Skip to main content

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII: tips and tricks for beginners

Well over a decade after releasing exclusively for the PlayStation Portable, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion is finally available on all major modern platforms for the very first time. This updated version of the beloved title comes packing quite a few quality-of-life improvements and a much-needed graphical overhaul, but it retains the unique complexities that make it stand out among the Final Fantasy VII collection. Whether you’re a returning player or diving into this highly-anticipated remaster for the first time, we’ve got a few tips to make your experience a little friendlier.

Further reading

Keep an eye out for NPCs with orange interaction markers

There are a variety of NPCs you can interact with throughout Crisis Core, but not every conversation is particularly useful to your progress. If you enjoy taking in all of the lore about the world, feel free to stop and chat with every NPC along the way. However, if you’re mostly looking to unlock some new missions or optional content, keep an eye out for orange interaction markers that will indicate that an NPC has something of value for you.

Use save points to heal often

This seems obvious, but it can be easy to forget while exploring the world – touching a save point will heal all of your HP, MP, and AP. Make it a habit to constantly run up and touch these even if you don’t intend to save. That being said, you should probably be saving often, too, because nothing sucks worse than losing hard-earned progress.

Zack attacks an enemy during battle causing bright sparks to erupt.

Use side missions as an indirect difficulty slider

Crisis Core isn’t an overwhelmingly frustrating game regardless of if you choose Normal or Hard difficulty at the start, but it definitely poses quite a challenge throughout its 30+ hour runtime. Luckily, if you find that things are getting a bit too rough for you (or you just want an easier experience), you can always take on the myriad of optional missions to level up and earn some powerful gear. These short and sweet adventures can be started as early as Chapter 2, and by grinding out all of the available missions in the early hours of the game, you can become as grossly overpowered as you’d like. Of course, you can also skip many of them to make the game harder, if you prefer.

Don’t let DMW buffs go to waste

Look, it’s entirely fine if you don’t fully understand the DMW system, but that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from the obvious buffs that it grants you. Make sure you don’t let these moments pass you by, as having invulnerability for a short while means you can pummel away at foes without repercussions while getting an unlimited MP buff lets you spam powerful spells or heal yourself without any cost. There are plenty of other useful buffs you can net from the DMW, so just stay aware at all times so you don’t miss out on valuable opportunities to shorten fights.

Stick to the back of enemies to do the most damage

You’ll be unleashing a barrage of magic and melee attacks against your foes, but you’ll make the most of it all by hitting them on their backs. Doing so will grant you critical hits, which can drastically reduce how long it takes to drop the enemy. Granted, you won’t always be able to stick to your opponents’ backs in battle, but rolling behind them when possible to wail away is still preferable to a frontal assault every time.

Zack calls down lightning against a foe.

Make use of magic consistently

Melee attacks in Crisis Core can be very powerful – especially AP-based assaults – but magic truly shines here. You’ll find that magic hits pretty damn hard while also letting you keep distance between yourself and your attackers, which gives you ample space to heal or buff with other spells and consider your next moves. Make sure you’re leveling up the Materia that you find works best for your playstyle and keep slinging those spells like a madman.

Stick to the edges of levels to avoid unwanted battles

As you make your way through levels, enemies will attack when you reach specific points on the map. You can avoid a lot of these fights by hugging the outside wall of the level, letting you focus your attention on exploration. That being said, skipping too many fights could lead to you being under-leveled for upcoming boss encounters, so we’d recommend not making use of this option all the time.

Editors' Recommendations

Billy Givens
Billy Givens is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience writing gaming, film, and tech content. His work can be…
Resident Evil 4: how to deface Ramon’s portrait
Leon looks at a portrait

Resident Evil 4 has a couple of requests worth taking on to help you trade for some sweet loot, but "The Disgrace of the Salazar Family" is perhaps the most satisfying. The note to start this quirky sidequest can be found hanging right by the gondola at the beginning of Chapter 12, and it asks you to deface the portrait of Ramon Salazar in the throne room of the castle. It's an odd request for a survival horror game, but if we're being frank, the little jerk has it coming. We'll tell you where to find his portrait and how to deface it.
How to find and deface Ramon's portrait
Ramon's portrait is found in the throne room of the castle, which means you'll need to do a bit of backtracking through some areas you've previously visited. You'll also run into a handful of challenging foes as you pass through the areas leading back to the throne room, so be prepared to put up a fight.

When you finally reach the throne room, you'll find Ramon's portrait hanging on the left wall of the room – a much smaller portrait compared to the others found on the back wall. Your first instinct may be to start slashing away at it with your knife or shooting bullets into his smug face, but the way to complete this request is actually a little more fun and juvenile than that.

Read more
Resident Evil 4: all Blue Medallion locations
Leon holding a gun in Resident Evil 4.

As in the original game, blue request notes are scattered throughout the remake of Resident Evil 4, each asking you to track down and shoot five blue medallions in the respective area. Doing so is worth the effort, too, as you'll be able to earn Spinels as a reward, which you can then use for trading with the merchant. So, if you're ready to round up all of the blue medallions, we'll tell you where you can find them below.
Request No. 1: Farm Blue Medallions
The request note for this challenge is found as you enter the farm area, where you'll see it hanging on a wall near the gate that must be opened after finding the wooden cog.

Blue Medallion No.1
From where you first enter the farm area, the first medallion is hanging on the small building to the right. It's in clear sight and hard to miss, but walk around and face it head-on before trying to shoot it.

Read more
How to unlock the Serpent’s Head in Resident Evil 4
Leon and Ashley in the Resident Evil 4 remake.

When you reach the grand hall of the castle in Resident Evil 4, you'll find yourself needing to collect three heads to place on a chimera statue. While the Lion's Head and Goat's Head are both fairly straightforward combat challenges, the Serpent's Head is locked behind a gated display case that requires you to do a bit of puzzle-solving. Here's how to get it.
How to unlock the Serpent's Head
The Serpent's Head can be seen locked inside a display case upon first entering the dining hall through the door next to the chimera statue. You'll need to solve a puzzle to get it open, so head to the back of the hall and take a look at the two massive pictures on the wall there.

Each picture corresponds with a spot where either Leon or Ashley should sit. Leon needs to sit where the king is seated in the picture on the right, while Ashley needs to sit where the queen is seated in the picture on the left. If you'd like to figure the rest out for yourself, just take notes about the locations of the silverware, what types of food are plated, and so on to see what you can figure out. For the exact seating locations, though, we've got you covered below.

Read more