK-related" refers to the following classes of attack-type materia:
      - Speed Sword
      - Sword Skill
      - ATK 
    
    "Drain-effect" refers to the following classes of materia:
      - Drain Magic
      - Drain Sword
    
    "Ult/Punch/Other" refers to the following classes of materia:
      - Ultimate
      - Punch
      - Other
    
    "Stat-type" refers to the following classes of stat-related materia:
      - HP
      - MP
      - AP
      - ATK
      - VIT
      - MAG
      - SPR
    
    "HP/VIT/SPR" refers to the following classes of defensive stat-related materia:
      - HP
      - VIT
      - SPR
    
    ============================================================
    Section 9: General Procedure for downgrading a materia's rank
    
    Downgrading a materia involves turning your source materia into a StDef-class
    materia -- usually Status Ward(rank 4), but occasionally Dispel(rank 2) or
    Esuna(rank 1). This is essential because the highest Rank materia in the
    StDef-class is 4.  It doesn't matter if you're fusing two mastered Rank 8
    materia, because as long as the product is a StDef-class materia, its maximum
    materia rank is 4.
    
    Once you have a StDef-class materia (Status Ward or Dispel or Esuna) with your
    desired stat bonus (+X), you can use the normal fusion/upgrade methods to turn
    that Status Ward(+X) or Dispel(+X) materia into almost any type of Rank 4+
    materia (using Status Ward) or Rank 2-3 materia (using Dispel) or even Rank 1
    materia (using Esuna) with the same stat bonus.
    
    The general process goes as follows:
    
    Step[A] - transform your source materia(+X) into:
        (1) ST-type materia(+X); or
        (2) DEF-class materia(+X); or 
        (3) Fire/Ice/Thunder Sword-class materia(+X).
    
    Step[B] - transform the resulting Step[A] materia(+X) into a StDef-class
    materia(+X).
    
    Step[C] - fuse the resulting StDef-class materia(+X) with the appropriate
    materia (except Ult/Punch/Other-class materia) to get your desired target
    materia(+X)
    
    It's generally best to wait until the very last step to include items to
    increase (+X) or to change it to a different kind of stat bonus.
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    Question: Can't you use other materia classes beside Status Defense for
    Step[B]?
    
    Answer: Possibly, but Status Defense is the best because there are lots of
    high-ranking status-inflicting materia, which maximizes your options, and
    Status Defense-class materia behaves nicely in fusions.  The other possible
    options (e.g., Sword Skill) can react rather unpredictably in materia fusion.
    
    ============================================================
    Section 10: Creating Status Defense-class materia with stat bonus
    
    Here are the materia class combinations that will produce a StDef-class materia
    (usually Status Ward, but occasionally Dispel).  
    
       Defense + ST-type materia
    
       Status Magic + HP/VIT/SPR materia
       Status Magic + ATK materia
    
       Status Fire/Ice/Thunder + HP/VIT/SPR materia
    
       Status Speed Sword + HP/VIT/SPR materia
       Status Speed Sword + ATK materia
    
       Status Sword Skill + HP/VIT/SPR materia
    
       Fire/Ice/Thunder Sword + HP/VIT/SPR materia
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    When producing a StDef-class materia from a DEF-class materia, you can use any
    ST-type materia.
    
    When producing a StDef-class materia from ST-type materia, you can use any
    HP/VIT/SPR-type materia or any ATK materia, as long as it has an equal or lower
    rank/level than the ST-type materia you are fusing it with.
    
    When producing a StDef-class materia from Fire/Ice/Thunder Sword materia, you
    can use any HP/VIT/SPR materia. 
    
    ============================================================
    Section 11: Exploiting Status Defense fusion product ranks
    
    Fusion ranks for StDef-class materia
    1 - Esuna(rank 1)
    2 - Dispel(rank 2)
    3 - Esuna(rank 1)
    4 - Status Ward(rank 4)
    5 - Dispel(rank 2)
    6 - Status Ward(rank 4)
    7 - Status Ward(rank 4)
    8 - Status Ward(rank 4)
    
    Therefore, if the StDef-class product of a fusion has a fusion rank of 4 or
    6-8, you will get Status Ward(rank 4).  
    
    HOWEVER, if the product fusion rank is 3, you get Esuna(rank 1).
    HOWEVER, if the product fusion rank is 5, you get Dispel(rank 2).
    
    Don't ask me why the game developers did this, but this is actually a good
    thing.  This quirk won't hurt the process of transferring your stat bonus and
    it's even helpful in certain situations (i.e., when your target materia is rank
    1-3, like Steal).
    
    Remember that using one mastered materia in a fusion adds a +1 bonus to the
    fusion rank of the product, while using two mastered materia adds a +2 bonus.
    
    Example 1 - Stop Blade(rank 4) and VIT Up(rank 1)
    Fusion rank of product = 4
    (1) Stop Blade(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    
    Example 2 - mastered Stop Blade(rank 4)(M) and VIT Up(rank 1)
    Fusion rank of product = 4 + 1 = 5
    (1) Stop Blade(+X)(M) + VIT Up = Dispel(+X)
    
    Example 3 - Stop Blade(rank 4) and mastered VIT Up(rank 1)(M)
    Fusion rank of product = 4 + 1 = 5
    (1) Stop Blade(+X) + VIT Up(M) = Dispel(+X)
    
    Example 4 - mastered Stop Blade(rank 4)(M) and mastered VIT Up(rank 1)(M)
    Fusion rank of product = 4 + 2 = 6
    (1) Stop Blade(+X)(M) + VIT Up(M) = Status Ward(+X)
    
    Example 5 - Death Blade(rank 5) and VIT Up(rank 1)
    Fusion rank of product = 5
    (1) Death Blade(+X) + VIT Up = Dispel(+X)
    
    Example 6 - Death Blade(rank 5) and mastered VIT Up(M)
    Fusion rank of product = 5 + 1 = 6
    (1) Death Blade(+X) + VIT Up(M) = Status Ward(+X)
    
    Example 7 - Silence Blade(rank 2) and mastered VIT Up(M)
    Fusion rank of product = 2 + 1 = 3
    (1) Silence Blade(+X) + VIT Up(M) = Esuna(+X)
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    When your target materia is Rank 2-3 (e.g., Graviga, Steal, etc.), your
    objective is to produce a Dispel(rank 2) materia with your stat bonus.  
    
    Typically, you will do this by downgrading Status Ward(+X)(rank 4) to
    Dispel(+X)(rank 2).  
    
