Welcome to GideonD’s Limit Break Mechanics Guide for Final Fantasy VII.
Table of Contents
This page contains an explanation of the Final Fantasy VII Limit Break System and a study on how exactly the system works. While how to use limit breaks in battle is common knowledge, the process by which you gain new limit breaks is often found to be in question. Even among those of us who know how the basic limit gaining system works there remains much debate on the exact mechanics of that familiar system. The study below is designed to be a compilation of detailed statistical reports by numerous parties on the mechanical workings of the limit break system.
09/16/2017 Update: I’m reworking this page to make it more of a guide and less of a study. This is in part due to some complaints on clarity when using it as a walkthrough, which I think is much more common these days than anyone reading it for the actual study. As such it will be presented more like a guide now, but the actual kill and use counts from the study will still be present at the end of the guide. The PDF version bellow is already fully updated to the new layout.
Learning New Limits
First of all, for reference I will explain the notations I’ll be using.
There are 4 sets of limit breaks for most of the characters in the game. Likewise, most of the characters have 2 limit breaks per level. When referring to these limit breaks separately I will be using the following notation: X/Y. X = the level of the limit break. Y = the number of the limit break within the level indicated by X. For example the notation 2/1 would indicate the first limit break in the second level or set of limit breaks.
Starting Limit Breaks
Each character in the game starts with one limit break already in his/her possession. This is limit 1/1, the first limit in the first set of limits. This means you have immediate access to your preset limit break.
Learning the Second Limit of a Set
Now, to learn the next limit in a set, for example limit 1/2, you simply need to use the first limit of the set, limit 1/1, a certain number of times. The actual number of times you need to use the first limit in a set varies from character to character. This formula holds true for each set of limits. In other words, to learn the second limit in any set of limits you simply use the first limit in that set a certain number of times. Everyone who has a 4th level limit break will have only 1 limit break in the 4th level. Therefore this formula is irrelevant to the level 4 limit breaks since there is no second in the set. Also, certain characters, namely Vincent and Cait Sith, have only one limit per level, so this formula also does not apply to these two characters.
Cloud starts the game with Braver as his 1/1 limit break. He uses Braver in battle 8 times and he learns Cross-Slash, his 1/2 limit break. Likewise, he would use his 2/1 limit 7 times to learn his 2/2 limit, and he would use his 3/1 limit 6 times to learn his 3/2 limit. You may notice that the number of times a limit needs to be used declines as the limit level increases.
Learning the First Limit in a New Set
Now to gain the first limit break in a new set the procedure is entirely different. Gaining the first limit break in a new set has nothing at all to do with using previously gained limit breaks. Instead, a character must make a certain number of kills to gain the first limit in a new set. What this means is that the character you wish to have gain the new limit break must actually deliver the killing blow to a certain number of enemies. The number of enemies varies from character to character. You may deliver the killing blow using almost any means possible. Details on what counts and what doesn’t can be found below.
- Kills made with Odin’s Steel Cutting Sword attack do NOT count.
- Kills made by residual poison damage, i.e. the damage taken each round, not the damage caused by the initial casting, do NOT count.
- Kills made by enemies you have manipulated do NOT count.
- Kills made with Death Sentence do NOT count.
- Kills made with the Death spell DO count.
- Kills made with Flash command DO count.
Also of interest, miming your limit breaks DOES count toward the usage totals. It’s also worth mentioning that apparently nothing you do in battle arena, be it kills or uses, will count toward your totals.
This formula applies to all characters in the game, including Vincent and Cait Sith. Cait Sith, however, only has 2 sets of limit breaks and only 1 limit in each set, limit 1/1 and limit 2/1.
Example: (continued from above example)
Now that Cloud has learned Cross-Slash he simply continues to kill enemies, dealing the killing blow each time. Once he has killed 120 enemies he gains his 2/1 limit, Blade Beam. After using Blade Beam 7 times he learns his 2/2 limit, Climhazzard. Continuing to fight, Cloud kills an additional 200 enemies and gains his 3/1 limit, Meteorain. Cloud then used Meteorain 6 times and learns his 3/2 limit, Finishing Touch. Cloud may now use his level 4 limit manual if he has it to learn his 4/1 limit, Omnislash.
Learning Level 4 Limits
Once again, learning Level 4 limits is an entirely different process. Level 4/1 limits are taught to a character by using special limit manuals found during the course of the game. These manuals are items and are used from the items menu on the character whose final limit the manual details. Level 4 limits may only be taught to a character after that character has learned all of his/her previous limit breaks. Cait Sith is the sole exception to this. Cait Sith only has two limit breaks, level 1/1 and level 2/1. Therefore there is no Manual for a Level 4 Limit for Cait Sith. There is only one Level 4 limit for each character that has one. There are no 4/2 limits in the game.
Also note Limits aren’t always gained in exact order. If you simply go around killing enemies like mad for a few hours you can learn the first limit in each set before you ever learn the second limit in any of the sets. You can not learn all of the second limits in each set before the first, however, because you need to use the first limit in each set in order to gain the second in the set.
Strategy for Learning Limits Early
This section details my personal method for gaining limits as quickly as possible early in the game.
The first thing you’ll want to do is progress through the game until you reach the Mithril Mines. You’ll want to make sure to grab the matra magic enemy skill along the way as well. Now usually I’ll make my way through the mines to the Junon area on the other side of the mountains. Here you’ll find a patch of forest you can use to obtain Yuffie early on. By this point you should now have Cloud, Barret, Aeris, Tifa, Red XIII, and Yuffie, all of whom you can now start acquiring limits for. That’ll leave only Cait Sith, Vincent, and Cid to work on later.
