DCFFVII Research Thread

Thanks everyone for the love <3 ^_^

Continuing with the recent string of glitches that lack utility but are kind of neat.

The Faux-Jump State

Have the reticle active when Vincent is in a grounded state. Perform a jump immediately followed by a shot. Instead of the normal jump animation, Vincent will appear as though he is landing on the ground, despite clearly being in midair. This is the "Faux-Jump" or "Fake-Jump" state. Exactly half a second after the shot Vincent's jump animation will recover to a proper midair state, as seen by Vincent's cape now being carried by the wind.

There is more to this weird half-second animation state than meets the eye. You are in a state that is simultaneously grounded and airborne. While doing a fake-jump you can...

- Perform two additional jumps, technically performing the normally impossible "triple jump". Vincent has great downwards momentum during the faux-jump and your second jump (which from the game's POV can be considered the first ground-jump) is only able to cancel that momentum. Because of how strong gravity is during the fake-jump, and the short half-second interval of the faux-jump state, you can't actually gain greater height with a triple jump then you can do with a standard double-jump. There is no way to stack multiple fake-jumps so you are limited to only one.

- Switch weapons. Post-original Vincent normally can't switch weapons while in midair. Exceptions are when you are changing weapons in the menu or when you perform midair melee attacks. In the original JP version Vincent can switch weapons at any point when in midair.

- Reload. The visual reload animation isn't performed but the reload is successful. You are still not allowed to perform certain actions during a reload, like shooting, so this doesn't actually cancel the obligatory "recharge time". The reload cancels the Faux-Jump state.

- Confirm action prompts like those used for ladders, shops, gun turrets and switches. The game is normally strict about Vincent not being given action prompts when airborne. Thanks to the fake-jump being simultaneously grounded and airborne we circumvent this rule. More about these action prompts in the next post.

Unfortunately, the game won't allow the use of Limit Breakers during a faux-jump. Clearly some mechanics are more strict than others in terms of what actions are allowed during any given player state.

The fake-jump will instantly be interrupted if you move the left analog stick (moving Vincent around) and so it turns into just a normal jump. This places the faux-jump in a similar- but also opposite scenario to the Auto-Lock Quirk I discovered 3 1/2 months ago. For that trick you needed to NOT move the right analog stick, but moving the left analog stick was fine.

The original JP release, surprisingly, has its own faux-jump. Remember that this version does not allow you to shoot in midair nor does it have the double jump. Performing the fake-jump is inconsistent and it changes very little compared to the post-original versions. Vincent will stiffly stand and shoot while in his jump arc. This does not allow midair reloads. The trick allows what is technically a double-jump but just like before this extra jump is immensely nerfed due to Vincent's downwards momentum.

I have not been able to confirm action prompts during a faux-jump in this game version but it's unclear if the reason is my execution or the game's limitations. Narrow effects aside, it is strange that there even exists a 1-2 frame window where Vincent can *technically* shoot in midair; something that shouldn't be allowed in this edition of Dirge.

EDIT: Chaos Vincent has the Faux-Jump in the JP original but not in the post-original versions.
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Faux-Jump on ladders

We want to interact with a ladder but the same button is used for Jump and Action. We also can't move into place with the left analog stick, because moving Vincent will cancel the fake-jump. The easiest solution: Rotate with the right analog stick as we perform the faux-jump and then press the Action button again to climb onto the ladder. Action prompts on ladders depend on Vincent's direction so the prompt will never show up if Vincent is facing away from the ladder.

As stated previously, ladders preserve Vincents momentum. But the behaviour gets confused when your momentum is on the Z-axis and when you board the ladder while technically in midair. The end result is that when you release from the ladder, whether it's in the middle of the climb or when you reach the top/bottom, is that Vincent teleports back to the Z-axis where he originally started the climb!

When starting the glitched climb from the bottom and going to the top, Vincent will briefly clip into the wall below. Realizing he can't stay there, the game moves Vincent straight back up.

After testing this glitch on almost all the ladders in the game I can confirm it has no use. Even in cases when Vincent clips into an area that technically should be legal for Vincent to roam the game always decides to move Vincent to the intended platform on the Z-axis. Despite this I rate "faux-jumping onto ladders" as one of my favorite glitches so far. Seeing Vincent teleport, and especially freeze-framing recordings where he clips into a wall, is satisfying to me because it's rare to see this type of behavior without the use of cheats.

Faux-Jump on gun turrets
The turrets are tricky because the action prompt to board them is independent of Vincent's direction. Once you are within the circle to interact with the turret you can't get out of it by simply rotating Vincent. How do we fake-jump onto it? With extreme precision, that's how.
1) Run towards turret.​
2) Release the left analog stick. Faux-jump is now available but Vincent will move ahead ever so slightly due to still decelerating.​
3) Perform the faux-jump.​
4) Mash the Action button and hope that Vincent has moved ahead just enough to interact with the turret.​
The trick comes down to pixels and frames because of how short Vincent's gliding distance is when you release the analog stick.


