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Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade: How to play Fort Condor

Episode Intermission for Final Fantasy 7 Remake expands the updated take of Midgar with new characters, quests, and mini-games. Fort Condor is the main mini-game from the DLC, which puts you in control of a small battlefield to duke it out with various opponents around the Sector 7 Slums. In order to take everyone down and earn the Grandmaster Board, you’ll need to know how to play Fort Condor.

From the basics of gameplay and the weapon triangle to advanced tips and strategies, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about Fort Condor and how to play it. In addition, we have tips on how to beat the Grandmaster and unlock every card.

Just starting Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade? Make sure to read our guides on how to upgrade to the PS5 version and how to find all six Happy Turtle flyers

How to play Fort Condor

Fort Condor is a mini-game in Final Fantasy 7 Remake’s Episode Intermission DLC. After arriving in the Sector 7 Slums, you’ll be directed to the Avalanche base and tasked with speaking with a few Avalanche members. One of them will tell you about Fort Condor and give you the Mastering Fort Condor quest. To complete the quest, you need to defeat all seven opponents in the Sector 7 Slums.

The basics

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Fort Condor is a real-time strategy mini-game where you spend ATB points to deploy units on a small battlefield. You and your opponent both have a headquarters and two outposts. The two outposts protect the headquarters, and the first player to destroy the opposing headquarters wins. Most games will come down to time, though. At the end of the round, whoever has more outposts wins. If both players have their outposts and headquarters, the game goes to sudden death.

You can deploy as many units as you want given you have enough ATB. Each unit takes up a slot on your board, and your board determines your outpost/headquarters health, your ATB recharge rate, your starting ATB, and the number of units you can have in your deck. Make sure to take into account the ATB cost of the units in your deck, balancing cards with cheap and expensive ATB costs.

Also, consider the number of units you can have on your board. If you have a lot of units, they should have a low ATB cost, and if you have few units, they should have a high ATB cost. You only have access to a limited number of units at once, so you don’t want to be caught with high-cost units while you wait for your ATB to recharge.

Additionally, your board determines the Materia you can use in battle. Your Materia is single-use, so use it wisely. A well-placed attack Materia or buff can turn the tide of battle in your favor, so it’s a good idea to learn what Materia you have before battle and have a plan for when to deploy them.

The weapon triangle

Weapon triangle
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The key to understanding how to play Fort Condor is learning the weapon triangle. Each unit has a class: Ranged, Vanguard, or Defense. The class is represented above the unit, and it shows what the unit is strong and weak against. Similar to Fire Emblem, the strengths and weaknesses go in a triangle, which you can see at the top of the screen during any Fort Condor battle. To avoid confusion, here’s how the triangle works out:

  • Defense (blue) units are strong against Vanguard (red) units.
  • Vanguard (red) units are strong against Ranged (green) units.
  • Ranged (green) units are strong against Defense (blue) units.

Knowing the triangle, you can win most battles. The key is to let your opponent deploy the first unit and counter it with whatever unit it’s weak against. As long as you keep this up through the flow of battle, you can tackle the first few opponents with the starter cards.

How to build a Fort Condor deck

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You’ll want to tweak your board and deck before starting a Fort Condor match. We covered how to choose your board above. For your deck, a good place to start is with the weapon triangle. You can see your opponent’s deck before battle, so look at their balance of units and build your deck accordingly. If they have four Vanguard (red) units, for example, you’ll want to bring plenty of Vanguard (blue) units.

Outside of the unit class, look at what each of your units can target. This is represented by three icons at the bottom of the unit before the match starts. The tower means the unit can attack structures like the outposts and headquarters, the boot means the unit can attack ground units, and the wing means the unit can attack flying units. Ideally, all of your units will be able to attack all three, but that’s not usually possible.

The weapon triangle takes priority, so build your deck with it in mind first. After that, swap out any units that can’t attack on all three fronts for another unit of the same class. You’ll quickly find that most Defense (blue) units can’t attack flying units. That’s OK, but you’ll want to make sure your other units can fill in the gaps.