    Downgrading Status Ward(+X)(rank 4) to Dispel(+X)(rank 2):
    (a) Status Ward(+X) + (Barrier or MBarrier) = Elemental Ward(+X)
    (b) Elemental Ward(+X) + ST-type materia(rank 5 or less) = Dispel(+X)
    
    Downgrading mastered Status Ward(+X)(M)(rank 4) to Dispel(+X)(rank 2):
    (a) Status Ward(+X)(M) + (Barrier or MBarrier) = Elemental Ward(+X)
    (b) Elemental Ward(+X) + ST-type materia(rank 5 or less) = Dispel(+X)
    
    However, sometimes you will be lucky enough to produce a Dispel(+X) directly
    when the StDef-class product of a fusion is Rank 5 (see examples above).
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    Upgrading Dispel(+X) to Status Ward(+X) is a straightfoward upgrade using a
    mastered Dash or any DMW materia.  However, there's usually no benefit for
    doing it.
    
    () Dispel(+X) + Dash(M) = Status Ward(+X)
    
    () Dispel(+X) + DMW materia = Status Ward(+X)
    
    ============================================================
    Section 12: Converting you source materia into ST-type or DEF-class
    
    The simplest way to accomplish this is to make the ST-type or DEF-class materia
    dominant in the fusion and the source materia subordinate.  Determining which
    materia controls the product of a fusion goes as follows:
    
    materia rank (1-8) -> material level (1-4, master) -> order in fusion (1st,2nd)
    
    Therefore, to insure that ST-type or or DEF-class materia is dominant:
    (a) The ST-type or DEF-class materia(rank) should be equal or greater than the
    source materia(rank) - (for a few exceptions, see Section #18).
    
    (b) If the ST-type or DEF-class materia(rank) and the source materia(rank) are
    equal, then the ST-type or DEF-class materia(level) needs to be equal or
    greater than the source materia(level).
    
    (c) If both the ST-type or DEF-class materia(rank)(level) and the source
    materia(rank)(level) are equal, then the ST-type or DEF-class material needs to
    be in the first fusion slot.
    
    Note with high-ranking source materia, your options will be very limited.  The
    Item and SP Turbo materia classes each have a rank 8 materia, so the only thing
    you can use to downgrade Gil Toss(rank 8) or SP Master(rank 8) is a Status
    Strike(rank 8) of equal or greater level.  The DEF-class method will not work
    in downgrading most Rank 8 materia because the highest ranked DEF-class materia
    is Wall(rank 7).
    
    This method of obtaining a ST-type or DEF-class materia works for nearly all
    classes of target materia and nearly all kinds of ST-type materia with the
    following exceptions:
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    Exception 1 - ATK-related materia
    
    When you fuse Status Fire/Ice/Thunder with ATK-related materia AND the
    resulting fusion product is Rank 7-8, you run into problems due to a quirk in
    the Fire/Ice/Thunder Sword fusion product ranks.  (see Section #16(b))
    
    However, if your source materia is already Fire/Ice/Thunder Sword, you don't
    have to worry about this issue at all.
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    Exception 2 - Drain Magic and Drain Sword materia
    
    Drain-effect materia (e.g., Drain Magic and Drain Sword) often refuse to change
    classes, even when it's clearly the subordinate materia in the fusion. (see
    Section #16(c))
    
    ============================================================
    ============================================================
    Section 13(a): mastered Mug(M) always becomes Gil Toss
    
    Unfortunately, if you attempt to fuse a mastered Mug or a mastered Darkness,
    you always get an automatic +1 fusion rank bonus, which will frequently turn
    Mug or Darkness into Gil Toss or Quake, respectively. 
    
    Here are examples of downgrading a mastered Mug(M) to an unmastered Mug, using
    the ST-type method.
    
    Example - changing mastered Mug(+X)(M) to unmastered Mug(+X):
    (a) Hell Firaga + Mug(+X)(M) = Hell Firaga(+X)
    (b) Hell Firaga(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    (c) Mug + Status Ward(+X) = Mug(+X)
    
    Example - changing mastered Mug(+X)(M) to unmastered Mug(+X):
    (a) Dispel Blade + Mug(+X)(M) = Dispel Blade(+X)
    (b) Dispel Blade(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    (c) Mug + Status Ward(+X) = Mug(+X)
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    Here is an example of downgrading a mastered Mug(M) to an unmastered Mug, using
    the DEF-class method.
    
    Example - changing mastered Mug(+X)(M) to unmastered Mug(+X):
    (a) Wall + Mug(+X)(M) = Wall(+X)
    (b) Wall(+X) + ST-type materia(rank 7 or less) = Status Ward(+X)
    (c) Mug + Status Ward(+X) = Mug(+X)
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    Now that you have a unmastered Mug(+X), you can fuse it with other materia and
    items without changing it to Gil Toss.
    
    ============================================================
    Section 13(b): downgrading Gil Toss to Mug (or Steal)
    
    Here are Item-based examples of transferring a stat bonus from a higher-ranked
    materia to a lower-ranked materia:
    
    Example - downgrading Gil Toss(rank 8) to Mug(rank 6):
    (a) Status Strike + Gil Toss(+X) = Status Strike(+X)
    (b) Status Strike(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    (c) Mug + Status Ward(+X) = Mug(+X)
    
    Example - downgrading mastered Gil Toss(rank 8)(M) to Mug(rank 6):
    (a) Status Strike(M) + Gil Toss(+X)(M) = Status Strike(+X)(M)
    (b) Status Strike(+X)(M) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    (c) Mug + Status Ward(+X) = Mug(+X)
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    Here is an example of a double downgrade of Gil Toss to Steal:
    
    Example - downgrading Gil Toss(rank 8) to Steal(rank 2):
    (a) Status Strike + Gil Toss(+X) = Status Strike(+X)
    (b) Status Strike(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    (c) Status Ward(+X) + (Barrier or MBarrier) = Elemental Ward(+X)
    (d) Elemental Ward(+X) + ST-type materia(rank 5 or less) = Dispel(+X)
    (e) Steal + Dispel(+X) = Steal(+X)
    
    ============================================================
    Section 13(c): downgrading Smart Consumer to Steal
    
    Example - downgrading Smart Consumer(rank 4) to Steal(rank 2)
    (a) Elemental Ward + Smart Consumer(+X) = Elemental Ward(+X)
    (b) Elemental Ward(+X) + ST-type materia(rank 5 or less) = Dispel(+X)
    (c) Steal + Dispel(+X) = Steal(+X)
    
    Example - downgrading Smart Consumer(rank 4) to Steal(rank 2)
    (a) Death Blade + Smart Consumer(+X) = Death Blade(+X)
    (b) Death Blade(+X) + VIT Up = Dispel(+X)
    (c) Steal + Dispel(+X) = Steal(+X)
    
    ============================================================
    Section 14(a): mastered Darkness(M) always becomes Quake
    
    Unfortunately, if you attempt to fuse a mastered Mug or a mastered Darkness,
    you always get an automatic +1 fusion rank bonus, which will frequently turn
    Mug or Darkness into Gil Toss or Quake, respectively. 
    
