There’s one challenge only the most dedicated Final Fantasy 7 Remake. Players looking for a real challenge can take on the Top Secret Shinra Combat Challenge and earn the Ultimate Weapon Trophy. The combat sim challenge leads to Pride & Joy, a unique boss that can only be fought in Hard Mode. The boss itself actually isn’t that hard either — it’s all the fights you’ll have to complete before it.
The entire Top Secret challenge is just absurdly difficult. Before you can fight Pride & Joy, you’ll have to beat up all the summons in four consecutive rounds. You can’t use items, so you’ll have to manage with your limited MP. After each fight you’ll recover 50% HP and 50% MP — which isn’t so bad. The biggest problem is the rematch against Bahamut.
Below, I’ll offer my tips for conquering every step of this absurd final challenge, and I’ll break down how to unlock the last Shinra Combat simulation. It’s a doozy.
More Final Fantasy 7 Remake guides:
Tips & Tricks Beginner’s Guide | How To Unlock Level 2 Limit Breaks | All Weapon Locations & Proficiency Abilities | All Rare Materia Locations | How To Unlock All Summon Materia | All Jukebox Music Tracks Locations | PSA: 3 Very Useful Button Inputs | How To Get 200% Or 300% Stagger Bonus | How To Beat Roche, Crab Warden & Air Buster | How To Beat Reno, Rude & Hell House | How To Beat Abzu, Ghoul & Eligor | How To Beat Reno & Rude, Failed Experiment & Abzu (Rematch) | How To Beat Jenova, Rufus & Arsenal | How To Beat The Final Boss | All Side-Quests Guide & Rewards List | Post-Game Unlockables Guide
How To Beat The ‘Ultimate Weapon’ Secret Boss | Top Secret Challenge Guide
The ‘Ultimate Weapon’ trophy will unlock after defeating Pride & Joy, the final opponent in the Top Secret 7-Star Shinra Combat Simulator challenge. To unlock the final 5-round battle, you’ll have to complete all Colosseum battles, all Shinra Combat Simulator battles, and all Battle Intel challenges.
The Top Secret challenge is only available in Hard Mode — Hard Mode and the Hojo’s Lab Battle Simulator both unlock after completing the game. In Hard Mode, you can’t use items, and you won’t regenerate HP / MP. That makes everything a whole lot harder.
Before even attempting this battle, you’ll need to be prepared.
- Get Cloud, Tifa & Aerith to Level 50.
- Fully upgrade x2 HP Up for all three party members.
- Fully upgrade Revival Materia for two party members. Arise is very important here.
- Unlock all Weapon Abilities and upgrade your weapons as much as possible with SP.
To ensure you survive against Bahamut’s Mega Flare, equip Aerith with Revival Earrings. It isn’t required, but it helps a lot.
- Cloud: Your main player. Make sure he’s tough. Save MP for revives. Don’t waste magic attacking if you can help it.
- Equip Hardedge & Astral Cuff for damage and magic defense.
- Give Cloud x2 HP Up, Cure, Revive, Steadfast Block, Fire+Elemental, Chakra, AP Assist, Bahamut
- Tifa: All about support, building stagger, and boosting Stagger Bonus damage.
- Equip Metal Knuckles & Champion Belt for high critical hits and defense.
- Give Tifa x2 HP Up, Cure, Revive, Steadfast Block, Barrier, Time, Fat Chocobo
- Aerith: Your primary healer and magic user.
- Equip Mythril Rod and maximize magic power.
- Gives Aerith MP Absorb + Lightning, Magnify + Cure, x2 HP Up, MP Up, x1-2 Magic Up, Revive, Leviathan
Top Secret Battle Tips
The battle itself is split into five rounds. Each round, you’ll take on a different opponent. You’ll need to stay alive, balance out your MP consumption, and try to take down your opponents as quickly as possible.
- Round 1 – Shiva: The easiest fight of the fight. She can be quickly staggered with Fire spells. Very simple fight. Keep your HP up with cure and slowly whittle her down to about 50% health.
- Aim to stagger her when she’s at half health, and you’ll be able to quickly defeat her while she’s staggered. If you stagger too early, she’ll go berserk and deal more damage.
- If you want, summon Bahamut here to easily defeat her.
- Round 2 – Fat Chocobo: Another fight that’s completely straightforward. Just watch out for the Tonberries and defeat them ASAP. There’s no reason to waste MP here — use abilities and dodge to bring down his health.
- Round 3 – Leviathan: The first challenging fight. It is weak to Thunder, but only use the spell to help Stagger it. Stay close in melee range to avoid its annoying spray attacks.
- Keep Aerith alive, use Level 1 magic attacks while it flies, and unleash your Limit Breaks once they’re available.
- When Leviathan uses Spinning Dive, make sure to swap to Cloud / Tifa and block. This is where Steadfast Guard will help.
- Round 4 – Ifrit & Bahamut: The hardest fight of the challenge by far. You’ll have to take on both Ifrit & Bahamut. If you have Fire (Level 2) linked to Elemental on an accessory, you’ll be 100% immune to all fire attacks, so you won’t take damage from Ifrit. That can be very, very helpful.
- Immediately use Barrier spells on your party. The fight begins against Bahamut alone, but at 50% HP it will summon Ifrit.
- Always use Arise to revive your party members so they return with 100% HP. Aerith should be focused on healing. Make sure your party doesn’t drop below 50% whenever possible.
- When Ifrit is summoned, focus all your attacks on him. Use your Limit Breaks. Use Counterstance to nullify magic damage and counterattack with Cloud.
- Focus on Ifrit — use Tifa’s special attacks to build up stagger and take him out of the battle ASAP.
- Bahamut’s Mega Flare will always do 9999 damage. You can survive two ways; have the Revival Earring equipped so Aerith auto-revives, or cast Arise right before the Mega Flare timer is up.
- Round 5 – Pride & Joy: The final round is tough, but nowhere near as difficult as Bahamut. Stay away from his powerful arm attacks when his fists raise up, and stay away from the burning spots on the arena.
- Save your MP for Arise. If Pride & Joy grabs a party member, they will die. Focus on building ADP and using Arise to save them.
- Keep your Limit Breaks for staggered states. You’ll want to do as much damage as possible while the boss is staggered.
- Many of his attacks can be blocked. Make sure to block to lower the amount of damage you take.
- Aerith can help stagger him faster with Thunder.
And that’s really it! The biggest boss in the game can be beaten with the right strategy. Still, it might take some practice to win. Play through the campaign and prepare yourself mentally for a grueling Hard Mode battle.