Otherwise, pay attention to the ATB cost, your ATB recharge rate, and your max ATB. You want high- and low-cost units in your deck, but you want more expensive units if you have fewer unit slots and more cheap units if you have more unit slots.

Advanced tips and strategies

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A shortcut to winning every Fort Condor match is to stock up on Barracks/Facility units. These units don’t attack. Instead, they spit out a steady stream of low-cost units for free. It’s a great idea to open with a cheap unit that counters whatever your opponent plays, then follow it up with a Barracks or Facility. After that, keep building one of these stations near your outposts to keep units coming.

The problem with these units is that they take time to start, so you don’t want to place one if you’re on the back foot (it will probably be destroyed before you can get much value). A great way to counter this issue is with your Materia. A well-timed Materia blast on your opponent’s first unit — particularly if it’s a powerful unit — can buy you time to get your Barracks and Facilities up and running.

Otherwise, it’s important to remember that Fort Condor is a defensive game. You have to destroy at least one outpost, but after that’s done, all you need to do is defend and wait for the timer to run out.

That means you don’t need to overwhelm your opponent. You can, but that usually leads to a loss. Instead, match your opponent’s units while using your Barracks and Facilities to keep the pressure on. If you have extra ATB, that’s a good thing — it just means you’ll have more to spend when a high-cost card comes up in your hand.

The only exception is if you enter sudden death. At that point, you want to pump out as many units as fast as you can. The goal after you enter sudden death is to push the line back toward your opponent’s outposts so you can take one down first.

How to unlock the Fort Condor Grandmaster Board

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You can unlock the Fort Condor Grandmaster Board by defeating all seven enemies in the Sector 7 Slums. You can find opponents marked on your map with an icon that notes their level. There are four levels, and you’ll unlock the next level by defeating all enemies in the previous level. It should go without saying, but enemies get more difficult as their level goes up.

Here are all the enemies you need to defeat:

Level 1

  • Kyrie
  • Shinra Middle Manager
  • Johnny

Level 2

  • Jessie
  • Roche

Level 3

  • Wedge

Level 4

  • Chadley

Chadley is the Grandmaster, and he’s excited to meet an opponent who can take him on. After defeating Chadley, he’ll give you the Grandmaster Board, 10,000 Gil, and the AP Up Materia.

The Grandmaster board is the best board in the game. It comes with a maximum of only five ATB, but it recharges faster than any other board and it starts fully filled. Getting the board is a nice reward, but you won’t get to use it. After defeating Chadley, you’ve defeated every enemy in Fort Condor.

How to unlock every Fort Condor card and board

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You will unlock the majority of Fort Condor cards just by playing the mini-game. Each opponent rewards you with more cards, and you can buy even more cards from Old Snapper by spending the Condor Coins you earn. If you buy all the cards from Old Snapper and defeat every opponent, you’ll have all but two Fort Condor cards.

The first one is easy to find, and you can grab it once you enter the Sector 7 Slums. Head to the Abandoned Talagger Factory and progress until you’re in the final room. Behind some breakable crates, you’ll find a chest containing the Monodrive card.

Later in the story, you’ll come to the Ward 3 area inside a factory. Progress through the factory until you’re able to slide down a second pole (you’ll slide down a pole before this area, too). Look for another chest to pick up the Sweeper card and complete your collection.

Just like cards, you can unlock all of the Fort Condor boards by beating every opponent and buying all of the boards from Old Snapper. There’s one board, the Assassin Board III, that’s only available through a chest. In the upper level of the Storage Depot, head to the Ward 2 area. You’ll see the chest right before a set of stairs in the corner, which contains the final board.

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Jacob Roach
Senior Staff Writer, Computing
Jacob Roach is a writer covering computing and gaming at Digital Trends. After realizing Crysis wouldn't run on a laptop, he…
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