DCFFVII Research Thread


Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
Smooth Criminal
...So was there ever any explanation why vending machine shops in this game are fucking 1950's era jukeboxes?

Because I just. I'm on Chapter 10, "A Daily Dose of Death" and I'm taking in the haunting and ominous aura of the Deepground facility and just really digging the dark, cyberpunk-esque dystopia aesthetic here and I turn right and see a goddamn jukebox. Almost smiling at me as I walk over it to top off my ammo and other consumables.

Like, lol it's not that big a deal, but I would just like to know.


Why did they make that choice?

The Remake's Potion vending machine and benches made sense with their design and aesthetic. And I could buy the jukebox being in places like the slums, or more residential areas but... The fact they're everywhere, worldwide in DC is almost like some tongue-in-cheek reference or in-joke from the developers.

So I wanna know. Why. What's the reason for these jukeboxes? :monster:
I do not know any official answer on the matter. Haven't found any mention of it in the interview transcriptions on the jugem blog ff7-material (which recently became limited to the Wayback Machine, rest in archived peace) or in the official complete guide. Wouldn't surprise me if the answer exists in some interview that was never transcribed nor translated.

My headcanon was originally that jukeboxes were chosen because they are old-timey and Vincent is essentially a living relic himself.

But now I speculate that the classic color scheme for jukeboxes just matched Vincent's/Dirge's color scheme too well not to be included: Red, gold and silver. The classic Wurlitzer design of jukeboxes fits well, at least color-wise, in a game that already litters all its menus with red, gold and silver.

Classic Wurlitzer jukebox

DoC graphics




Hmm, maybe this is why the jukebox in Deepground's online mode had a more grey scheme to it. It matches the classic DG outfit. :monster:

It shows how I'm in way too deep when I no longer question that a jukebox of all things is used for dispensing items and for upgrading weapons and equipment. :wacky: Sure, jukeboxes typically take coins for you to select a music track but that's the closest resemblance they have to shops. I have to assume that jukeboxes being coin-operated was the jumping off point for them being used like shops but yes it really is a weird choice (even without considering their placement aesthetics-wise).

Especially funny when you consider that the jukebox in the online mode, the "Beginner's Machine", only gained the ability to change the game's background music six weeks into the multiplayer's run in 2006. You'd think that a jukebox would have that function to start off with.

Perhaps the jukebox was chosen because it's a more lighthearted object in the midst of the dark story. Normal vending machines wouldn't be difficult to make fun and lighthearted though. :wacky: At least I can understand why they chose an inanimate object for the shops rather than having the merchant from Resident Evil 4 follow you all the way to Deepground. That'd have broken my immersion even more.

I'm hit with the realization that the jukeboxes don't appear in the single player's final chapter. Maybe this was a conscious decision made out of the sense that jukeboxes don't belong in the chaotic landscapes of the final chapter...or maybe it's simply because the chapter is so short. Yeah, probably the latter.
Just performed 100% accuracy rate (plus some luck with critical hits and Vincent receiving zero damage) on the nine gargoyles in Ch11-2 for the first time, so that's nice. I will allow the final run of Ch11-2, whenever it happens, to include 1-2 missed shots in the gargoyle section because it's so difficult to perfect it and I'm more interested in getting a smooth G Report room.

On a different run I did a first with the G Report room: Defeated both Bizarre Bugs, defeated each DG Elite at least once and left with a high killchain while having received zero damage.

The only reason this happened is, of course, because two DG Elite stopped spawning after my initial onslaught of the four unique DG Elite soldiers. My total killcount of DG Elite in this room tallied to a measly five. Another "downside" is that I only stepped on one or two of the mako spots/points. Technically it doesn't matter if I step on the mako points in Ch11-2 since I'll return to them in Ch11-3 anyway, it's just that I would prefer the flashiness of "casually" stepping on each mako point during Ch11-2.

But this seems to be the only reasonable goal for Ch11-2. Regardless of glitch, just try to get through the room under these minimum conditions:
- Receive zero damage
- Defeat both Bizarre Bugs
- Defeat each DG Elite at least

Doesn't matter how many DG Elite stop spawning due to the glitch I'll still count the run as valid. I will not make it a necessity to step on each mako point nor will I enforce that I absolutely must kill more than 4 DG Elite in this room. These are the sacrifices I must make in order to make my run of Ch11-2 approach something reasonable. Even with these assigned rules, odds are stacked against me in this section.