The only change is that Vincent can't dismount while in the brief midair state. Once Vincent sits comfortably in the turret, the way he's meant to, he can dismount just fine. Access to "Map" and "Customize" are still denied when you sit on the turret. Whether Vincent can shoot with the turret while in midair seems to depend on timing or randomness.

Faux-Jump on switches
So far the only reliable effect achieved here is that the animation of Vincent pressing the switches is slightly delayed, due to Vincent performing a stiff jump after you interacted with the environment switch. Apart from this all behavior remains the same. Thankfully the switches depend on Vincent's direction so you can do the faux-jump interaction here just as easily as with ladders.

Two switches in the sewers (Ch5-1) raise metal gates. On emulator I managed to get a result that I couldn't replicate after getting it twice. The sound of pushing the switch happened but Vincent never performed the pushing animation. Normally a cutscene plays where the metal gate is raised, but there was no cutscene and nothing happened with the gate(s). Vincent was frozen in position with the reticle raised but lowering the reticle would grant free movement again. You could push the switch again and progress through the stage just fine.

It is possible that this cutscene-blocking result only happened because I was playing on emulator. Albeit not a useful result, I wish I could replicate it and test it out on other switches.

A pipe dream is to glitch out the long elevators in Ch9, An Empire in Ruins. There are two long elevators with Aerial Mines and the player is forced to spend 1m30s on each descent, 3 minutes total. Currently it doesn't look like the faux-jump can help with this when you play around with the elevator switches.

Faux-Jump on shops
Not much to say here. It is humorous to enter the shop while you are in midair but that's all there is to it. What the research helped me realize though is that some shops have prompt-circles that depend on Vincent's direction while others don't. For example the first shop in Ch10-3 (after the long auto-scroller section) will include an action prompt even if you are facing away from the shop. Meanwhile other shops, like the first one in Shinra Manor, can only be interacted with if you face the shop.

That marks the end of this series of glitches I wanted to report on. Had this been a game like Ocarina of Time the faux-jump could almost surely have broken the game in some profound ways. But this is Dirge of Cerberus we're talking about, so... :mon:
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Dirge of Cerberus was just featured in the speedrunning event "RTA in Japan - Winter 2022". This is the first time DCFFVII is featured in a Japanese speedrun event. GanMa had submitted Dirge to RTA in Japan (RiJ) back in 2019 but now in 2022 it was accepted!

GanMa held the controller while Dirge veteran littletonbi did commentary.
- Original JP stream
- JP Highlight VOD


After an epic performance GanMa landed at a time of 1h21m10s (1:21:10). Two minutes were lost from a Restart in Ch8-2, Fight for the Central Complex. For reasons of safety GanMa played with a memory card inserted at the cost of additional loading times. We do not have precise measurements of how much time is saved if you remove the memory card. Recent speculation is that 2-3 minutes are saved. With this in mind, the event shows that GanMa has the skill to achieve a world record. Their button mashing skills when zoom climbing are something to behold!

For reasons of copyright the game audio is muted when Gackt's "Longing" plays in the background. In lieu of that, littletonbi provides the vocals and GanMa adds sound effects. Great moment from the stream.

For the English restream DynamiteDanTNT jumped in like a hero and provided commentary. Many thanks to the DynDan!
- English restream

Certain events will no longer happen and/or will not be allowed when a specific pointer is set to value 0.
In the International version this pointer is in address 2046F6DC. During cutscenes its value is always 0 but in gameplay it will assume a wide range of values depending on when- and how a given area was accessed. Throughout the video I set this pointer to 0 and then restore its original value.

Notably, events are not put in a queue when this event pointer is set to 0. So if you walked all the way through a cutscene trigger and then restore the pointer, the cutscene will not automatically play. You have to go back and touch the cutscene trigger again. In this "Events Disabled" state it is also not possible to use items, confirm action prompts (doors/switches/turrets etc), destroy memory capsules, destroy boxes and so on. One exception is that you can still interact with ladders just fine.

The above video is my first time using YouTube's "chapter" function. Spoilers below.

00:00 Ch1-4, Kalm office.
The room with the monitors always has a broken wall when you visit in gameplay, even before Azul is meant to smash it down. The wall is only solid in earlier cutscenes.

Note that normally a tutorial message would pop up when you pick up the Short Barrel. Because of the event pointer being set to 0, we don't get the message at all.

00:47 Ch2-2, Wastelands.
The end of the gun turret section. The Shadowfox travels only a short distance if you avoid the cutscene that transitions to Ch2-3. You can't dismount.

01:38 Ch2-3, Wastelands.
The end of the auto-scroller. After avoiding the cutscene and the Shadowfox comes to a stop you still can't jump. You can only move around on the top of the vehicle. Surviving Guard Hounds neatly line up at the end but will still growl when you reactivate the event pointer.

03:07 Ch8-2-2, Central Complex.
Normally you have to protect the WRO from a distance while they deactivate the barrier. Ignoring this limitation leads to some shenanigans.

