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Final Fantasy VII Beginners' Guide

This is a guide to the original FFVII.

Battle Basics

Here are some simple tips for understanding how Final Fantasy VII works and making your characters more powerful.

The FFVII battle system is based very heavily around numbers. Some people may find this confusing if they don't have mathematical minds. But let me see if I can explain it, using Street Fighter as an example.

All of your characters as well as all of the enemies in FFVII have Hit Points (HP). Think of HP as being like the life bar in Street Fighter. Just that rather than being shown as a bar, it's shown as a number.

But, there is a difference between current HP and maximum HP. Current HP is equivalent, in Street Fighter, to how much life you have left. Maximum HP is the equivalent of the full size of your life bar.

So let's say you begin a battle. Imagine your maximum HP is 100, and your current HP is also 100, because you haven't lost any life yet. An enemy attacks you and the number "10" appears above your character's head. You have just lost 10 HP, or 10% of your maximum health.

So let's look at Street Fighter. Let's say you're in a battle in Street Fighter. Imagine it's the start of battle, so your life left and the full size of your life bar are the same, as you haven't lost any life yet. Your opponent attacks you and deals damage worth 10% of your life bar. It's basically the exact same thing as in FFVII!

So how do you win a battle? Just get all your enemies' Hit Points down to 0. How do you do that? Attack your enemies by selecting options from the battle menu. For example, if you select "Attack" and then select an enemy, your character will attack that enemy, lowering their HP (you will see a number appear above the enemy - that's the HP damage you've inflicted).

How do you lose a battle? If all of your own party members' Hit Points are reduced to 0, you will lose the battle and also get a Game Over. This is why it's important to take advantage of Save Points!

However, there are things you can do to increase your current Hit Points. If you select "Item" from the battle menu screen, you can use Potions on your character. If you select "Magic", you may be able to use a Cure spell. Potions and Cure spells both raise your current HP. And even if a character has their HP reduced to 0 and is knocked out, you can revive them using a Phoenix Down Item or a Life spell.

"Item" and "Magic" are 2 Commands that you may be able to use when the battle menu pops up. To fight in FFVII, you don't input combos with buttons - you just select what action you want your character to take. However, it comes to much the same thing. All of the different Commands available to you in the battle menu are a similar kind of idea to all the moves you can perform in Street Fighter, except in Street Fighter obviously you're not selecting from a menu. And just like in a fighting game, it's important to know the right time to use the right move.

As the game progresses you will have more options in terms of how you hurt your enemies. New Commands, new Magic spells, and Summon spells will become available.

All of your characters also have Magic Points (MP), which is another number. MP numbers work a bit like a "Special" bar in fighting games. Any time you use a Magic, Summon spell, or most Enemy Skills (don't worry if you don't know what all these are yet), you will use some of that MP. To raise your MP back up, you can use Ether items, or a Tent at a Save Point, or rest at an Inn or other resting place.

As your party members take damage, their Limit bar will fill up. The Limit bar is a bit like another "Special" bar. Once it is full, that party member can unleash a devastating Limit Break.

N.B. You can also get your Hit Points back up outside of battle. Simply enter the menu and then choose "Item" or "Magic", then select the Potion or Cure spell you want to use and which character you want to use it on.

In most areas in Final Fantasy VII, as you explore there is a chance you will be attacked and taken to a battle screen; commonly known as "random battles". When you win a battle, you gain Experience Points (EXP). When a party member has accumulated enough EXP, they will gain a level. Gaining a level raises that party member’s statistics, such as HP and MP, making them more powerful. If you're finding the game too difficult, it's a good idea to spend some time gaining levels.

A good tactic for this is to fight in an area where the enemies are easy enough that you’re not going to risk a game over, but not so easy that it takes too long to gain levels (as a general rule, tougher enemies give more EXP). It also helps if the area is close to a hotel and shops so you can heal yourself and replenish supplies after a series of battles.


Weapons, armor, and accessories can be found as you play through the game and can be equipped by selecting "Equip" in the menu system. Weapons and armor can have up to 8 materia slots each. Accessories are wildcard and provide beneficial effects.


Materia lets you use new Magic, Summons, and Commands. Support materia links to Magic, Summon or Command materia for enhanced powers. Independent materia improves your party through passive abilities.


You will earn money after winning battles. In FF7 money is called Gil.

Important Items

Selling Ethers

Earlier on in the game, you can put together a lot of Gil by repeatedly fighting battles in a certain area and sleeping in a hotel. However, if you find you want to make Gil quicker, you can sell Ethers. You should pick up quite a few as you progress through the game's initial stages, and they sell for a cool 750 Gil each..


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Beginners' Guide

Weapons Guide

Armor Guide

Accessory Guide

Materia Guide

Limit Breaks Guide

Enemy Skill Guide

Steal Guide

Morph Guide

Items Winnable from Battles Guide

Chocobos Guide

Enlisting Yuffie and Vincent

Status Effects Explanations

Wall Market Cross-Dressing Guide

Turtle's Paradise Flyers Locations

Shinra Building Floor 62

Shinra Building Floor 63

Junon Parade Guide

Gold Saucer Guide

Villa Cloud

W-Item Cheat

Huge Materia Rocket Code

Sunken Gelnika

Alexander & Added Cut Materia

Materia Selling Guide (make loads of Gil)

Ultimate Weapon, Emerald Weapon & Ruby Weapon

Key Items

About the Characters

List of Every FFVII Title

Other FFVII Websites


About Me