Killing fewer DG Elite is only a *slight* issue, since that means I'll need to defeat more enemies during the Ch11-3 boss fight or else I won't easily qualify for S rank in "Targets Destroyed". S rank here requires that you defeat 100 or more targets. If I haven't defeated at least 95 targets by the time the boss battle against Dragonfly PT ends, then I'll be forced to run all the way back to the room with the infinitely spawning Red Saucers and increase my kill count there. The idea is for me to avoid having to do all that backtracking.


Ninja Potato
The true answer to the Jukebox conundrum is that the jukebox was never actually real at all. It's actually the ghost of the 7th Heaven's Jukebox, back from the grave to get revenge at Shinra for dropping a plate on its head. Only once Shinra's dark legacy has been ended may it finally return to the planet, hence why it helps Vincent. This is the deep FFVII lore they don't want you to know.


Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
Smooth Criminal
That's such a shonen-esque explanation for it, that I'd actually believe it. It became a living entity from the years of love, happy memories and strong sentimental attachments AVALANCHE poured into it and it now wants to help Vincent save the world and takedown Shinra one last time before returning to the Planet.

I beat the game on EX Hard Mode for the first time today and it was just like. So hilariously corny, fun and just anime awesome. Playing DC again literally filled me with the type of joy I'd experience from Saturday morning cartoons. It's a nostalgic, simple and entertaining game that just felt nice.

It ain't no Remake, Nier, Bayonetta, or Devil May Cry but that's.... okay. It's special in its own way. :monster:


Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
Smooth Criminal
Right, that's why I compared it to the Remake and their Seventh Heaven Jukebox and the Potion Vending Machines and Music Players. And I don't think it's too much thought at all. It's a setting thing.

Like, apparently that's a thing in FFVII now. I love that the culture of FFVII's world apparently values music a lot, to the point public music players for random people are ubiquitous. That's a cute touch. I just think Dirge sorta... has them placed in really weird places that don't quite fit their environment.

Like, even the benches and Music Potion Vending Machines in like, the Sewer or the Shinra Building were tucked away in makeshift break rooms or spaces where you could imagine workers would presumably take a breather and relax to music. It fit. In DC, you see a Jukebox like, on a catwalk over a pit of Mako. Areas that you know just would be bizarre, even in a fantasy world.

I suppose one could chalk it up to technological limitations and limited environmental setting design. It's just sorta funny and weird.
I fluctuate between being fine with the repetition of Ch11-2 and entering a deep despair in response to the challenge.

The G Report room stands as a monument to my hubris. It is saying "You can't control this game" and "You can't ever get the result you want". It is saying that the only answer is to concede and concede until I agree to just run around the room as Galian Beast and be a damage sponge...the way that a normal person would play this room. Anything else is to play a game of Dirge of Sisyphus.

Conceding to this extent is difficult because it means admitting that the room has no "solution", at least not one that is humanly viable and reasonable. No smart technique and intricate choreography that will stand as the most elegant way of clearing the room. Play the room as even a newbie would because there is no real depth to be unlocked here.

The art of "solving" Dirge of Cerberus has always been a big part of the enjoyment I derive out of the All S Rank challenge. Learning enemy AI, testing out equipment, environmental triggers, killchain executions, finding flaws and glitches and even learning to what extent that RNG rules the game. The parts of Dirge that defy problem solving are those that I find to be the most ugly.

The glitchiness of the DG Elite in the G Report room is too complex to figure out. Diving into the glitch and properly solving it would require months of constant data digging, mapping and disassembly. That's just not gonna happen. So I am stuck with the fact that almost every time I enter the room, "randomness" decides 1-4 DG Elite that won't respawn. The variation in this is too great, I just can't learn how to react in real-time to whatever random state the room decides to settle on. The Glitch Report room defies mastery and control moreso than any other part of the entire game.

I was looking forward to clearing Chapter 11 in a glorious fashion that'd make it stand proudly right next to my massive achievement that was Chapter 10. Instead the whispers are telling me that I'm destined to clear Chapter 11 in a way that I absolutely hate, removing any joy I might feel from seeing all those S ranks pile up. But if I can feel no joy from those S ranks...I hesitate to even bother. Why bother with a hollow victory?

Others would still appreciate my run, yes. I'd still achieve something nobody else has done in Dirge of Cerberus: Achieving S rank in every category in every stage. That should be enough. But it isn't.