04:28 Ch9-2, Shinra HQ.
Vincent shoots the metal wire thingy to descend down into the tunnels. Turns out though that this object is already on the ground even before the cutscene happens.

05:32 Ch10-2, Deepground bridge.
The bridge that is scripted to fall does not have collision and you can only make it halfway towards the fake door on the other side.

06:33 Ch11-5, Weiss.
In my other video where I used cheats to defeat Weiss the Immaculate, the screen faded to black the instant Weiss was defeated. Preventing this fade-out shows that Weiss stands perfectly still and quickly fades out himself. Sometimes he will drop his swords, sometimes he won't. If you prevent the post-boss cutscene for any given boss you will end up seeing the enemy model fade away.

06:54 Ch12-1-3, Inside Omega.
To the surprise of nobody, the cutscene makes it look as though Chaos Vincent is travelling a greater distance to the next room. Maintaining gameplay shows how short the trek actually is.
the event shows that GanMa has the skill to achieve a world record.
The prophecy came true! GanMa has achieved world record in the Standard - Any% Normal category!

Frame-advancing shows that last damage was dealt at 1:17:27.91

[2022-12-30] GanMa_11727.jpg

The previous record was a 1:17:37.93 by City Hall. The new WR is thus an improvement of almost exactly 10 seconds!

Seeing this achievement unfold live was quite the experience on my heart rate and I wasn't even the one playing. One amazing part is that GanMa entered the Crystal Feelers section 10 seconds ahead of City Hall. When the CF section ended GanMa's lead was 7 seconds. Via excellent execution in the Omega Weiss fight GanMa regained those 3 seconds lost to CFs.

Congratulations to がんま(GanMa)! The new WR holder!
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Glitch: The Logo State

If you enter- or leave the sickbay of the Shera, then select Tempsave or Quit right before the player loses menu access, the selection will not bring the player back to the game logo screen. Instead you proceed to the next area in a glitched state with motion blur and an almost completely disabled HUD: The Logo State.

The dizzying motion blur is reminiscent of some blurring effects seen in the game logo screen, ergo my name for the glitch. This aspect of the glitch will disappear once you've entered an FMV sequence.

Almost all aspects of the HUD are no longer visible. No text is displayed except for during FMVs. Your only way of navigating through menus is by sound and by the light effects when moving the cursor. If you carry the glitch over to the following chapters you'll also find that the reticle, damage digits, shortcut items etc are not displayed. Your killchain still shows up on the upper right quarter of the screen. In other words this is pretty much identical to when I disable the HUD with the help of Cheat Engine.

The glitch goes away if you make a Tempsave or select Quit. Selecting Restart will restore the HUD but not remove the motion blur.

A curious side-effect of the glitch is that if you've already entered the quick-map menu once (press Up directional button) then entering it again will freeze Vincent in place with zero HUD effects. Regardless of difficulty mode the quick-map menu is never meant to stop player movement! To avoid this you must reset the game state by talking to an NPC or going to a new zone, after which you have one more go at a normal activation of the quick-map menu. Well, as normal as things can be while in the Logo State.

All aspects of the Logo State glitch, with the exception of the quick-map curiosity, have proven to be purely visual. Gameplay still functions without bugs.

On emulator I have confirmed that there is a 2-frame window to activate the bug. You have the penultimate frame and the last frame of menu access to pause the game and either make a Tempsave or select Quit. The recordings above are made on console and IF the frame window is more lenient on the intended hardware it's not by more than 1 or 2 frames. For once this is a glitch where I'm happy there is no speedrunning exploit. Having to rely on a 2-frame window that could end your run if you select Quit too early? No thank you.

If you select Restart during this 2-frame window then that action will simply be ignored. One frame earlier and the stage will restart, though with the glitch that the initial cutscenes can't be skipped.

Going the Tempsave route for the Logo State does lead to a curious situation where you have an active Tempsave while still being in active "stage gameplay". Normally when you make a Tempsave you move back to the start screen and end up with a choice: Either delete the Tempsave by using it, or delete the Tempsave by selecting a normal checkpoint.

Why can the Logo State glitch only be activated on the Shera? Because only the sickbay gate fulfills this condition:
- Pause Menu access until the last frame before a zone teleport.

The Shera section is three game zones.
Airship, Chapter 7-1: zone 137​
Airship, Chapter 7-2*: zone 189​
Shera sickbay: zone 149​

*You enter the second checkpoint after the plot-heavy briefing with Reeve and the WRO.

All other parts of the game do not allow Pause Menu access up to the frame before a zone teleport. In most cases there are intermediate cutscenes, so even if you had late menu access the glitch wouldn't work because the action for moving to a new game zone is too far away.

In fact, you can't activate Logo State when entering sickbay in Ch7-2. Menu access is locked away 2 frames too early! In Ch7-1 menu access will always linger and provide you the 2-frame window needed for Logo State. Exiting sickbay is a method that works in both 7-1 and 7-2.