    Here are examples of downgrading a mastered Darkness(M) to an unmastered
    Darkness, using the ST-type method.
    
    Example - changing mastered Darkness(+X)(M) to unmastered Darkness(+X):
    (a) Hell Firaga + Darkness(+X)(M) = Hell Firaga(+X)
    (b) Hell Firaga(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    (c) Darkness + Status Ward(+X) = Darkness(+X)
    
    Example - changing mastered Darkness(+X)(M) to unmastered Darkness(+X):
    (a) Dispel Blade + Darkness(+X)(M) = Dispel Blade(+X)
    (b) Dispel Blade(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    (c) Darkness + Status Ward(+X) = Darkness(+X)
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    Here is an example of downgrading a mastered Darkness(M) to an unmastered
    Darkness, using the DEF-class method.
    
    Example - changing mastered Darkness(+X)(M) to unmastered Darkness(+X):
    (a) Wall + Darkness(+X)(M) = Wall(+X)
    (b) Wall(+X) + ST-type materia(rank 7 or less) = Status Ward(+X)
    (c) Darkness + Status Ward(+X) = Darkness(+X)
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    Now that you have a unmastered Darkness(+X), you can fuse it with other materia
    and items without changing it to Quake.
    
    ============================================================
    Section 14(b): mastered Graviga(M) always becomes Darkness
    
    Unfortunately, if you attempt to fuse a mastered Graviga, you always get an
    automatic +1 fusion rank bonus, which will frequently turn Graviga into
    Darkness. 
    
    Here are examples of downgrading a mastered Graviga(M) to an unmastered
    Graviga, using the ST-type method.
    
    Example - changing mastered Graviga(+X)(M) to unmastered Graviga(+X):
    (a) Hell Firaga + Graviga(+X)(M) = Hell Firaga(+X)
    (b) Hell Firaga(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    (c) Graviga + Status Ward(+X) = Graviga(+X)
    
    Example - changing mastered Graviga(+X)(M) to unmastered Graviga(+X):
    (a) Dispel Blade + Graviga(+X)(M) = Dispel Blade(+X)
    (b) Dispel Blade(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    (c) Graviga + Status Ward(+X) = Graviga(+X)
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    Here is an example of downgrading a mastered Graviga(M) to an unmastered
    Graviga, using the DEF-class method.
    
    Example - changing mastered Graviga(+X)(M) to unmastered Graviga(+X):
    (a) Elemental Ward + Graviga(+X)(M) = Elemental Ward(+X)
    (b) Elemental Ward(+X) + ST-type materia(rank 5 or less) = Status Ward(+X)
    (c) Graviga + Status Ward(+X) = Graviga(+X)
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    Now that you have a unmastered Graviga(+X), you can fuse it with other materia
    and items without changing it to Darkness.
    
    ============================================================
    Section 14(c): downgrading Quake to Darkness (or Graviga)
    
    Here are Gravity-based examples of transferring a stat bonus from a
    higher-ranked materia to a lower-ranked materia:
    
    Example - downgrading Quake(rank 7) to Darkness(rank 6):
    (a) Hell Firaga + Quake(+X) = Hell Firaga(+X)
    (b) Hell Firaga(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    (c) Darkness + Status Ward(+X) = Darkness(+X)
    
    Example - downgrading mastered Quake(rank 7)(M) to Darkness(rank 6):
    (a) Hell Firaga(M) + Quake(+X)(M) = Hell Firaga(+X)(M)
    (b) Hell Firaga(+X)(M) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    (c) Darkness + Status Ward(+X) = Darkness(+X)
    
    Example - downgrading mastered Quake(rank 7)(M) to Darkness(rank 6):
    (a) Status Strike + Quake(+X)(M) = Status Strike(+X)
    (b) Status Strike(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    (c) Darkness + Status Ward(+X) = Darkness(+X)
    
    Example - downgrading Quake(+X)(rank 7) to Graviga(+X)(rank 4):
    (a) Hell Firaga + Quake(+X) = Hell Firaga(+X)
    (b) Hell Firaga(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    (c) Graviga + Status Ward(+X) = Graviga(+X)
    
    Example - downgrading Darkness(+X)(rank 6) to Graviga(+X)(rank 4):
    (a) Hell Firaga + Darkness(+X) = Hell Firaga(+X)
    (b) Hell Firaga(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    (c) Graviga + Status Ward(+X) = Graviga(+X)
    
    ============================================================
    Section 15: Examples of transferring stat bonus (+X) between various materia
    
    Here are examples of transferring a stat bonus between various materia:
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    Section 15(a): transferring (+X) from Stop Blade, Death Blade, etc.
    
    Example - changing Stop Blade(rank 4) to Darkness(rank 6):
    (a) Stop Blade(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    (b) Darkness + Status Ward(+X) = Darkness(+X)
    
    Example - changing mastered Stop Blade(rank 4) to Darkness(rank 6):
    (a) Stop Blade(+X)(M) + VIT Up = Dispel(+X)
    (b) Darkness + Dispel(+X) = Darkness(+X)
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    Section 15(b): transferring (+X) from Darkness (or Mug) to Curaga
    
    Example - changing Darkness(rank 6) to Curaga(rank 4) via St-Def-class method:
    (a) Hell Firaga + Darkness(+X) = Hell Firaga(+X)
    (b) Hell Firaga(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    (c) Curaga + Status Ward(+X) = Curaga(+X)
    
    Example - changing Darkness(rank 6) to Curaga(rank 4) via DEF-class method:
    (a) Wall + Darkness(+X) = Wall(+X)
    (b) Wall(+X) + ST-type materia(rank 7 or less) = Status Ward(+X)
    (c) Curaga + Status Ward(+X) = Curaga(+X)
    