Curse you, Glitch Report room. You are ruining so much for me. I curse you and I hate you profoundly.

Who would have guessed that the ending to Ch11-2 would become the most insurmountable obstacle among my self-imposed Dirge gameplay challenges?
I may have found a strategy for the G Report room that is...
- Less reliant on both skill and luck (in other words "less insane")
- Still makes me look good
- Leads to a nice kill count
- Way less likely to be disrupted by the DG Elite spawning glitch

Sure the choreography is still difficult but there are fewer coin tosses involved and fewer moments where fast decision-making is required.

Is that...hope?

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The strategy works wonders! I just had a great run where I not only cleared the G Report room in a decent fashion (two DG Elite stopped spawning this time) but everything else went pretty decent too. For the first time I have now advanced to Ch11-3 in a run that I could qualify as "good enough". It's not supremely beautiful but it's okay. Let's review it.

Had great RNG at the pillar with the eight targets. Defeated all nine gargoyles without missing a shot. Only got shot once, which is decent in this section where I'm more likely to get shot twice or thrice throughout it all.

The main downside is that I missed two shots. One super-embarrassing shot when I tried to execute a longer killchain than I normally do and then a second time when I didn't take the "buggy" hit detection of the Bizarre Bugs into account. Meaning I've lost that 100% accuracy rate and I'm now down to 98% when ending Ch11-2. :monster: 128 shots fired (not counting magic) and 126 shots landed.

I end Ch11-2 with 93 enemies defeated in total which puts me in a great spot for the "Targets Destroyed" S rank without having to backtrack to the endlessly spawning Red Saucers. EDIT: Okay, turns out those Red Saucers actually stopped spawning. I recall them sticking around in an earlier test, but that was probably because I left targets behind around the pillar at the start of Ch11-2. Good thing that my "Targets Destroyed" S rank is secure either way!

67 critical hits so far, with at least 23 more needed for S rank. Guaranteed to get those via at least the boss rush of Dragonfly PT, Arachnero, Gorgonero and Weiss Empowered.

I have 0 killchain power boost at the start of Ch11-3, which is just as well since that means I'll get to land more critical hits on the Dragonfly PT before it is defeated.

Yeah, I'm moving ahead to Ch11-3 with this one. I've suffered enough already. Bonk my head if I change my mind and retread Ch11-2. :awesome:

You know what else is great about my new G Report room strategy? I actually step on each of the four mako points...and I actually pick up the G Report! :reptar:

Gosh darn that's so much more satisfying than returning to the room during Ch11-3 when it's safe from the DG Elite. I love having this run where I pick up the report during Ch11-2 and still receive zero damage.
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The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
^I think you're the only other person who really understands what makes Dirge great lol.
You say that, but ten years, six months, and 15 days ago, Mako said this to me:

"No surprise you'd like this pig shit. That's like Richard Simmons stating he likes cock. Nope, not much new there. Of course you'd eat this glurge up. And DC for your strange loli fixation on Shelke. You have a strange habit of taking in the worst the Compilation has to offer and hugging it as its sole defender."



Alex T
^I think you're the only other person who really understands what makes Dirge great lol.

Haha I wasn't going to say anything but I distinctly remember Mako saying this back in March after I explained why I like Dirge better than Crisis Core:

Dirge of Cerberus is what would happen if a mad scientist took Devil May Cry, drained all of its vital fluids, absorbed its discorporated soul and grafted a bare bones 3rd person shooter mechanic onto its corpse like some Frankenstein-weapon-monster.

Then commanded the undead abomination to dance for a children's party.

Glad you're a bit kinder now :lol:
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Me today


Yesterday and the day before that, when I was primarily in the practicing phase, I was shooting down gargoyles and red saucers like I was freakin' Robin Hood. Today it suddenly became extraordinarily hard to shoot down the gargoyles with 100% accuracy.

Because Ch11-3 is so short I am less lenient towards mistakes and I was intent on not missing a single shot in this segment. Naturally my aiming had to end up shite and if that didn't ruin the run then something else did. It shouldn't have been this hard. I just want this goddamn journey to be over. So in pure rage I grabbed my hammer and partially destroyed my tool box with it and later smashed some cardboard boxes.