EDIT: Played through Ch7-Ch12 on emulator with the glitch on and confirmed that nothing mindblowing happened. The glitch stays active until you go back to the title screen. The Stage Mission scores in Ch9 and Ch10 stayed on screen at weird moments but those were the only unexpected events.

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DynamiteDanTNT said:
Hey, I was inspired to make a parody song for Dirge speedrunning and I can't sing worth a damn but it was fun to make! Enjoy!
Biggest inspiration was @muttskiSRL and his legendary parody song, Carry Armor.
I am very happy Dan made this!
Stagger Mechanics of the Dragonfly GL

gsdx_20230108163410 - kopia.png

After dealing enough damage to the Dragonfly GL, the ending boss of Chapter 1, the aircraft will get staggered. The boss tilts and the weak spot on its top becomes a valid target to inflict huge damage upon. When the boss recovers from its stun state the weak spot disappears. In other words you can't skip the stagger and simply attack the weak spot from a high-enough position. You must cause a stagger first.

Through repeated sessions a player can get an inkling of when the boss should be about to start leaning. But only through the wonder of Cheat Engine have I been able to at long last understand how it actually works. The key factors are the Pressure Gauge and the Dragonfly GL's alternating Stagger Immunity status.

Pressure Gauge (PG)
The same amount of damage you deal to the boss is added to this meter. The Pressure Gauge is a signed 2-byte integer (value range -32768 to 32767) and starts out at value 0. The Dragonfly GL does not have enough HP that you could ever cause overflow to negative values in the PG.

When the PG has reached a value of at least 400 the Dragonfly GL will be primed for stagger. On its own this is not enough to stun the boss. An additional attack must be dealt. For this reason you can never stagger the boss with only one damage output; you need at least two. Thankfully the Cerberus handgun *can* turn this caveat into a formality. With its 3 bullets per shot, 1 or 2 of the bullets can inflict damage to fulfill the "PG is not below 400" condition and the next bullet can cause the stagger.

The Pressure Gauge value, which happens to be exactly 400 (0x190) here, is compared with the constant value 400. This is the test to check if the boss is primed for stagger or not.


This PG comparison with the value 400 is the same regardless of game version or difficulty mode.

Fun fact: After the boss has been primed for stagger the game will simply check for a change in its HP. Meaning that if you could heal the boss this would also stagger it! The act of healing the boss would lower your PG value but even if the PG went below 400 at this point the stagger would still happen.

The PG can continue to increment well beyond the desired value of at least 400. It will however reset to 0 a few seconds after the Dragonfly GL has fully recovered from its staggered status. The cycle begins anew to build the Pressure Gauge.

Stagger Immunity (SI)
Regularly, the boss will toggle between immunity to stagger and vulnerability to stagger. The Pressure Gauge will still increment when you deal damage, no matter if Stagger Immunity is on or off. While SI is on, however, the game won't run the "Is PG below 400?" check. When SI is off, the PG check is performed one time each frame. Dirge of Cerberus runs at 60 frames/second.

By breaking down the start of the battle we can get an initial notion of how the SI status alternates. To keep track of things I'll use the game's primary frame counter which is set to 0 when you've exited the pre-battle cutscene.

Frames 0-8 [0.15 seconds]
The screen is dark and the battle has not properly begun. Player control is locked.​
Frames 9-62 [0.9 seconds]
Stagger Immunity is on. Player control is given on frame 9. The screen is dark but the player can still move around, raise the reticle and inflict damage on the Dragonfly GL. It is possible even now to prime the boss for stagger but you can't complete the stagger.​
The HUD starts coming into view on frame 25. The boss is idle and performing no particular action.​
Frames 63-123 [1.016 seconds]
Stagger Immunity is off. The first "PG<400?" check is performed and it will be performed 61 times over 61 frames.​
Again, comparing the Pressure Gauge to value 400 is effectively what activates the susceptibility to stagger. The boss is idle and performing no particular action.​
On frame 86 the environment and the actors become visible, finally getting us out of the dark.​
Frames 124-274 [2.516 seconds]
SI is off. During this period the Dragonfly GL will fire a hail of bullets. When the last shot is fired, you will know that the boss has now entered a state of immunity to stagger.​
The game uses an alternate function for the "PG<400?" check in this interval of 151 frames. This function always coincides with the rain of bullets from the boss.​
Most of the time the "Pressure Gauge value lower than 400?" check happens once per frame. However when a lot is happening on screen, the game may skip the check for one frame. Could this result in a glitch where a stagger is denied when it should have been successful? That is still up in the air. I have not been able to activate such a bug.​
Frames 275-414 [4 seconds]
SI is on. No "PG<400?" checks are performed. This stagger immunity lasts for 240 frames or exactly 4 seconds.​
The boss is idle, performing no action in particular.​
Frames 415-475 [1.016 seconds]
SI is off. The "PG<400?" check is performed 61 times, just like when the battle began and it is indeed the same function that is running as when the battle began.​

The event flow presented above is relevant to the speedrun. The runner wants to stagger the Dragonfly GL before it has stopped firing bullets, as after that point there is a penalty of 4 seconds where the boss is immune to stagger. Counting from when control is granted to the player, the speedrunner has 0.9 + 1.016 + 2.516 = 4.432 seconds to up the Pressure Gauge to at least 400 and deal one more instance of damage to complete the stagger.