    Example - changing Mug(rank 6) to Curaga(rank 4) via St-Def-class method:
    (a) Hell Firaga + Mug(+X) = Hell Firaga(+X)
    (b) Hell Firaga(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    (c) Curaga + Status Ward(+X) = Curaga(+X)
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    Section 15(c): transferring (+X) from HP/VIT/SPR Up++ to Curaga
    
    Example - changing HP Up++(rank 5) to Curaga(rank 4):
    (a) Hell Firaga + HP Up++(+X) = Status Ward(+X)
    (b) Curaga + Status Ward(+X) = Curaga(+X)
    
    Example - changing VIT Up++(rank 5) to Curaga(rank 4):
    (a) Hell Blizzaga + VIT Up++(+X) = Status Ward(+X)
    (b) Curaga + Status Ward(+X) = Curaga(+X)
    
    Example - changing SPR Up++(rank 5) to Curaga(rank 4):
    (a) Hell Firaga + SPR Up++(+X) = Status Ward(+X)
    (b) Curaga + Status Ward(+X) = Curaga(+X)
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    Section 15(d): transferring (+X) from MP/AP/MAG Up++ to Curaga
    
    Example - changing MP Up++(rank 5) to Curaga(rank 4):
    (a) Hell Firaga + MP Up++(+X) = Hell Firaga(+X)
    (a) Hell Firaga(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    (b) Curaga + Status Ward(+X) = Curaga(+X)
    
    Example - changing AP Up++(rank 5) to Curaga(rank 4):
    (a) Hell Firaga + AP Up++(+X) = Hell Firaga(+X)
    (a) Hell Firaga(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    (b) Curaga + Status Ward(+X) = Curaga(+X)
    
    Example - changing MAG Up++(rank 5) to Curaga(rank 4):
    (a) Hell Firaga + MAG Up++(+X) = Hell Firaga(+X)
    (a) Hell Firaga(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    (b) Curaga + Status Ward(+X) = Curaga(+X)
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    Section 15(e): transferring (+X) from Fire/Ice/Thunder Sword to Stop
    
    Example - changing Firaga Blade(rank 5) to Stop(rank 4):
    (a) Firaga Blade(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    (b) Stop + Status Ward(+X) = Stop(+X)
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    Section 15(f): transferring (+X) from Graviga to Steal
    
    Example - changing Graviga(Rank 4) to Steal(Rank 2):
    (c) Elemental Ward + Graviga(+X) = Elemental Ward(+X)
    (d) Elemental Ward(+X) + ST-type materia(rank 5 or less) = Dispel(+X)
    (e) Steal + Dispel(+X) = Steal(+X)
    
    The two materia used in step(d) must NOT be mastered or you won't end up with
    Dispel(+X)!
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    Section 15(g): transferring (+X) from Darkness to Steal
    
    Example - changing Darkness(Rank 6) to Steal(Rank 2):
    (a) Hell Firaga + Darkness(+X) = Hell Firaga(+X)
    (b) Hell Firaga(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    (c) Status Ward(+X) + (Barrier or MBarrier) = Elemental Ward(+X)
    (d) Elemental Ward(+X) + ST-type materia(rank 5 or less) = Dispel(+X)
    (e) Steal + Dispel(+X) = Steal(+X)
    
    The two materia used in step(d) must NOT be mastered or you won't end up with
    Dispel(+X)!
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    Section 15(h): transferring (+X) from Darkness to Assault Twister:
    
    Example - changing Darkness(Rank 6) to Assault Twister(Rank 3):
    (a) Hell Firaga + Darkness(+X) = Hell Firaga(+X)
    (b) Hell Firaga(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    (c) Status Ward(+X) + (Barrier or MBarrier) = Elemental Ward(+X)
    (d) Elemental Ward(+X) + ST-type materia(rank 5 or less) = Dispel(+X)
    (e) Assault Twister + Dispel(+X) = Assault Twister(+X)
    
    The two materia used in step(d) must NOT be mastered or you won't end up with
    Dispel(+X)!
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    Section 15(i): transferring (+X) from HP/VIT/SPR-type materia to Gravity-class
    materia
    
    Fusing a Gravity-class materia (e.g., Darkness, Quake, etc.) with a
    lower-ranking HP/VIT/SPR-type materia will almost ALWAYS produce a DEF-class
    materia.  So in order to transfer the stat bonus to a Gravity-class materia,
    you need to first change your HP/VIT/SPR-type materia to a StDef-class materia.
    
    Example - transfering (+X) from HP Up++(rank 5) to Darkness(rank 6)
    (a) Stop Blade + HP Up++(+X) = Status Ward(+X)
    (b) Darkness + Status Ward(+X) = Darkness(+X)
    
    Example - transferring (+X) from VIT Up+(rank 3) to Quake(rank 7)
    (a) Stop Blade + VIT Up+(+X) = Status Ward(+X)
    (b) Quake + Status Ward(+X) = Quake(+X)
    
    Example - changing SPR Up++(rank 5) to Quake(rank 7):
    (a) Hell Firaga + SPR Up++(+X) = Status Ward(+X)
    (b) Quake + Status Ward(+X) = Quake(+X)
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    Section 15(j): transferring (+X) from ATK-type materia to Gravity-class materia
    
    Fusing a Gravity-class materia (e.g., Darkness, Quake, etc.) with a
    lower-ranking ATK-type (ATK, Sword Skill, Speed Sword) or Fire/Ice/Thunder
    Sword-type materia will almost ALWAYS produce a Sword Skill-class materia.  So
    in order to transfer your stat bonus to a Gravity-class materia, you need to
    first change your ATK-type or Fire/Ice/Thunder Sword-type materia to a
    StDef-class materia.
    
    Example - transfering (+X) from ATK Up++(rank 5) to Darkness(rank 6)
    (a) Dark Firaga + ATK Up++(+X) = Firaga Blade(+X)
    (b) Firaga Blade(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    (c) Darkness + Status Ward(+X) = Darkness(+X)
    
    ============================================================
    Section 16(a): transferring (+X) to  Ultimate-, Punch-, or Other-class materia
    
    You can transfer a stat bonus to Ult/Punch/Other-type materia ONLY UNDER VERY
    LIMITED CONDITIONS -- specifically, you can only do this when the source
    materia is also a Ult/Punch/Other-type materia.
    
    The problem is caused by the fact that Ult/Punch/Other-type materia will NEVER
    retain their properties UNLESS fused with another Ult/Punch/Other-type materia.
    
    In other words, there's NO way to transfer a stat bonus (e.g., HP+999%) from a
    Stat-type materia (e.g., HP Up++) to Costly Punch -- period.  Fusing Costly
    Punch with ANYTHING (except a Ultimate-class, Punch-class, or Other-class
    materia) will change Costly Punch into something else.   
    