Cue some rest, returning...and then getting a good enough Ch11-3 run (with recording) on the first retry. I only defeat 4 gargoyles but that will have to do because I'm not putting myself through more of the frustration where I miss a shot and then have to reset the run. The loading time for Ch11-3 is atrociously long, 25 seconds, which only added insult to injury each time. It's interesting how the loading times for each stage segment differ so much.
Ch11-1: 15 seconds
Ch11-2: 18 seconds
Ch11-3: 25 seconds

On the plus side I got really good RNG so I never received damage and I did look good when I melee'd two missiles. Number of critical hits could have been higher, I am only three critical hits away from S rank, but at least that S rank will be secured through Arachnero.

Famous last words but there is no way that Ch11-4 (Arachnero + Gorgonero) will be as frustrating as Ch11-3. Gargoyles (and Red Saucers) are just THE WORST when it comes to their hit boxes. Knowing that I don't have to deal with these annoying enemies again in this run makes me relieved.

Ch11-5 is only a formal segment against Weiss the Immaculate, followed by Ch11-6 which has the real battle against Weiss Empowered. Ch11-6 will be very difficult.
distinctly remember Mako saying this back in March after I explained why I like Dirge better than Crisis Core
It amuses me that I seem to have missed this entire exchange in the thread. Guess my Dirge sense just wasn't tingling that day. :awesomonster:

Before continuing on ahead in Ch11 it's probably good if I summarize what we know (and don't know) about the soldier-respawn glitch in the G(litch) Report room of Ch11-2 and Ch11-3.

Ch11-2_G-Report-Room - kopia.png

Deepground Elite (marked blue above) will emerge from gateways on the higher level, one soldier per gateway. Once a DG Elite has been defeated and faded away, the soldier will have its HP restored, respawn and emerge again from the gateway. The player may treat it as a new foe, but data-wise it's just the same enemy resurrected.

In lower game difficulties not all gateways are used, but in higher difficulties every gateway will spawn a DG Elite which leads to a maximum of four Deepground Elite present at any time.

Coordinates for each DG Elite / gateway:

The player enters the room from northwest. The centre of the room has a pillar/elevator that rises when stood on, raising the player high enough to jump onto the pipes of the higher level. Once the pillar has reached the top it will move back down to the bottom again.


In the northwest corner of the room, on top of the pipes, exists a G Report.
On the ground there are four mako points: Two to the north, two to the south.
There are two air ducts in this room, each respectively hides a Bizarre Bug.

The glitch has two variants.

Soft: One or more gateways no longer open to reveal a respawned soldier until you properly "reset" the room. A room's state can be reset by approaching either of the room's two exits. Sometimes only one of the exits can reset the room, sometimes either exit will do. This does not always necessitate getting close enough to the exit that the "Press X to Open Door" message prompt pops up. The soft version of the glitch is by far the most common.

Hard: A spawned DG Elite remains stuck behind a gateway that never opens. They may open fire on the player character and they may even react to being damaged but their HP is never actually depleted. This glitch will remain until the entire stage is restarted. No matter how far the player moves back or forwards in this stage, the gateway will remain closed and the DG Elite stays in their current partially-spawned state.

Triggered glitches will be preserved in Tempsaves, meaning that the state of each gateway (including their glitchy behavior) is preserved in the memory card files corresponding to Tempsaves. These are the files named in accordance to each game's ID code.
BISLPM-66271000 [Japanese Original]
BASLUS-21419000 [North America]
BESLES-54185000 [PAL regions]
BISLPM-66629000 [Second Japanese release, DCFFVII International]

Even if the room initially spawns all four DG Elite just fine, extended running, gunning and melee-ing throughout the room will inevitably lead to one gateway after another closing seemingly at random. Typically this is the soft version of the glitch manifesting.

It should be noted that even if all you do is running around and using melee, the glitch may still manifest. One may be eager to blame the magic spells for causing the glitch, due to their resource-heaviness in the game's memory, but magic is clearly not required to trigger the gateway errors.

When first entering the room from the northwest, the two DG Elite to the east (E-8 and D-10) have ALWAYS spawned correctly. For a period of tests I did experience that sometimes either of the two DG Elite to the west (C-7 and B-9) would not spawn when you first entered the room. Then, mysteriously, this variation where C-7 and B-9 were locked right from the start stopped happening entirely.

It is not clear if the game's state before entering the room will influence the likelihood of the glitch occurring once you enter the room. Notably, however, I have found it difficult to trigger the glitch with a specific save state I have from before entering the room, so it very well may be that actions- and load states before entering is an important factor.

