In the near past, I had been working through my second playthrough of the amazing Final Fantasy VII, a PS1 classic that surely needs no introduction. While I adore this game and am happy to say it is one of the few games I went into with high expectations, and was not disappointed, I gotta say I hate the final boss. The first part, Jenova-Synthesis, is fine. Bizarro Sephiroth is really…bizarre, but not that bad once I started fighting this monstrosity properly. But the weirdly-named Safer Sephiroth (what makes him so safe?) is pure agony because of the super boring, super long, Supernova attack.
Once it came time to enter the Northern Crater, the final location of the game, dread formed in my stomach like a lump. I just didn’t want to face Sephiroth and his boring Supernova attack again and almost considered just leaving the game unfinished. I mean, I had already beaten it once. What was the point of doing it again? What am I trying to prove?
Well, I have a super hard time leaving anything unfinished, so there was no chance I was quitting this game without beating Less Dangerous Sephiroth. Excuse me, Safer Sephiroth. Because that’s a thing.
When I first played the game, I kept hearing that I needed a Summons called Knights of the Round (apparently adding Table to the end was too many letters), which I failed to obtain last time because it involves a rather tedious side quest where you must breed a Gold Chocobo. Once you have said Gold Chocobo, you can run across the ocean to an isolated island where the materia awaits. Fortunately, during this playthrough, I was feeling a good deal less lazy and actually put the required effort into procuring the legendary Knights of the Round. My Gold Chocobo’s name was Dorito. I have my reasons.
Skipping ahead, I worked my way through the Northern Crater with ease, since I now had the amazing Energy Skill trio of Big Guard (for taking less damage), White Wind (for healing health and status ailments), and Magic Hammer (for stealing magic from enemies 100 MP at a time). Thanks to the aforementioned abilities and the fact that I was about ten levels higher than last time (Cloud was level 70, while the rest of my party were in their mid-60’s), I was very prepared indeed for my second encounter with this game’s final boss.
My final team, like last time, was Cloud, Vincent, and Cid. The reason for this is…Cloud is a must-have, for obvious reasons, and the other two had weapons that earned triple AP for leveling up materia. When I arrived at part one of the final boss, Jenova-Synthesis, I defeated it very quickly. Cloud could attack all parts with Slash-All and so could Cid, though that was thanks to the Mega-All materia. Vincent could attack twice in a row because of Double Cut.
After a few physical attacks, this part of the fight was over, and all before the countdown to Ultima ran out! Then along came…Bizarro…Sephiroth (what’s with these names…), who is just as creepy as his battle music is fun…if not a bit…bizarre. I used much the same method here as I did with part one, determined to use as little magic as possible, as I wanted to save it for Safer Sephiroth. (Sephiroth, now with guard rails. Oh, and he no longer contains lead paint and asbestos. That’s what makes him safer!) Um, self-indulgent jokes aside, once I stopped making progress thanks to Bizarro’s obsession with healing constantly, I thought, why not, let’s use Knights of the Round and see what all the hype is about.
After watching Bizarro Sephiroth get pummeled by probably ten knights, he was out of the way, as well. Ha, try healing that! And now, all that remained was…Safer Sephiroth. Child-friendly edition.
These jokes were never funny, were they?
Okay, by now, I was pretty nervous and psyched at the same time once One-Winged Angel started playing (easily the most epic boss battle music of all time). This was it. The final showdown. Now if only I can beat him as quickly as possible before he uses too many Supernovas….
Cid uses Big Guard. Vincent uses Despell or some such thing to take away Sephiroth’s protection. And then Cloud summons Knights of the Round. I watch with glee as the knights do their work, White Wind already chosen to heal my characters after some previous damage. At long last, the Summons is over, and I’m ready for my next move. But, what’s this? There’s a red X over the hand that allows you to select your characters. Is…something wrong? Hey, time out, Sephiroth, I seem to have encountered a glitch!
Turns out, I had won the battle. With one attack. After cut scenes and the like, the credits started rolling, and I looked online to see if this had happened to anyone else. Alas, I learned that, if you remove Sephiroth’s barrier, apparently he can indeed be defeated with a single summoning of Knights of the Round.
Wow. To think, when I first played the game, it took me a whopping three-hours to defeat the final boss (most of that time was dedicated to figuring out how to defeat Bizarro Sephiroth). And in the process, I had been forced to watch the Supernova attack at least half a dozen times. And now…thanks to the overpowered Knights of the Round, I defeated Safer Sephiroth without having to watch Supernova even once!
As pitiful as the final showdown turned out to be thanks to Knights of the Round being way more powerful than it has any right being, I can’t say I have any regrets. There’s no denying that, this time around, beating the game was way more fun. Makes me think of my second playthrough of FF8…and how Squall’s Lion Heart limit break made the game ridiculously easy, as well. Sometimes, being overpowered is a whole lot of fun….
Image by Flickr User: Borgs Dalisay