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How To Beat Rufus Shinra – FF7 Rebirth

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One of the most frustrating battles in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth: the one-on-one showdown with President Rufus Shinra in Chapter 12 at the Gold Saucer. If you played Final Fantasy VII Remake, you know that Rufus is no joke – he’s quick, deadly, and can be a real pain in the neck. But don’t worry, I’ve got some tips to help you take him down!

The three-step solution for fighting Rufus

First things first, you’re going to need to practice your dodging skills. Rufus’ attacks are no laughing matter, and he can easily counterattack and stun you if you’re not careful. My advice? Spend some time getting comfortable with reliably dodging his moves before you even think about attacking. It’s almost like multitasking – you’ll need to have your dodges on autopilot while you look for openings to strike.

I’m telling you that you’re gonna have to dodge bullets

Once you’ve got your dodging down pat, it’s time to make use of Cloud’s ranged attack to start building up that ATB gauge. Sure, his blade beams aren’t the most powerful things in the world, but they’ve got a lot of utility. After dodging with the circle button, quickly hit square to send out a beam from Cloud’s blade (just make sure you’re locked onto Rufus with R3). You can hold square to make Cloud physically fly toward his opponent, but be careful – Rufus is likely to counterattack if you get too close.

Fill up your ATB with Cloud’s ranged strikes

Now, you can keep hitting circle and square to chip away at Rufus’ health, but that’s not the most efficient way to go about things. Instead, focus on using Cloud’s blade beams to fill up your ATB gauge, then wait for Rufus to start reloading. After a while, he’ll become immune to this attack, so you’ll want to strike just enough to max out your ATB, then let Rufus make his move.

Rufus’ reload animation leaves him wildly vulnerable

And that brings us to the most important tip of all: Rufus’ reload animation is your golden opportunity to strike! When you see the word “Reload” pop up over his head, that’s your cue to go in for the kill. Not only do you need to be constantly avoiding his attacks, but you also need to stay within range to capitalize on this moment of vulnerability. Using ATB Abilities like Braver and Focused Thrust will help push him closer to a Staggered state, so make sure to set up and memorize the shortcuts for these attacks (especially Focused Thrust, which will send Cloud hurtling toward him).

I know it sounds like a lot to keep track of, but with a little practice and patience, you’ll be taking Rufus down in no time. Just remember: dodge like your life depends on it, use those ranged attacks to build up your ATB, and strike when he’s reloading.

Hey, one more thing about that Rufus fight! Sometimes, if you wait until you actually see him reloading, you might be too slow to land a hit before he counters and punishes you. The key is to remember that he always reloads after certain gun attacks. We found that the best time to rush in and get some licks in is right after you dodge his Guns Akimbo move.

A few other considerations

A couple of other tips that might help: you can actually poison Rufus with the Bio spell. It won’t melt his HP bar or anything, but every little bit counts, right? Also, don’t forget to cast Haste on yourself and throw up some protective spells like Barrier or Protect. Rufus doesn’t have any elemental weaknesses, so feel free to use Cloud’s materia slots for stuff that’ll give him an overall boost in battle and help with healing, like Regen.

By the way, if you need to take a breather or tweak your setup, you can actually access the main menu during the cutscene between the Elena/Rude fight and the Rufus battle by holding down the square button. And if you want a do-over on just the Rufus fight, you can pause the game, select Retry, and then choose “Retry From This Battle.”

What to do with Darkstar

Now, let’s talk about Rufus’ annoying pet, Darkstar. This pesky pooch joins the fray when you’ve knocked Rufus down to about half health. You’ll see that there’s a link between the two, and breaking that link will Pressure the hound. My advice? Focus on taking out Darkstar ASAP. Whaling on him will boost your ATB, but try to avoid using Triple Strike, since you might accidentally hit Rufus and trigger a counterattack that’ll cost you HP and precious time.

I know the colosseum battle in Chapter 12 can be a bit overwhelming with all the blaring music and constant chatter from the announcers. In a way, that just adds to the challenge of taking down the president’s son. But if you keep dodging his attacks and striking at just the right moments, you’ll be out of this fight and on your way to the epic conclusion of this RPG in no time!

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