The soft variation of the glitch has been observed in the second Japanese release, DCFFVII International, so it can be assumed that the bug was never fixed and that it appears in every retail release of the game.

Additional glitches and miscellaneous behavior experienced in this room:

- Extreme loss of frames, most likely due to the heavy particle effects present but possibly exacerbated by the heavy gunfire that the DG Elite can unleash all at once.​
- A Bizarre Bug registering as defeated and adding to a killchain, yet dropping down and being at full HP so that it could be used to add yet again to a killchain. This enemy duplication only happened to me once, on emulator, when attacking the Bizarre Bug to the south.​
- DG Elite E-8 being locked in an AI loop, always aiming straight down after leaving a gate and never reacting to player threat.​
- DG Elite E-8 floating away in mid-air before teleporting out of sight, then being locked behind E-8 in a hard variation of the glitch. I have seen this happen twice but never fast enough to take a snapshot.​
- DG Elite E-8 zig-zagging across the room after falling down from a pipe close to its gateway.​
- DG Elite C-7 turned from invisible to invisible when the room was reset: C-7 was already standing on the pipe adjacent to its gate, the DG Elite just hadn't had its visibility and AI activated yet.​
- Each DG Elite has 1000 HP and even when the soft- and hard variations of the glitch occurs the defeated DG Elite will have their HP restored from 0 to 1000. Seemingly this HP restoration never fails even if the gateways inexplicably remain closed. Gateways have never been shown to open when the corresponding DG Elite's HP is still at 0.​
- A gateway may visually remain open and never complete a closing animation. Only once a DG Elite is about to emerge, the visually open gateway will suddenly look closed and then complete its opening animation.​
- The central pillar/elevator refusing to rise. My notes from when this glitch happened is that I had played from the beginning of Ch11 up to Ch11-3, then returned to the G(litch) Report room and found that the elevator refused to rise. The glitch has never happened when loading the game from Ch11-2 or Ch11-3.​

- On the PS2 emulator PCSX2 the G(litch) Report room has a higher tendency than other areas to cause the emulator to hard-freeze, making it impossible to even access any emulator menus.​
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Ch11-4 was mostly painless and I am happy with the results. The Arachnero battle holds a special place in my heart because of how Dirge's speedrunning community motivated me to investigate the AI for this boss and how this in turn planted the seed that motivated me to resume the All S rank challenge. Figuring out the various strategies against Arachnero, including the S rank approach, felt awesome. That's why, around the start of year 2020, that I decided I would complete my All S Rank run before the year was over.

I'm not a guy who makes a lot of promises, neither to myself nor to others, so it's a big deal that I made this new year resolution. While playing Ch11-2 it felt like I would end up breaking the promise because of how that section never seemed to end. True, my results for Ch11-2 and Ch11-3 aren't as epic and beautiful as I'd like them to be, but it's not for lack of putting myself through misery so I'll take what I got and take joy in the reassurance that I will most likely be able to keep my promise.

So here we are at Ch11-6 in an epic battle against Weiss Empowered. I had forgotten just how many frames that the game loses in Weiss's chamber. This makes it a pain when you attempt headshots and the game keeps losing frames that make you shoot too early or too late. Very much an added element of difficulty that I do not consider to be fair. I have not yet decided how good of a performance I will settle on. Some item chugging will be required and I will definitely lose some Accuracy Rate because it would be insane to go for zero missed shots.

One thing that Dirge of Cerberus lacks is boss music that makes you pumped for the battle. Most of Dirge's music is good for ambience and cinematic atmosphere but nothing that really makes you hum a melody, move your feet in rhythm or fist-pump the air.

My "headcanon theme" for Weiss has long been the "Dark Samus" battle theme, especially Vomitron's remix of it called "Doppelgänger". It packs that punch of terrifying, raw, loud, impossible power in a way that I feel is more fitting for a battle against Weiss. If I could inject this theme into the game disc I would. :monster:

Well, I actually have two headcanon themes for Weiss. First the above and then this Mega Man X8 remix "Iron Will March" which always makes me think about the duality of Nero and Weiss.
JORG - Hard Mode - Vincent Lv1 - Chapter 11: Beginnings


Activate English subtitles for video commentary.