With our newfound understanding it becomes a bit more clear what happens in the boss strategy I invented back in July 2022. (Begin from timestamp 0:27)

- Charged with a 3-chain, I launch a Fire Lv.1 attack and deal 384 damage.
- The follow-up Cerberus shot, consisting of three bullets of course, deals 3 + 18 +18 = 39 damage. The first bullet upped the Pressure Gauge to 387 and the second bullet upped it further to 405. The boss was now primed for stagger and the third bullet completed the stagger.

If the Cerberus shot had only dealt 3 + 3 + 3 damage then the PG would have reached 393 and the boss would not have been primed. Taking into account that a bullet might miss, the player runs the risk of needing one or more extra shots before causing a stagger. A safer strategy would be to enter the battle with a 4-chain and deal 445 damage with the Fire Lv.1 projectile. That way the boss will be primed and you don't have to worry about how many handgun shots will be needed afterwards. All three bullets missing is basically unheard of.

Slowing things down a bit, how would the Stagger Immunity toggle on-and-off if we let the Dragonfly GL perform its full moveset? That rundown is the subject of my next post.

Dragonfly GL: Moveset and general AI

While not a complete breakdown of how the boss is programmed, the chart above and the list of actions below gives a very good idea of this enemy's behavior.
Idle Pose: SI Off
SI off: 1-7 seconds (Varied durations)
The standard duration for this idle pose is 1.016 seconds or 61 frames. If you chase Dragonfly GL around the stage at this point the boss will hover away in a different direction. This extends the period of this idle pose, which I like to call "PG Function 1" because it is linked to the first variation of the "PG<400?" check. After chasing the boss around for 6-7 seconds it will eventually resort to the bullet barrage attack. It is not possible to initiate a chase at the very start of the battle, when "Idle Pose: SI Off" happens for the first time.
Duration of this idle pose after a "Forward Lunge" : 2.98-4.15 seconds.
Duration of idle pose after a "Missile Attack B" : 5.8-6.8 seconds.

Bullet Barrage: Standard
SI off: 2.516 seconds [151 frames]
Commonly the attack that follows from the vulnerable idle pose, unless conditions are fulfilled for a more fancy special attack. With knowledge in hand from this article post, the rain of bullets is the most clear visual indicator that you have a chance to stagger the boss. Because this scattered bullet attack is linked to the second "PG<400?" check I ended up calling it "PG Function 2" in my head.

Idle Pose: SI On
SI on: 4 seconds [240 frames]
A period of waiting that consistenly follows from the standard bullet barrage attack. The boss remains immovable so you can't even chase it around. When this period of inactivity is over the AI will always resume PG Function 1, or "Idle Pose: SI Off". At that point you can chase it around and you know now that the boss can indeed be staggered once again. You can easily get the boss into an infinite loop by chasing it around:
Vulnerable Idle Pose -> Bullet Barrage -> Invulnerable Idle Pose -> Vulnerable Pose, and so on.

Forward Lunge
SI on: 3.1 to 3.45 seconds [188-207 frames]
If the player is far away from the Dragonfly GL but on roughly the same elevation, the boss will lunge at Vincent, knock him over then retreat to its original position. SI is active until right after the boss has performed the attack and ends when the retreat begins. The variation in how long SI is active might depend on the length of the boss's flight path.
In the official Japanese guide this dash-type attack is called "体当たり" or "Body blow". In the game data this attack has the animation string "atk_sp1". Most actions don't have an associated animation string because the Dragonfly GL doesn't actually change its animation in those cases.

4-Missile Attack A (Low Altitude)
SI on: 6.58 seconds [395 frames]
When Vincent is at a medium distance and on roughly the same elevation as the boss, it will launch four missiles at Vincent. These missiles are launched close to the ground and are angled slightly towards the ground. The attack's animation string is "atk_sp3".

4-Missile Attack B (High Altitude)
SI on: 2.016 seconds [121 frames]
If Vincent is far away and on a high elevation the boss will launch four missiles straight up into the sky. After a while these missiles will start homing in on Vincent. The timing for when stagger immunity wears off is shortly after these missiles have started pointing at Vincent.

SI on: 10,88 seconds [653 frames]
When the boss is staggered it takes 2.73 seconds before it has become fully tilted and the weak spot becomes available. This will cause the player's auto-lock feature to shift from the damaged leg of the boss and to its new weak spot.
This weak spot is present for 8.15 seconds, disappearing when the Dragonfly GL has fully recovered its stance. Auto-lock on the weak spot disappears and goes back to the damaged leg. The boss will follow up with a retaliation move and stagger immunity continues during this attack.

