Zack has truly gone from Zero to Hero, struggling to fight with a Behemoth in a simulation at the beginning and now you're taking on what seems to be a being linked to the very consciousness of the world of Final Fantasy VII. As a final challenge at the end of completing all of the 300 missions that Crisis Core Reunion offers you'll get to face the Superboss Minerva in Missions M9-6-6: The Reigning Deity. In this Crisis Core Reunion Minerva Superboss Guide, we'll go over what you need to stand a fighting chance.
Crisis Core Reunion - How to unlock the Minerva Superboss Fight?
The Minerva Superboss Fight is unlocked in Mission M9-6-6 but there's a large number of missions that you must first complete to gain access to it. You must make sure to complete all of the following in order
- Complete the game up to Chapter 3 when you receive an email from "treasure princess"
- Complete all missions in M8-4: From a Hot Treasure Hunter
- Complete all missions in M8-5: Anonymous Hints
- Complete all missions in M8-6: Yuffie's Notices
- Complete all missions in M9-1: Invitation to the Underground
- Complete all missions in M9-2: Stirrings
- Complete all missions in M9-3: In Search of What?
- Complete all missions in M9-4: Realm of Demons
- Complete all missions in M9-5: Unknown Energy
- Complete M9-6 Doors to the Unknown up to M9-6-5
The Missions above will lead all the way from 2-Star missions to 10-Star missions, you won't be able to feasible fight against Minerva until you're at Chapter 10 so be sure to check out the below information so you can make sure to prepare yourself as best as possible.
Crisis Core Reunion - Best Equipment for Minerva
Minerva's single attacks will do around ~97,000 so you can't just show up to the battle but you need to look the part. There are three incredibly important effects that your combined equipment should afford you:
- A way to break through your HP cap
Zack's standard HP limit is at 9,999 so to have a chance at taking an attack that deals ~97k you'll need to have an item that allows you to Break HP Limit. Items that do this include the Adaman Bangle (Obtained from M7-3-6) or the Genji Armor (obtained from attaining 100% DMW progress.) The Adaman Bangle is definitely more than enough, but the Genji Armor has the added benefits of allowing attacks to not stagger you and that Regen will constantly be active.
- A way to break through your Damage cap
Zack's standard attacks can only reach 9,999 damage so we'll also need a way to start dealing 99,999 damage. The easiest item to obtain to allow this is the item Brutal (Obtained from M7-4-6 or M9-5-1) or you can get the Genji Gloves from M9-6-4 in a chest near the beginning of the mission that will allow you to reach a damage cap of 99,999 damage while also making sure all of your attacks are Critical Hits. The Critical Hits don't matter as much for Minerva due to the strategy we're taking but the Crits will help in your adventure.
- A way that healing yourself doesn't matter
There are two ways that you can go about having the best chance to be constantly healing yourself. The first way is to obtain the Gold Hairpin (Obtained from M2-5-6 or M7-3-4) which raises you MP cap from 999 to 9,999. You'll still need your MP limit to actually get higher to be worth it but with Materia items with a boosted MP percentage that's easy enough at this point in the game. Alternatively, you can get the item Soul of Thamasa (Obtained in a chest in M9-4-4 and M9-6-5) which gives you a permanent "MP costs 0". Between the two I couldn't recommend Soul of Thamasa more as it also means you can free up a Materia that might normally have a MP% boost out for a HP increase.
What you do with your fourth equipment slot is really up to you, anything that can add Regen to you is nice but not necessary. The most important stats for you to have are incredible high HP, MP, and Damage output.
Crisis Core Reunion - Best Materia and Fusions for Minerva
The following Materia will be 100% necessary:
- Mug (or another Materia that lets you steal the item of an enemy)
- Costly Punch - You can make this Materia by fusing a Goblin Punch (Obtained from M4-5-4) with a DMW or Strong Materia
- Healing Wave
- Lucky Stars
The most important thing to do with the Materia above is to boost your HP +% stats. You want to go into this battle with Zack's starting health set to 98,000 or higher. Fuse together and power up Materia fusing them with HP boosting items you obtain on missions or with Elixer's to get your Materia as high as possible. I entered the battle with a Curaga HP +999% and Costly Punch HP +780%
Crisis Core Reunion - Can I still steal 99x Pheonix Down from Minerva during the battle?
The biggest change in the Minerva Boss Fight is that you can no longer steal the items from Minerva, leave to sell them, and make infinite money. This means that the method of beating Minerva faster by using Gil toss is nowhere near as efficient. This also means that your first priority once you begin the battle is to successfully Mug or Ambush Minerva allowing you to obtain 99x Phoenix Downs for the fight.
Crisis Core Reunion - Minerva Strategy
Things to know before the fight:
- You will die, over and over again but the core part of the strategy is that you'll keep applying Phoenix Down to yourself (these will be obtained during the battle so don't worry about trying to save them up)
- This fight is a Marathon and not a sprint, you'll each be dealing the maximum amount of damage to one another so you just need to make sure that after dying and raising that you reapply your Phoenix down ASAP and you should be able to complete this battle
Before the battle begins
Before the battle has started, while you're at the mission screen be sure to apply a Phoenix Down to yourself. You'll know you have this set if there's a symbol of two wings and a halo just underneath Zack's level.