    () Costly Punch(rank 8) + non-Ult/Punch/Other-type materia(rank 7) =
    non-Ult/Punch/Other-type materia(rank 8)
    
    () Goblin Punch(rank 1) + non-Ult/Punch/Other-type materia(rank 6) =
    non-Ult/Punch/Other-type materia(rank 6)
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    Dash, Dualcast, and DMW materia NEVER retain their properties, even when fused
    with each other, so it is impossible to build stat bonuses on them.
    
    Full Cure NEVER retain its properties, even when fused with another Full Cure,
    (you end up with Curaga) so it is impossible to build stat bonuses on it.
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    Downgrading Ult/Punch/Other-type materia
    
    There is NO way to downgrade Ultimate-class or Punch-class materia, so the
    fusion product will always be same as the higher ranking materia (or higher if
    either or both materia used are mastered).
    
    HOWEVER, since Dash, Dualcast, and DMW materia NEVER retain their properties,
    even when fused with each other, it is possible to downgrade these materia to
    Libra(rank 1).  This is useful when you wish to transfer the stat bonus from a
    mission reward (i.e., DMW materia(+X)(M)) to another upgradable materia (e.g.,
    Mug or Darkness). 
    
    () Dash + Dash = Libra
    () Dualcast + Dualcast = Libra
    () DMW materia + DMW materia = Libra
    () Dash + DMW materia = Libra
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    Within their own special little group of materia, Ult/Punch/Other-type materia
    usually behave just like other materia with respect to dominance and fusion
    ranks.
    
    () Costly Punch + Libra(+X) = Costly Punch(+X)
    
    () Costly Punch + Ultima(+X) = Costly Punch(+X)
    
    () Ultima + Costly Punch(+X) = Ultima(+X)
    
    () Electrocute + Libra(+X) = Electrocute(+X)
    
    () Energy + Magical Punch(+X) = Energy(+X)
    
    () Flare + Libra(+X)(M) = Energy(+X)
    
    () Flare(M) + Libra(+X)(M) = Ultima(+X)
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    The only way you can build a stat bonus on a Ult/Punch/Other-type materia is by
    using the following method:
    
    Ult/Punch/Other-type materia + (Ultimate-class, Punch-class, Other-class
    material of equal or lower rank) + (stat boosting item) = Ult/Punch/Other-type
    (w/ stat bonus)
    
    Example - building a stat bonus on Costly Punch
    (a) Costly Punch + (Ultimate-class, Punch-class, Other-class material) + (stat
    boosting item) = Costly Punch (w/ stat bonus)
    
    Since Costly Punch is Rank 8, you can use any Ultimate-class, Punch-class,
    Other-class material of rank 8 or less (Tri-Thundaga, Tri-Fire, Electrocute,
    Flare, Energy, Ultima, Goblin Punch, Iron Fist, Magical Punch, Hammer Punch,
    Libra, Dash, Dualcast, DMW materia).  
    
    However, if you are trying to build a stat bonus on Tri-Fire(rank 4), you can
    only fuse it with unmastered Ult/Punch/Other-type materia of Rank 4 or less
    (Tri-Thundaga, Goblin Punch, Iron Fist, Magical Punch, Libra, Dash).
    
    Therefore, if you're uncertain about which materia you want to put a stat bonus
    on, it's best to build up the bonus on unmastered Libra(rank 1) materia.  That
    way, you will have no problems later on when you want to transfer that stat
    bonus to Costly Punch, Flare, Ultima, etc.  Libra also has the benefit of being
    cheap (1000 gil) and readily available from Research Dept QMC, which you
    automatically get in the storyline (Chapter 4).
    
    Again, remember that Dash, Dualcast, Full Cure, and DMW materia NEVER retain
    their properties, even when fused with each other, so it is impossible to build
    stat bonuses on them.
    
    ============================================================
    Section 16(b): transferring (+X) from ATK-related materia
    
    A quirk in the Fusion Ranks 7-8 for Fire/Ice/Thunder Sword-class materia (e.g.,
    Firaga Blade, etc.) causes problems if you are attempting to transfer a stat
    bonus from an ATK-related materia (e.g., ATK, Sword Skill, Speed Sword)
    
    If you attempt to use Rank 7 Status Fire/Ice/Thunder materia (e.g., Hell -ga)
    in the fusion, you will produce Elemental Strike, which is a Sword Skill-class
    materia instead of Fire/Ice/Thunder Sword-class.  This is usually undesirable
    because there is no direct way to change Elemental Strike into Status Ward,
    although you can do it indirectly.
    
    Therefore, if you are trying to transfer a stat bonus from an ATK-related
    materia, do NOT use Hell -ga(rank 7) materia.  Instead, you should use:
    (1) Rank 5 Dark -ga materia (e.g., Dark Firaga, etc.); or
    (2) Rank 5+ Status Sword Skill-class materia (e.g., Death Blade, Dispel Blade,
    Status Strike); or
    (3) Rank 5+ Status Speed Sword-class materia (e.g., Death Twister).
    
    Here's are examples involving the transfer of a stat bonus from ATK
    Up++(+X)(rank 5) to Status Ward(+X)(rank 4):
    
    Example 1 - using Dark Firaga(rank 5)
    (a) Dark Firaga + ATK Up++(+X) = Firaga Blade(+X)
    (b) Firaga Blade(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    
    Example 2 -  from ATK Up++(+X), using Dispel Blade(rank 7)
    (a) Dispel Blade + ATK Up++(+X) = Dispel Blade(+X)
    (b) Dispel Blade(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    
    Example 3 - using Hell Firaga(rank 7)
    (a) Hell Firaga + ATK Up++(+X) = Elemental Strike(+X)
    (b) Elemental Strike(+X) + (any Status Magic or Status Sword Skill) = Dispel
    Blade(+X)
    (c) Dispel Blade(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    
    As you can see, using Hell -ga(rank 7) materia requires extra steps to achieve
    the desired StDef-materia(+X).  
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    Other examples of transferring (+X) from ATK-related materia
    
    Example - Sword Skill - from Exploder Blade(rank 6) to Curaga(Rank 4)
    (a) Dispel Blade + Exploder Blade(+X) = Dispel Blade(+X)
    (b) Dispel Blade(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    (c) Curaga + Status Ward(+X) = Curaga(+X)
    