8-Missile Attack
SI on: 2.95 seconds [177 frames]
If the Dragonfly GL has more than 30% left of its HP it will shoot 8 missiles straight up into the sky. These will quickly dive down towards Vincent. A short while after this descent has begun the Pressure Gauge will be set to 0 and the boss becomes susceptible to stagger once again. The vulnerable idle pose (SI off) is resumed.

8-Missile Attack + Hell From Above (Desperation Move)
SI on: 7.98 seconds [479 frames]
If the Dragonfly GL has 30% or less of its HP left then the 8-Missile Attack will be followed up by a desperation move. The chopper will ascend, then quickly and aggressively descend onto Vincent while it rains a hellfire of bullets. Its animation string is "atk_sp2". Once this heavy attack is finished the Pressure Gauge is set to 0 and SI is off. The cycle begins anew with the vulnerable idle pose.

The way that the intended strategy against this boss is conveyed both does- and does not work.

With the aircraft's right leg (left leg from the chopper's POV) glowing and burning, and the automatic aiming snapping onto this section like a magnet to a refrigerator, it signals to the player that this spot is important. The player shoots and sometimes find that red "critical damage" digits show up. The player is motivated to keep shooting, especially at the damaged leg, until something happens. Eventually the leg explodes and the boss is indeed staggered. As a visual motivator to stay on the offensive, instead of running away, the flashing damaged leg does work.

The part of the leg that takes "critical damage" is not actually weaker than the rest of the damaged leg, but at least the visual hint that the leg is a weak spot is 95% true. Though personally I would have made sure that the spot that generates red damage digits actually had slightly weaker defense.
From my damage calculator:

gsdx_20230110104508 - kopia.png

The visual cue given to the player is flawed however because it does not actually matter where on the body you deal damage. The Pressure Gauge will build up all the same. Players *might* conclude that what matters is applying general stress on the boss until the damaged leg explodes. However, because the game makes you zero in so hard on the flashing leg, I'd argue that players will often think *only* this weak spot matters for the stagger.

Another sin is the 4-second window where the boss is idle yet immune to stagger. There is nothing at all to signal that the boss has raised any particular defense. The purpose of this moment seems primarily to throw the player a bone and let them deal out uninterrupted damage for a while. It might be that the player still has a long way to go before having dealt 400 damage, after all.

The design philosophy behind the battle seems to have been to encourage staying on the offensive but to never give the player a deep understanding of the stagger mechanics. "Just shoot until you win". My stance is that a redesign of the Dragonfly GL should follow the playbook of FFVII Remake. Visible pressure indicators, be it a bar that builds or the boss itself flashing with increasing intensity, could increase player involvement and satisfaction from defeating the foe.
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The backlog of stuff I could write here piled up. If you follow me on Twitter you'll already be aware of most of it.

2 1/2 weeks ago I unlocked NPC text from the Deepground lobby. The text comes from the original JP version of Dirge and it represents the Beta phase of the online multiplayer. This is why Argento is absent from the text and why the player character is only allowed to advance up to Trooper 1st and not all the way to Tsviet. The text is auto-translated in the spreadsheet below and for the most part gives a good idea of the tone and content.

- DCFFVII_Online-Multiplayer_game-text, see tab "Beta-Lobby-NPCs"

In the words of TurquoiseHammer, Deepground is "like an inferno level of hyperbole". The NPC text is a recommended read if you're in the mood for some dark humor and absurdity. Be warned that some of it might be too dark. Be aware also that 50% is tutorial text.

The content was unlocked by attempting yet another teleport to zone 217; the Deepground lobby. The teleport was done by selecting the difficulty mode for a fresh playthrough and jumping to zone 217 instead of the default zone 128 (Kalm). As a result...


...the Japanese text "Overlay Error" showed up. This pop-up message was entirely new to me. Exiting the window led you back to the title screen. After absorbing what just happened I realized that this singular text box might have unlocked the encrypted NPC text from the Deepground lobby. Looking into RAM my suspicion was confirmed and I could copy the text and paste it into a spreadsheet.

There is still no way to roam the Deepground lobby to interact with NPCs. I have learned a lot more about ways to perform zone teleportations and how areas are loaded but it is still not enough to make the online mode content fully available.


This is really cool! I just read through all the translations, I love the very weird personalities a lot of the NPCs have. The two different quests with the seeds, with one being wholesome and one being creepy af was a cool touch too.
In conjunction with learning more about the game's walkmesh tiles I (partially) solved one of the longest standing mysteries of DCFF7:
Why does Cait Sith sometimes, seemingly at random, face an invisible wall when trying to jump this gap in the stealth section? Vincent can also face this annoying wall when you visit the area in Ch11.


Big Discovery #1: The invisible wall is the ladder's collision stretching infinitely upwards. The walkmesh of a ladder is defined so that you can't walk through said ladder. On the ground this makes sense. But the flawed vertical behavior of the walkmesh can cause a conflict where the player is blocked even though they should proceed right to the connecting platform.