Compare the results above with the minimum requirements:
Targets Destroyed - 100 or more
Accuracy Rate - 60% or higher
Damage Sustained - 19999 or less
Critical Hits - 90 or more
Killchains - 35 or more
Items Used - 12 or fewer
Limit Break Used - 5 times or more
Mako Collected - 90% or more
Times KO'd - 0
Time Expired - Less than 53 minutes 20 seconds​


Stage Missions:
- Defeat the gargoyles! : 2 out of 2 targets
- Defeat the gargoyles! 2 : 3 out of 3 targets
- Defeat all targets on the central pillar! : 8 out of 8 targets
- Defeat the gargoyles! 3 : 9 out of 9 targets

This marks the end of gameplay where normal Vincent is used.

All that remains now is the victory lap chapter as Samus Aran with Hyper Beam Chaos.
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In Chapter 11 I scored 148 critical hits by the end. In one attempt at the Weiss battle I got up to 155 critical hits.

From the Bizarre Bug in Ch11-1 I farmed 13 critical hits. Then in Ch11-2 I got 12 from the DG soldier who is pushing the gun turret and then 19 from the second Bizarre Bug that I juggled.
13 + 12 + 19 = 44

Meaning that even without these instances of farming, and everything else staying the same, I would still have had 104 critical hits by the end. Yet the old notes from when I first prepared for Ch11 back in May emphasize that I MUST reach at least 70 critical hits before I reach Dragonfly PT, which I almost did in my recorded run.

In hindsight this seems insane, given how many critical hits that I am able to farm against Dragonfly PT, Arachnero and Weiss Empowered. Presumably I must have played through the stage with Power Booster Gamma and not aimed very well, ergo why my initial test runs ended up with such a low Critical Hits count. Using the weaker option with Rapid Fire Gamma helps a great deal.

Battling Weiss feels like fighting a more fair iteration of Rosso. Their AI is similar but Rosso is comparatively more aggressive and erratic. Fighting her with skill and fast reaction times alone is almost never pretty. The only graceful way to end the battle is to start it off with a massive killchain and draw first blood in a perfect critical hit, then just survive for the final stretch.

With Weiss you are forced to start the battle with no active killchain but thanks to his AI being a bit more lenient than Rosso's, there is a rewarding feeling when you figure him out (to the extent that it's possible). That said, it took me 6 hours of attempts to clear the battle in a way that I was satisfied with. The battle took its toll on me because of how it demands you to constantly make split-second decisions and because I wanted to keep my Accuracy Rate high. My hands began to shake and this clearly affected my performance as I stopped being able to win the fight and had to feel the indignity of seeing the Game Over screen over and over and over. Cue more hammer rage from my part. I really need to put away that hammer.

Taking a break for two hours did the trick. My hands had stopped shaking and suddenly I won almost every battle against Weiss, until at long last I landed a battle that satisfied my aesthetic taste. Got to show off dodging the "Mako Bullets/Projectiles" [魔晄弾], dodging the shockwave [衝撃波] and I was able to clear the fight without being struck by a single blow from Weiss's ten-strike attack "Trillion-speed Slashing Dance" [兆速斬撃乱舞].

The move where Weiss attacks ten times in a row almost always led to me being struck once or twice, usually the first and/or last swing. Ideally you get to retreat in a straight line away from Weiss when he is using this attack but even then it feels like there is no way to actually LEARN to dodge it perfectly. Because he only uses the Trillion-speed Slashing Dance once his HP reaches 25% of his max, I realized the only reasonable way to "dodge" the attack was to kill Weiss while the attack was being performed. Ergo why even though the final run has its imperfections I am happy with it because Weiss didn't get to hurt me with 兆速斬撃乱舞 for once. The Bradygames guide simply calls this attack the "Sword Combo Slash".

In another instance of evil, the Shockwave attack may easily be dodged but the visual feedback is deceiving. You'd think the timing is to jump so that you narrowly avoid the outermost circle of the shockwave.

Wrong. If you jump solely to avoid the outermost circle, you'll end up taking damage. You need to delay your jump slightly so that the inner circle of the shockwave, which actually does the damage, gets enough time to expand so that you may jump above it.


In the post-JORG releases this isn't much of an issue since your double-jump provides you plenty of time in mid-air. But in the Japanese original where you can only perform single jumps you need to memorize the jump fairly precisely in order to avoid taking damage.

While YouTube adds to the graininess of the battle I can confirm that even in real-time and on a huge TV the colors wash together and you often have to fight in a blur while you are attacking a fast-moving blur. Deep memorization helped me learn just how Weiss's character models moves before, during and after an attack. This memorization was necessary in order to keep landing headshots on Weiss even when I could only see a washed out blur of fuzzy light.