    Example - Speed Sword - from Assault Twister(rank 3) to Graviga(Rank 4)
    (a) Dark Firaga + Assault Twister(+X) = Firaga Blade(+X)
    (b) Firaga Blade(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    (c) Graviga + Status Ward(+X) = Graviga(+X)
    
    Example - Speed Sword - from Assault Twister(M)(rank 3) to Graviga(Rank 4)
    (a) Dispel Blade + Assault Twister(+X)(M) = Dispel Blade(+X)
    (b) Dispel Blade(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    (c) Graviga + Status Ward(+X) = Graviga(+X)
    
    Example - Speed Sword - from Assault Twister+(rank 7) to Status Ward(Rank 4)
    (a) Dispel Blade + Assault Twister+(+X) = Dispel Blade(+X)
    (b) Dispel Blade(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    
    ============================================================
    Section 16(c): transferring (+X) from Drain-effect materia
    
    Drain effect materia (e.g., Drain Magic, Drain Sword) often refuse to change
    classes from a Drain-effect materia, even when it is clearly lower in rank
    and/or level. 
    
    The only way to change Drain-effect materia into other classes of materia is to
    fuse them with the following:
      - Heal (max rank 4)
      - Defense (max rank 7)
      - Status Defense (max rank 4)
      - Fire/Ice/Thunder Sword (max rank 5)
      - Item (max rank 8)
      - HP, MP, AP, ATK, VIT, MAG, SPR (max rank 5)
      - SP Turbo (max rank 8)
    
    In order to get a class change, the Drain-effect materia needs to be
    subordinate in the fusion.  This is not a problem with Drain-effect materia of
    Rank 5 or less. But with Drain-effect materia(rank 6 or more), options become
    much more limited.  For example, to change Drainga(rank 7) to another class,
    you're basically stuck with using Wall(rank 7) or Gil Toss(rank 8).
    
    However, once you manage to shift the (+X) away from the Drain-effect materia,
    you can use the method described in this FAQ to transfer (+X) to other materia.
    
    Here are examples involving the transfer of a stat bonus from a mastered
    Drainga(+X)(rank 7)(M) to Status Ward(+X)(rank 4):
    
    Example 1 - using mastered Wall(rank 7)
    (a) Wall(M) + Drainga(+X)(M) = Wall(+X)(M)
    (b) Wall(+X)(M) + Poison = Status Ward(+X)
    
    Example 2 - using Gil Toss(rank 8)
    (a) Gil Toss + Drainga(+X)(M) = Gil Toss(+X)
    (b) Status Strike + Gil Toss(+X) = Status Strike(+X)
    (c) Status Strike(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    Here are some more examples involving other Drain-effect materia:
    
    Example 3 - changing Aerial Drain(rank 8) to Status Ward(rank 4)
    (a) Gil Toss + Aerial Drain(+X) = Gil Toss(+X)
    (b) Status Strike + Gil Toss(+X) = Status Strike(+X)
    (c) Status Strike(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    
    Example 4 - changing mastered Aerial Drain(rank 8)(M) to Status Ward(rank 4)
    (a) Gil Toss(M) + Aerial Drain(+X)(M) = Gil Toss(+X)(M)
    (b) Status Strike(M) + Gil Toss(+X)(M) = Status Strike(+X)(M)
    (c) Status Strike(+X)(M) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    
    Example 5 - changing Power Drain(rank 5) to Dispel(rank 2)
    (a) Elemental Ward + Power Drain(+X) = Elemental Ward(+X)
    (b) Elemental Ward(+X) + Poison = Dispel(+X)
    
    Example 6 - changing Power Drain(rank 5) to Status Ward(rank 4)
    (a) Elemental Ward + Power Drain(+X) = Elemental Ward(+X)
    (b) Elemental Ward(+X) + Poison(M) = Status Ward(+X)
    
    Example 7 - changing Osmoga(rank 6) to Status Ward(rank 4)
    (a) Wall + Osmoga(+X) = Wall(+X)
    (b) Wall(+X) + Poison = Status Ward(+X)
    
    ============================================================
    Section 16(d): transferring (+X) from AP-class materia
    
    The best way to transfer a stat from AP-class materia is by using Status
    Fire/Ice/Thunder or DEF-class materia.  Using other materia (Status Speed
    Sword, Status Sword Skill, etc.) causes problems because you will almost always
    end up with a Speed Sword materia instead of StDef-class materia.
    
    ============================================================
    Section 16(e): transferring (+X) to Gravity-class materia
    
    In certain instances, Gravity-class materia will change in fusions even when
    they clearly should be dominant by rank/level/placement.  Therefore, when
    transferring stats from the following classes of materia to Gravity-class
    materia, you MUST convert your source materia to an StDef-class or DEF-class
    materia first.  Otherwise there's a very good chance that you won't end up with
    a Gravity-class materia after fusion. 
    
     -- HP/VIT/SPR-type
     -- ATK-type (ATK, Sword Skill, Speed Sword)
     -- Fire/Ice/Thunder Sword-type
     -- AP-type
    
    ============================================================
    Section 16(f): transferring (+X) to Dash, Dualcast, Full Cure, or DMW materia
    
    You CANNOT transfer or build stat bonuses on Dash, Dualcast, Full Cure, or DMW
    materia.
    
    PERIOD.
    
    Dash, Dualcast, and DMW materia NEVER retain their properties, even when fused
    with each other, so it is impossible to build stat bonuses on them.
    
    Full Cure NEVER retain its properties, even when fused with another Full Cure,
    (you end up with Curaga) so it is impossible to build stat bonuses on it.
    
    ============================================================
    Section 17: transferring (+X) from mission rewards
    
    Congratulations, you've cleared a mission and now you have a mastered materia
    with a hefty stat bonus.  But what if you don't like High Jump or Stop Sword?
    
    Here are ways you can transfer the significant stat bonuses from various
    mission rewards to other, more useful types of materia (e.g., Darkness,
    Graviga, Mug, etc.)
    