It is unclear if this ladder is particularly glitched compared to others. We know that the top vertex of the ladder is shared with the connecting platform's walkmesh vertex but on its own this may not explain the bug.


Big Discovery #2: The invisible wall does not manifest if your left analog stick is in a neutral position when you pass over the ladder.

Your instinct is to keep tilting the left analog stick forward because that's what you're using all the time to make the player character move. But doing so can make the game prioritize the interpretation that you are running against the ladder. Thankfully the player can still have forward momentum even without you constantly tilting the stick. So the trick is to make the jump with forward momentum, release the stick before you pass over the ladder, let the player's remaining momentum carry them over, then resume normal action with the left stick once you are in a safe spot.

This revelation is a big deal for speedrunners. Falling down and having to climb back up loses you about 8.5 seconds. For years runners have speculated that maybe the trick was to wait and let the game finish loading the next area. But no consistent method to avoid the invisible wall was ever found. Based on my findings it comes down to the left analog stick and a random behavior priority during the one or two frames you spend right above the top vertex of the ladder.

If you are too late with leaving the stick in a neutral position and you face the wall it is still the better choice to let go of the stick. This will reduce the number of frames that the invisible wall is up. Since the platform and the ladder share the same vertex, you can also manage to land on the platform if you let go of the stick even if the invisible wall was active before.

There are still some nuances to the glitch left to figure out but it feels good to have come this far. The knowledge gained here, about 1 1/2 weeks ago, also allowed me to use cheats to teleport to any valid walkmesh tile. If the walkmesh is loaded then Vincent can teleport there and I can run around on valid, solid ground.



In the past I always had to break collision to reach areas such as these but now my options have increased.


Double Growth
Big Discovery #2: The invisible wall does not manifest if your left analog stick is in a neutral position when you pass over the ladder.

Your instinct is to keep tilting the left analog stick forward because that's what you're using all the time to make the player character move. But doing so can make the game prioritize the interpretation that you are running against the ladder. Thankfully the player can still have forward momentum even without you constantly tilting the stick. So the trick is to make the jump with forward momentum, release the stick before you pass over the ladder, let the player's remaining momentum carry them over, then resume forward action with the left stick once you are in a safe spot.
Hilarious :lol:
I made my first upload to GitHub on January 29. This was version 1.1.0 of the DCFFVII Damage Calculator.

Features added
- Japanese translation to increase accessibility for Japanese speedrunners. Translation provided by Dirge veteran littletonbi. In order to view the symbols properly your cmd must be set to "MS Gothic" or other compatible font.
- "Player Presets": Savefiles of your old settings to be loaded at any point.

Today, on February 13, I uploaded version 1.2.0 of the calculator.
Feature added
- The option to calculate bullet- and magic damage in the original JP release. Selections made for this game version will not impact selections made for the post-original/standard version.


While the initial release of Dirge is not a popular speedrun the calculator felt incomplete without at least giving the option. The program remains a console application limited to modern Windows operating systems. Perhaps my next goal should be to make the calculator cross-platform, since the most desired features of the program are already in place.
Copied from my Twitter post

The precise destination of Omega, when it has left the planet, is never stated in DCFFVII. The lore is vague here.


Lucrecia's wording, "returns to the cosmos" could lead to the interpretation that Omega carries the lifestream to some ever-growing larger body of lifestream in the cosmos.

However, the keyword section of CCFFVII The Complete Guide specifies that Omega finds a new planet to inhabit.


JP transcription:
City Hall is driven by competition and so he always returns to DCFFVII speedrunning whenever he's been dethroned from 1st place in the Standard Any% Normal category.

Two months ago GanMa achieved a WR, landing at 1:17:27. In the usual fashion, City Hall got back to work and has now reclaimed 1st place with a strong WR at 1:16:21.

Video title reads 1:16:22 but the run was retimed to 1:16:21.867. What is mindblowing about this run is that one full minute is lost to an accidental Restart 1h12m into the video. Not only is it a strong WR but it almost skipped the 1:16:XX entirely.

City Hall on the Dirge Discord said:
you may think i'm happy about record but losing the ABSOLUTLY PERFECT run to a reset after a cutscene hurts so bad

1:12:04 is where my soul leaves my body
43:19 - Normally players run off to the side when angling the Thunder Lv.3 shot to hit both Black Widows at once. Here City Hall manages to find a good angle while standing at the front of both targets.

51:06 - In the speedrun Ch10 is based on choosing which cardkeys to preserve so you can save more time later. There is some preference involved, though some routes are faster than others. When I practiced the run I found that it saved me 5 seconds to skip the Aerial Mines and their cardkey, opting instead to skip the tall EM barrier by doing a long hover from a high point. The downside is that the Aerial Mines make A LOT of noise, which can distract you in subsequent zoom hovers/climbs in the area. City Hall maintains his focus however and excellently skips both the Aerial Mine barrier and the barrier at the bottom.