Oh, and let's not forget all the moments when Weiss's hit box just decides to disappear for a while. If you shoot Weiss after he is knocked back, or if you shoot him during a brief period after he's performed his two Vacuum Wave strikes, any bullets will pass right through him and count as a missed shot without any damage dealt. So in order to maintain a high Accuracy Rate I also need to react in real-time to when his model no longer registers bullets passing through. To have the boss become impervious to damage during a brief period is one thing, but removing collision detection in this way is just not reasonable.

Frustration remains surrounding the "Mako Bullets/Projectiles" [魔晄弾] attack because while the strategy provided in the official Japanese guidebook seems the most reliable, it only works roughly 70% of the time. The trajectories of the mako projectiles appear largely randomized; sometimes they are almost straight and other times they are highly parabolic. When mako bullets are taking a highly parabolic path on both sides of Vincent, all you can do is pray and hope that they don't trace around the capsule where you are hiding.

But much like Arch Azul's projectiles, the mako bullets in the Weiss battle have a probability of landing on your protective pillar in such a way that the damaging blast carries THROUGH the pillar and onto Vincent. There is no rhyme or reason to this, just the collision and hit detection being inconsistent and sometimes unpredictable. If you remember how thick the pillar is during the elevator battle against Arch Azul, you will agree that at least that instance of Arch Azul's magic projectiles cutting through the pillar is just not a reasonable occurrence.

The battle against Weiss Empowered is simultaneously a satisfying and annoying battle.

You are rewarded for learning the enemy's AI and making good use of the capsules to take cover. Learning to maintain a high Accuracy Rate and making split-second decisions based on what's going on really feels like true, high-level play.

Visually the battle is a mess with fuzzy lights and blurs everywhere, needlessly complicating the battle and probably explaining why the room is so prone to losing frames. I understand the plot reasons behind the stage being so "glowy" but I want to believe it could have been done better.

The battle also suffers from the impression of there seemingly being no perfect way to always avoid the mako projectiles or all of the ten strikes from Weiss's "Trillion-speed Slashing Dance". Sometimes you can avoid them, sometimes you can't. You end up being unsure if the game is rolling dice or if you are doing something wrong. Because of that you feel that proper mastery of the boss fight is beyond your reach which in turn removes a rewarding element from the fight.

Maybe if I do more research I will find ways of always evading these two attacks but considering the number of hours and attempts I've already put into this fight, I will still argue that the battle could have been designed in a more rewarding and reasonable fashion.
@LicoriceAllsorts You are an expert at brightening my day and making me feel special :properhug:

I usually picture that only a handful of people ever check in on this thread but perhaps I should let the high total view count of the thread change my assumption. :monster: There are probably...at least two handful of people who read my stuff on occasion.

Speaking of numbers, the end of Chapter 11 actually marks the moment when I have technically fulfilled the conditions for S rank in the Cumulative Results (the results shown after you defeat Omega Weiss in the finale).

My stats as of the end of Ch11
Targets Destroyed: 1388
Accuracy Rate: 84%
Damage Sustained: 14274
Critical Hits: 1013
Killchains: 1116
Items Used: 8
Limit Breaks: 56
Mako Collected: 100%
Times KO'd: 0
Time Expired: 13076 seconds (3 hours, 37 minutes, 56 seconds)

Requirements for S rank in the Cumulative Results (Japanese Original) when the game is cleared
Targets Destroyed: 1360 or more
Accuracy Rate: 67% or higher
Damage Sustained: 67749 or less
Critical Hits: 725 or more
Killchains: 790 or more
Items Used: 49 or fewer
Limit Breaks: 55 or more
Mako Collected: 91% or more
Times KO'd: 0
Time Expired: 23499 seconds or less (6 hours, 31 minutes and 39 seconds or less)

Chapter 11 made me climb to S rank levels in Targets Destroyed, Limit Breaks and Mako Collected.

The original Japanese release has a total of 95 Mako Points scattered throughout Chapters 1 through 11. Depending on if the game rounds up or down, the minimum number of unique Mako Points to step on would be either 86 or 87.

Meanwhile the post-JORG versions only have 90 unique Mako Points due to five of them having been removed from Chapter 10. Requirement for S rank in "Mako Collected" is still 91%, so here you'd need to step on at least 82 Mako Points.
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