    Once you have a StDef-class materia (Status Ward or Dispel) with your desired
    stat bonus (+X), you can use the normal fusion/upgrade methods to turn that
    Status Ward(+X) or Dispel(+X) materia into almost any type of Rank 4+ materia
    (using Status Ward) or Rank 2-3 materia (using Dispel) with the same stat
    bonus.
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    Mission 2-5-1 - Assault Twister(ATK+40)(M) (rank 3)
    
    Option 1 - using Dark Firaga(rank 5)
    (a) Dark Firaga + Assault Twister(+X)(M) = Firaga Blade(+X)
    (b) Firaga Blade(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    
    Option 2 - using Dispel Blade(rank 7)
    (a) Dispel Blade + Assault Twister(+X)(M) = Dispel Blade(+X)
    (b) Dispel Blade(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    
    Remember that for ATK-type materia, it is tricky to use Status
    Fire/Ice/Thunder-type materia to transfer stat bonuses.
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    Mission 2-5-2 - Hell Blizzaga (MAG+35)(M) (rank 7)
    
    (a) Hell Blizzaga(+X)(M) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    Mission 3-5-3 - Wall (MAG+60)(M) (rank 7)
    
    (a) Wall(+X)(M) + ST-type materia(rank 7 or less) = Status Ward(+X)
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    Mission 5-4-5 - Quake (MAG+45)(M) (rank 7)
    
    Option 1: using Hell Firaga(rank 7)(M)
    (a) Hell Firaga(M) + Quake(+X)(M) = Hell Firaga(+X)(M)
    (b) Hell Firaga(+X)(M) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    
    Option 2: using Status Strike(rank 8):
    (a) Status Strike + Quake(+X)(M) = Status Strike(+X)
    (b) Status Strike(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    
    Option 3: using Wall(rank 7)(M):
    (a) Wall(M) + Quake(+X)(M) = Wall(+X)(M)
    (b) Wall(+X)(M) + ST-type materia(rank 7 or less) = Status Ward(+X)
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    Mission 6-5-5 - Drainga (HP+500%)(M) (rank 7)
    
    Option 1 - using Wall(rank 7)(M)
    (a) Wall(M) + Drainga(+X)(M) = Wall(+X)(M)
    (b) Wall(+X)(M) + ST-type materia(rank 7 or less) = Status Ward(+X)
    
    Option 2 - using Gil Toss(rank 8)
    (a) Gil Toss + Drainga(+X)(M) = Gil Toss(+X)
    (b) Status Strike + Gil Toss(+X) = Status Strike(+X)
    (c) Status Strike(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    
    Remember that for Drain-effect materia, you can NOT use Hell -ga materia to
    transfer stat bonuses.
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    Mission 6-5-6 - High Jump (ATK+40)(M) (rank 5)
    
    Option 1 - using Dispel Blade(rank 7)
    (a) Dispel Blade + High Jump(+X)(M) = Dispel Blade(+X)
    (b) Dispel Blade(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    
    Option 2 - using Dark Firaga(rank 5)
    (a) Dark Firaga(M) + High Jump(+X)(M) = Elemental Strike(+X)(M)
    (b) Elemental Strike(+X)(M) + (any Status Magic or Status Sword Skill) = Dispel
    Blade(+X)
    (c) Dispel Blade(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    
    Remember that for ATK-type materia, it is tricky to use Status
    Fire/Ice/Thunder-type materia to transfer stat bonuses.
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    Mission 8-6-6 - Stop Blade (ATK+60)(M) (rank 4)
    
    Option 1: using VIT Up(rank 1)
    (a) Stop Blade(+X)(M) + VIT Up = Dispel(+X)
    
    Option 2: using VIT Up(rank 1)(M)
    (a) Stop Blade(+X)(M) + VIT Up(M) = Status Ward(+X)
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    Mission 9-3-3 - Gravity (MAG+38)(M) (rank 2)
    
    Option 1: using Dark Fira (rank 3)
    (a) Dark Fira + Gravity(+X)(M) = Dark Fira(+X)
    (b) Dark Fira(+X) + VIT Up = Status Ward(+X)
    
    Option 2: using Stop Blade(rank 4):
    (a) Stop Blade + Gravity(+X)(M) = 
    (b) Stop Blade(+X) + VIT Up = Dispel(+X)
    
    Option 3: using MBarrier(rank 3):
    (a) MBarrier + Gravity(+X)(M) = MBarrier(+X)
    (b) MBarrier(+X) + Poison = Status Ward(+X)
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    Mission 9-3-6 Flare (MAG+30)(M) (rank 6)
    
    Option 1:
    () Costly Punch + Flare(+X)(M) = Costly Punch(+X)
    
    Option 2: 
    () Hammer Punch(M) + Flare(+X)(M) = Costly Punch(+X)
    
    Option 3:
    () Ultima + Flare(+X)(M) = Ultima(+X)
    
    Option 4:
    () Electrocute + Flare(+X)(M) = Energy(+X)
    
    Option 5:
    () target materia + Flare(+X)(M) = target materia(+X) OR upgraded version of
    target materia(+X)
    
    Be careful with Option 5, because once you shift the (+X) bonus away from
    Flare, you will NEVER be able to transfer it back to another
    Ult/Punch/Other-type materia.
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    Mission 9-5-5 Hellfire (MAG+40)(M) (rank 8)
    Mission 9-5-6 Megaflare (MAG+50)(M) (rank 8)
    Mission 9-6-1 Zantetsuken (MAG+60)(M) (rank 8)
    Mission 9-6-3 Rebirth Flame (MAG+80)(M) (rank 8)
    Mission 9-6-4 Exaflare (MAG+100)(M) (rank 8)
    
    Option 1: 
    () Libra + DMW materia(+X)(M) = Libra(+X)
    
    Option 2:
    () Costly Punch + DMW materia(+X)(M) = Costly Punch(+X)
    
    Option 3:
    () Ultima + DMW materia(+X)(M) = Ultima(+X)
    
    Option 4:
    () target materia + DMW materia(+X)(M) = target materia(+X) OR upgraded version
    of target materia(+X)
    
    Be careful with Option 4, because once you shift the (+X) bonus away from a
    Ult/Punch/Other-type materia, you will NEVER be able to transfer it back to
    another Ult/Punch/Other-type materia.
    
    Also, with Option 4, if you use an upgradable materia (e.g., Mug or Darkness)
    as your target materia, you will end up with Gil Toss or Quake, respectively.  
    
    If you want to end up with the stat bonus on Mug or Darkness, it is much better
    to use Option 1 first, then fuse the resulting Libra(+X) with Mug or Darkness. 
    Otherwise, you'll end up having to downgrade Gil Toss or Quake back to Mug or
    Darkness, respectively.
    