59:27 - Courtyard of Death was a really close call but he managed to skip a KO. City Hall chose to stay at Level 5, max HP 1100, for most of the run. One upside of staying at a low level is that you earn a few seconds in the fight against Weiss the Immaculate, as you can lose the scripted battle faster. The only downside is safety in places like the Courtyard of Death (given its name by speedrunners).
At 59:58 City Hall gets close once again to a KO and this time without any restoratives left! The soldiers can shoot at Vincent for a really long time while he is climbing the ladder but RNG saved the day.

1:02:36 - When City Hall uses Thunder Lv.3 at the Heavy Armored Soldier B, something strange happens. He instantly gets a 3-chain, even though at this point no targets should have been destroyed. The next Thunder shot defeats the HASB and the two bugs, giving City Hall a 6-chain that ends up useful against the Deepground Elite one minute later.
But what actually happened when that first Thunder shot was fired? We can hear the sound of drum cans exploding. That would be...


...these targets, which are proven gone when City Hall runs around the corner.

Destroying these drum cans, and the boxes with them, can easily be done with a Thunder Lv.3 shot when you are intentionally aiming at them. But City Hall had already advanced beyond this point and was aiming away from the drum cans. Yet some glitch caused the magic attack to destroy them all!

When I attempt to replicate the glitch I am sometimes able to destroy one drum can or the other. Sometimes I defeat the DG Elite right behind me! So far this only appears to happen if you fire the shot when the EM barrier is raised that traps Vincent with the HASB and the two bugs. Fascinating.

1:14:38 - Crystal Feelers, Orange Peelers. It is not known what is the fastest clear time anyone has gotten on the whole CF segment. City Hall's RNG here was godly however. The last four CFs lined up perfectly, leading to the shortest possible travel distance. Only 2 seconds were lost on waiting for the final CF to open up.
In total, counting from the frame when the environment is fully visible and then up to when the last melee strike hits, the CF segment only took 38 seconds. As far as WRs go, I'm betting on this being among the top 5 fastest clear times with all six Crystal Feelers.
Going to have to rewrite some of my commentary for the All S Rank run. An assumption of mine was just shattered. I had thought that the gun turret adopts the defensive properties of your currently active weapon setup. Whether it be Weapon1, Weapon2 or Weapon3 when you mount.

Turns out that this is not so. Your defensive equipment, no matter if it's Guard N Barrel or Cerberus Relief, are completely ignored when you sit on the turret.


Lv. 1 Adventurer
After I finished the SP levels, i hop into the Extra Mission and for some reason my W1 is the Cerberus + S Auto Scope and Normal Barrel instead of the Ultima Weapon + Nova L Barrel. IDK this is a bug or not, probably wiping out my savefile and restart from start again :(
Any helps there?
After I finished the SP levels, i hop into the Extra Mission and for some reason my W1 is the Cerberus + S Auto Scope and Normal Barrel instead of the Ultima Weapon + Nova L Barrel. IDK this is a bug or not, probably wiping out my savefile and restart from start again :(
Any helps there?
This is caused by a savefile bug. It's a pretty common bug in the original Japanese version and in the North American release of the game. Unfortunately there is no restoring/fixing your savefile to a bug-free state. Sorry! This means you can't carry over your equipment onto the Extra Missions, making many of them impossible to complete. You'll have to delete your Dirge of Cerberus savefile.

If you're playing the NA version your best bet is to have two memory cards and regularly make back-ups just in case you experience the savefile bug. So far I have only experienced the bug from playing the main story campaign, not from playing the Extra Missions alone.

If you're playing on a PS3 with PS2 backwards compatibility, I don't know what the solution would be. Playing the NA version on a PS3 seems especially prone to causing the savefile bug, but this is speculative.


Lv. 1 Adventurer
This is caused by a savefile bug. It's a pretty common bug in the original Japanese version and in the North American release of the game. Unfortunately there is no restoring/fixing your savefile to a bug-free state. Sorry! This means you can't carry over your equipment onto the Extra Missions, making many of them impossible to complete. You'll have to delete your Dirge of Cerberus savefile.

If you're playing the NA version your best bet is to have two memory cards and regularly make back-ups just in case you experience the savefile bug. So far I have only experienced the bug from playing the main story campaign, not from playing the Extra Missions alone.
Btw do it apply to the PAL version of the game? if no then it's ok, I got both the NTSC and PAL version too
Anyways RIP my saves then


If you're playing on a PS3 with PS2 backwards compatibility, I don't know what the solution would be. Playing the NA version on a PS3 seems especially prone to causing the savefile bug, but this is speculative.
And yes I do play on PS3.
I have never experienced the savefile bug on the PAL version. It has also never happened on the JP International version, which was released in Japan back in 2008. All signs indicate that these two versions patched the savefile bug.


Lv. 1 Adventurer
I have never experienced the savefile bug on the PAL version. It has also never happened on the JP International version, which was released in Japan back in 2008. All signs indicate that these two versions patched the savefile bug.
Ah thanks, now i don't need to care about the savefile would be suddenly deleted :mon:
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