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How to take down The Arsenal in Final Fantasy VII Remake

You won’t have Cloud to help you this time.

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Final Fantasy VII Remake pits you against multiple boss fights in its final hours. In Chapter 17, after you've made your way to the top of Shinra HQ, you’ll need to challenge Shinra’s ultimate weapon, The Arsenal. But there's a pretty big catch: you'll take down this mechanized menace with only Aerith and Barret. Here’s what you need to know to win this fight.

You’ll be flung into the Arsenal boss battle immediately after defeating Rufus. If you want to adjust your Materia, hold “Square” while the cutscene is still playing.

To defeat Arsenal, you’re going to want to equip Barret’s weapon with a Lightning+Elemental Materia combo. As with all mechanical foes, The Arsenal is weak against lightning. If you’ve unlocked the second Elemental Materia, place a Lightning+Elemental on Aerith’s weapon as well. You should set Fat Chocobo as your designated summon, since its Kaboom attack deals Lightning damage. Equip Aerith with a Healing+Magnify Materia combo, and you’re good to go.

But first: Tell us what you think Mako smells like, right here.

How to beat The Arsenal in FF7 Remake

The Arsenal boss fight phase 1

When the fight starts, you’re going to be up against The Arsenal and its Barrier Drones, which need to be taken out before you can attack the main boss. Barrier Drones aren’t weak to elements but can be staggered with melee attacks from Red XIII and Barret.

If you maxed out the proficiency on either of Barret’s melee weapons (Wrecking Ball and Steel Pincers), he will have access to melee abilities, even when he’s not using those weapons. Use Charging Uppercut or Smackdown on the Barrier drones to eliminate them quickly.

The Arsenal

Square Enix

If the Barrier Drones are being slippery, target The Arsenal’s weapons as well. Whenever The Arsenal begins firing, it will momentarily drop its shield, giving you a chance to cripple it.

Watch out for the homing and giant laser attacks. Similar to the laser beam attack performed by Chapter 1’s Scorpion Sentinel, you can use the nearby pillars for cover to nullify both attacks. Hiding behind the rubble will only weaken the moves. Once you’ve taken down all the Barrier Drones and damaged the boss a little, you’ll enter phase two.

The Arsenal boss fight phase 2

The Arsenal will dash around the arena and charge at you with full force. Dodge the attack, then use Barret’s Focused Shot attack and Aerith’s Ray of Judgement to stagger them swiftly.

Once staggered, The Arsenal is vulnerable to Lightning attacks. Go full hog with a Barret centered assault, have Aerith activate Arcane Ward to bolster Barret’s magic further, and summon Fat Chocobo. Continue to use your environment for cover, as needed.

The Arsenal

Square Enix

Partway through this phase, they’ll activate an ability called “Elemental Defense Protocol,” which will give The Arsenal’s chest a blue hue. It will reduce Lightning damage on the main body, meaning there won’t be as much disparity between an elemental attack and a normal one. So save your lightning attacks for when the boss is staggered. Once you’ve dealt enough damage, you’ll enter phase three.

The Arsenal boss fight phase 3

Somewhere around the halfway point of The Arsenal’s health bar, the boss will begin using a Fire Wall attack, marking the start of the third phase. If you get trapped by the Fire Wall, block and switch party members.. Watch out for laser attacks, which will now permanently destroy pillars after firing.

In the last 10 percent health chunk, The Arsenal will cast a permanent Fire Wall around your party. Keep attacking with your strongest moves. If The Arsenal activates Cry Havok, find a pillar fragment to hide behind. Now it’s up to you to land the decisive blow. Congratulations for defeating Shinra’s most powerful robot!

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