    ============================================================
    Section 18: More ways to prep source materia for downgrading
    
    Here are some alternate ways to prepare your source materia for downgrading or
    conversion, which do NOT require the ST-type materia to be dominant (i.e.,
    higher ranked and/or higher leveled).
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    Source materia class: Fire, Ice, Thunder
    
    any Fire/Ice/Thunder + any Status Magic = Status Fire/Ice/Thunder
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    Source materia class: Speed Sword
    
    any Speed Sword + any Status Magic = Status Sword Skill
    any Speed Sword + any Status Sword Skill = Status Sword Skill
    any Speed Sword + any Status Speed Sword = Status Sword Skill
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    Source materia class: Sword Skill 
    
    any Sword Skill + any Status Magic = Status Sword Skill
    any Sword Skill + any Status Sword Skill = Status Sword Skill
    
    ============================================================
    Section 19: Miscellaneous Notes
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    Section 19(a): Limited Availability of Steal, Smart Consumer, and Mug
    
    Always make sure you keep at least one spare of your lower-rank Item materia
    (Steal, Smart Consumer, or Mug) in your inventory AT ALL TIMES and NEVER use
    that spare for fusion or convert it into SP.  Personally, I strongly recommend
    keeping multiple spares of Steal and Mug around, just in case.
    
    Why worry about this?  Because in the Item class, the highest ranked materia is
    Gil Toss, which has no ability to steal items.  Therefore, if you're not
    careful with your fusions, you can easily end up upgrading your Mug to Gil
    Toss.   
    
    While this FAQ tells you exactly how to downgrade your Gil Toss back to Mug,
    please note that the process requires a second Mug materia.  So if you only
    have one Mug materia, then deliberately or accidentally upgrade it to Gil Toss,
    you've just lost the critical ability to steal items from monsters unless you
    have a spare Steal or Mug materia lying around.
    
    The main problem with the lower ranking Item-class materia (Steal, Smart
    Consumer, Mug) is that they are NOT sold in shops and NOT dropped by monsters. 
    They are one-time rewards obtained during the storyline or from specific
    missions - six in total.  
    
    These materia can be stolen from various monsters, but that requires that you
    have a Steal or Mug already in your possession... which is a big problem if you
    don't have Steal, Mug, or Smart Consumer (which is upgradable to Mug) in the
    first place.
    
    If you have already obtained these materia, then lose them (via fusion or
    conversion to SP), there's no way to get another Steal or Mug until you have
    access to the appropriate mission or storyline.  If you've already done all the
    missions where these materia are available, you're basically stuck until you
    get to the last dungeon in the storyline.  And if you've gotten and lost all
    six lower-rank Item materia, you're completely out of luck until you play New
    Game+ and get to your first meeting/date with Aeris.
    
    So keep spares of your lower-rank Item materia and steal more whenever
    possible. 
    
    (Credit to Piccolo113 for pointing out the limited availability of Steal)
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    Section 19(b): Building stat bonuses on Drain Sword materia
    
    The fusion product ranks for Drain Sword materia have quirks which can make the
    normally straightfoward process of stat building rather tricky.
    
    Normally, when you fuse a materia with an unmastered Libra, you end up with the
    same materia.  However, with Drain Sword materia, when you fuse with Libra, you
    almost NEVER end with the same materia (except Aerial Drain).
    
    () Drain Blade(rank 2) + Libra = Osmose Blade(rank 3)
    () Osmose Blade(rank 3) + Libra = Drain Blade(rank 2)
    () Power Drain(rank 5) + Libra = Power Osmose(rank 6)
    () Power Osmose(rank 6) + Libra = Power Drain(rank 5)
    
    Therefore, in order to build up stat bonuses on Drain Sword materia, you will
    often need to do additional fusions (typically with Libra) in order to obtain
    the materia you want.
    
    Example: building stat bonus on Power Osmose(rank 6)
    
    (a) Power Osmose + Libra(+X) = Power Drain(+X)
    (b) Power Drain(+X) + Libra = Power Osmose(+X)
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    ============================================================
    Section 20: Frequently Asked Questions
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    Section 20(a): How do I make Mug?
    
    To make Mug, there are two options:
    
    Option 1: 
    (a) Steal(M) + Dash(M) = Mug
    
    Option 2:
    (a) Steal + Dash = Smart Consumer
    (b) Smart Consumer + (any mastered materia of Rank 3 or less) = Mug
    
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    
    ============================================================
    Section 21: Credits
    
    - Ckenni - for developing an alternate method of downgrading materia and
    transferring stat bonuses using Defense-type materia.
    
    - Piccolo113 - for alerting me about issues about Steal's availability
    
    - Kouli - for his excellent FAQ.
    - nunuu - for her helpful Materia FAQ.
    - Absolute Steve - for his comprehensive FAQ for Crisis Core
    
    - BradyGames - for their helpful materia fusion guide and charts
    - Square Enix - for developing and publishing Crisis Core
    
    - GAMEFAQS - for hosting this FAQ.
    
    ============================================================
    Section 22: Version History
    
    Version 0.9 (April-04-2008) - rough draft
    
    Version 1.0 (April-07-2008) - completed
    
    Version 1.1 (April-12-2008)
     -- reorganized the FAQ
     -- added more information on how to calculate stat bonuses
     -- added more information about exploiting Status Defense fusion ranks
     -- added more information about double downgrades and using Dispel
     -- added more information about transferring stats from mission rewards
     -- miscellaneous corrections
    
    Version 1.2 (April-16-2008)
     -- added more info on downgrading Smart Consumer
     -- corrected several typos in the Drain-effect materia section
     -- added more examples regarding ATK-related materia
     -- minor editorial changes for clarity
     -- added more examples throughout the guide
    
    Version 1.3 (May-23-2008)
     -- change several materia names from the Japanese to the US version
     -- corrected several typos through the guide
     -- added a new section re-emphasizing the special characteristics and problems
    with Dash, Dual Cast, Full Cure, and DMW materia
    
    ============================================================
    Section 23: Contact Info
    
    If you have any comments, suggestions, or corrections, email me at:
    
    ladytanaka (at) aol (dot) com.  
    
    Make sure that you include the subject "Crisis Core Materia Guide".
    
    ============================================================
    Section 24: Disclaimer / Legal Information
    
    This guide is for informational purposes only.  This may be not be reproduced
    under any circumstances except for personal, private use. It may not be placed
    on any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without advance written
    permission. Use of this guide on any other web site or as a part of any public
    display is strictly prohibited. 
    
    This guide in no way or form has any affiliation with Square Enix. 
    
    Please do not ask me about posting this game script on your own site.  The
    finished game script will be posted only on GameFAQs. If you see this guide on
    any other website, please contact me about it. Thank you.
    
    Copyright 2008 Ladytanaka
    
    ============================================================
    
    

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