Start of the Battle
The very first thing you're going to need to do is approach Minerva and use Mug until you get a notification that you successfully stole 99x Phoenix Down from Minerva, if you didn't have one to apply before the battle now is the time to apply it.
Rest of the Battle
For the rest of the battle you want to be dodging Minerva's attacks as much as possible while getting in close to deal damage with Costly Punch. Costly Punch will do 99,999 damage with each hit but will also chip away at your own health, once you notice your health has dropped to about 80% back up a bit (preferably out of attack range) and heal up a bit. This is where having Dualcast will be extremely helpful as you'll be able to heal twice as fast. You'll want to repeat this basic process as much as possible trying to get as many hits off. As Minerva will completely obliterate your HP in a single attack pretty much every time the most important thing that you need to keep remembering is to keep using Phoenix Downs as soon as you're revived.
If when you revive you're directly in front of Minerva you should roll away at least once before using Phoenix Down, this will reduce the chance of her basic attack hitting you before you have a chance to re-apply the Raise status to yourself.
How much HP does Minerva have?
Minerva has 10,000,000 HP and you are maxed out at dealing 99,999 hits. The way that that math works out is that you need to punch her 101 times before she's able to hit you when you don't have the Raise status applied. With 99x Phoenix Down in your inventory (and one that you used at the start of the battle) that means you essentially need to have a ration of 1:1 attacks dealt to attacks received and get off at least two attacks during one period of a single Phoenix Down use.
What is the purpose of the Limit Break Materia?
The Healing Wave and Lucky Stars Materia will increase the chances of Cissnei and Aerith's Limit Breaks from triggering. Cissnei's Limit Break Lucky Stars increases the drive gauge of the DMW allowing for Limit Breaks and summons to occur more frequently. The benefit of this is that we're now not only more likely to get Aerith's Limit Break to occur, but also all Limit Breaks and Summons. If Minerva is about to use an attack that you can't dodge away from by triggering a Limit Break or Summon you'll interrupt that attack causing it to never occur.
Aerith's Healing Wave is a powerful Limit Break for its healing and HP limit breaking properties but while we're already at maximum HP the best feature of its activation is the temporary invincibility that Zach obtains. You can use this to spend a few seconds to swing wildly at Minerva trying to deal as many hits as possible. When you know that you need to keep the ration of 1 Punch to 1 Death consistent the chance to get 4-5 punches in for free is exceptional.
All Minerva's Attacks
At the start of the battle Minerva will have the option of using Crimson Flare, Flash Slash, Krysta, Photon Feather, and Thor's Hammer. As the battle continues Minerva will also use Blessing Light, and their most powerful attack Judgment Arrow. All of these attacks will do pretty much your whole health in a single attack.
- Crimson Flare - This slow-ranged fire attack is by far the least worrisome of Minerva's attacks. She will create a ball of fire that will slowly chase after the player, it travels slow enough that you can dodge away from it, use Curage, and keep running. It's deadly in that if it hits you you will die, but chances are it will hit you far less than the rest of the attacks.
- Flash Slash - This is a directional melee attack where Minerva will slash a few times and then lunch forward spinning her weapon. You can avoid this attack by dodging away or to the side at the right moment. As it's so fast to be used it's likely that this will be an attack that hits you a lot.
- Krysta - Minerva will summon ice from underneath the player. This will work at any range as the spell originates from the player itself. This was the attack I had the most issue with the timing off. It is possible to dodge the attack if just as the ice appears you're able to dodge out of the way. Unfortunately the ice itself has a wide range so unless you manage to time the dodge perfectly you might end up 80% out of its range and still take an attack that will kill you.
- Photon Feather - Minerva will unleash a few waves of glowing feathers that will track towards the player. These feathers are fast but have a more limited wave, if you start seeing this appearing then try to run away if you're already at some kind of distance, or dodge into Minerva with the right timing. There will be three waves of this attack total so you need to dodge roll three times effectively to not be hit.
- Thor's Hammer - Minerva will point her spear up into the air and lightning will crash down on top of the player. Due to Minerva's consistently timed motion calling the attack it's relatively easy to time your dodge at the same time as her spear points up to dodge out of the way.
From the above-listed attack if you happen to have a Limit Break or Summon ready you should definitely use it to cancel out a Krysta or Photon Feather, and possible on a Flash Slash if you have no way of getting out of it.
The only non-damaging ability that Minerva has is Blessing Light which will make her invincible for a certain period of time. When she activates that just back up and avoid her staying out of the range of as many attacks as possible and continuously healing yourself.
Special Attack - Judgment Arrow
Judgment Arrow is the one spanner that will get thrown into the mix and why it's important that you have over 98,000 HP. When you first see this ability start to activate don't even try dealing enough damage to stun Minerva out of it, instead begin healing yourself to make sure you're at max HP or as close as possible. This attack will only be used a few times in battle but will deal about 97k damage to Zack while also removing the Raise buff. This leaves you with a sliver of HP and unprotected from death, if you take enough damage to kill you then it's game over and you need to start from the beginning.
Once you know what to expect and all of the strategies you'll need to just work on getting your timing down and before long you'll be able to complete the fight against Minerva. For defeating Minerva you'll obtain the Divine Slayer item which has the following effects:
- Breaks the limit of HP, MP, and AP
- Detects Opponent Status
- +50 to ATK, VIT, MAG, SPR, and LCK
- +100% to HP, MP, AP