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9 things to know before starting Crisis Core Final Fantasy 7 Reunion

Some tips on how to make it as a Soldier First Class

Zack, Cloud and Sephiroth look to the skies against a sweeping view in Crisis Core Image: Square Enix
Julia Lee (she/her) is a guides producer, writing guides for games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Genshin Impact. She helped launch the Rift Herald in 2016.

Crisis Core Final Fantasy 7 Reunion finally brings the prequel PSP game on more consoles, while remastering and upgrading features so the game aligns with modern gaming standards. While the story is still a lot and the funky slot machine combat system is still silly, Crisis Core is still worth playing for anyone who loves the Final Fantasy 7 franchise.

Below, we list out some tips that will help new Crisis Core players adjust to the game and remind folks who played the original game how things work.

Do not rely on the DMW to get you out of tough situations

The Digital Mind Wave (or DMW) is the limit break system in the game. It works like a slot machine, and if you get three matching characters in a row, you’ll have access to a summon or limit break, as well as restored HP, MP, and AP.

If you’re battling and low on any of those points, just use your items. Don’t wait around, relying on the DMW to get you out of a sticky situation. It’s way too random, so praying for a good DMW roll will be your demise.

Side missions are key for leveling and items

The story in Crisis Core is short; a lot of the extra gameplay comes from completing missions. You’ll unlock different missions as you complete the game, but every now and then you should take a breather to do these missions.

Not only do missions reward important things like summons, but they’ll help you level up and stay afloat during the story. If you notice that the story enemies are taking a little bit too long to kill, that’s a sign that you should probably go do some missions.

Heal up at save points constantly

Touching a save point will restore all your points — MP, HP, and AP — to full, so you should definitely do that whenever you see one. You don’t need to even necessarily save. You can just touch it for some fast healing.

Attacking the enemy’s back does more damage

Hitting an enemy from behind is a guaranteed critical hit, so you should dodge-roll around and hit enemies where it hurts whenever you can. Some enemies are tougher to get behind, as they’ll reposition themselves quickly. If that’s the case, you can just focus on hacking and slashing them.

Zack Fair slashes a robot from behind, dealing critical damage Image: Square Enix via Polygon

Utilize infinite MP buffs as much as you can

Sometimes the DMW will reward you with infinite MP for a limited time in battle. Even if you don’t plan on using the skills to do damage, use this as an opportunity to spam cure to heal yourself up for free.

Expect encounters in open rooms

Most areas follow the same formula: thin hallways that lead to open rooms. Enemy encounters tend to pop up in these open rooms, as there’s enough space for battle, so you can half-predict when an encounter will happen.

That is to say, there are areas where enemies still appear in the halls, so make sure you’re ready to fight at any moment.

Run along the walls of the rooms to avoid enemies

If you’re tired of hearing the “activating combat mode” voice lady and want to beeline the story a bit more, you can avoid encounters by generally hugging the walls of the areas you’re exploring. Encounters tend to activate towards the middle of the room, so hugging the walls can help avoid them.

That is to say that you shouldn’t really skip out on random battles, as you might end up underleveled. However, if you’re vastly overleveled and tired of slashing at enemies, you can take a breather by running along the walls.

Talk to every NPC with an orange prompt

Lots of NPCs in Crisis Core are useless, but some NPCs have orange interaction buttons, meaning that they unlock some form of content. Some NPCs will unlock minigames or give items, but lots of these orange NPCs will unlock more missions for you to complete, some of which are mandatory to complete other side content.

If you have a chance to run around Midgar before you head out on a mission, make sure to explore the areas thoroughly and talk to all these orange NPCs.

A shopkeeper in the Midgar slums with an orange interaction prompt over his chest Image: Square Enix via Polygon

Level up all the materia you can

While you should use your powerful materia against bosses and the like, you should also create a set that you use in battle against small fry enemies just to level the materia up. Once a materia becomes “mastered” it will have a different effect in materia fusion, so it’s nice to have a couple mastered materia on-hand, even if you’re not actively using it.

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