Now you can save up and begin the limit learning process. Take three people into the mine. You’ll want to go to a specific room. To find this room, enter the mines from the Junon(western) entrance and head north on the first screen on the mine. In this room you will always fight enemies in groups of 4-5.
From this point forward it’s quite simple. Simply have the person you are trying to gain limits for use matra magic to slaughter these large groups of enemies. If you missed getting matra magic on the Enemy Skill materia, then you can use a multi-target magic instead although they tend to cost more MP to cast. This will quickly net you the kills you need to gain the ?/1 limits.
Use your limits whenever they come up to get you closer to the needed uses. By the time you are done with learning the ?/1 limits you’ll still be working on the ?/2 limits in most cases. At this point you’ll want to start looking for a specific enemy. This enemy comes with a group of 3 other enemies and is basically a flying dragon with fairy wings. I believe he’s called an Arc Dragon. He has the flamethrower enemy skill, which you’ll want to pick up. When he uses this skill on you it’ll also deal a good bit of damage at this point of the game, which means it’s about the quickest way to fill up your limit gauge and get the needed uses to learn your ?/2 limits. It’s also a good idea to use a hyper on your people. This will put them in Fury status and as a side effect their limit meter will fill up twice as fast as normal. You may also want to equip Cover materia to the person you are working on to help direct most attacks at that person and fill his/her meter more quickly. I’ve never really bothered with Cover myself, but a few people have pointed out that I didn’t mention it so I thought I’d add a note about it. You may find it more useful if you let it build up to a higher level before working on learning your limits.
Just repeat these steps to learn limits for all of the people you currently have in party and then switch to the others to learn theirs. You can come back later to learn limits for the other 3 characters and it’ll be even easier since Vincent and Cait Sith only require kills, and Cid’s uses can be gotten easier since you’ll have the manipulate materia and can target flamethrower on Cid only.
By the time I left the Mithril Mines for Fort Condor, I had all the limits up through level 3/2 for all 6 of the people I had. As an added bonus they were all about level 30 and I had 99 hi-potions in inventory since the enemies in the mines tend to drop those a lot.
Acquiring Level 4 Manuals
Now just for reference I’ll give a brief run through on where to find everyone’s level 4 limit manuals and how to get them.
You gain the Omnislash manual for Cloud in the Gold Saucer Battle Square. You’ll need to take plenty of gold with you, at least 200 to be safe, and fight until you earn 32,000 battle points. You can then buy the manual as an item. If you do this on disk 1 I’ve been told the price for the manual is about 51,200, so I recommend you wait until disk 2 or 3. You don’t really need Omnislash any earlier anyway.
You can get the Catastrophe manual for Barret any time after stopping the train in Corel on disk 2. Once this part of the game is done, enter the house closest to the inn on the upper tier. There is a lady inside who says something about her late husband and will give you a memento of the man, which is the Catastrophe manual.
Tifa’s Final Heaven manual can be gained on disk 2 or later, anytime after getting Cloud back from his coma. You simply return to Nibelheim with Tifa in your party, and make your way to her room in her house. You want to play the piano there. You’ll need to remember the tune you played in the flashback. If you can’t recall, it goes like this: X, Square, Triangle, R1 + Triangle, R1 + Square, X, Square, Triangle, R1 + X, O, X, Square, X. If you did it correctly she should say something about having the sheet music for the song and you’ll also get her Final Heaven manual.
This one is a bit tricky to get. It has to be done on disk 1 if you actually intend to teach it to her so I’m writing this assuming you will be trying for it on disk 1. Okay, to get Aeris’s Great Gospel manual you’ll first need to wait until you have the buggy, just after the Corel Prison sequence. Once the buggy is in your possession, drive it into Costa del Sol. Note: do not get off the buggy before entering town, just drive it right on in. Now head to the docks and talk to the sailor by the cargo ship. He’ll let you ride the ship back to Junon for 100 gil. When you get to Junon leave town and you’ll discover you’ve brought the buggy along with you. You now want to head north east to the river. There is a shallow spot you can cross using the buggy. Do so and head east until you find a cave entrance. Inside the cave you will find a sleeping old man. He won’t talk to you much until you battle a certain number of times. The trick is to make the last two digits of the number of battles you fought match. For example, when you’ve fought 33 battles or 244 battle he will talk to you since the last 2 digits match. Just fight outside of his cave until you get a number that works. When you talk to him again he will give you an item, sometimes it’s a Bolt ring and sometimes it’s Mythril. You are after the Mythril. If he gives you a Bolt ring just go outside and fight 11 more battles to get to the next number of fights that puts your last 2 digits at the same number. For example if you have fought 22 times and he gives you a Bolt Ring go out and fight 11 more times. You’ll now have 33 fights and he’ll talk to you again. Just keep doing this until you get the Mythril. He will give you a Bolt Ring when the matching numbers are even and a Mythril when they are odd.
Now you can proceed with the game until you get to Rocket Town. Once you go through the Rocket Town sequence you’ll have Cid as a party member and you’ll also have use of the Tiny Bronco. Take the Tiny Bronco to Nibelheim. Once there use the plane to travel up the river and across the continent. You should come out near Gold Saucer. Near the end of the river you’ll see a little house on your right. This house was previously unoccupied, but now you can get off the plane and go inside. The guy inside will talk about the keystone for a bit. When you get the chance tell him to change the subject and he’ll talk about the weapons he makes and having a shortage of mythril. Give him the mythril and he’ll reward you by letting you pick a chest as a prize. Go up the stairs to the top floor and go all the way left. Open the little box on the wall to receive the Great Gospel manual. The big box on the lower floor just contains a Gold Armlet.
You get Red XIII’s Cosmos Memory pretty early in the game, on disk 1. The first time you get to Nibelheim you’ll be heading to the Shinra mansion. You’ll need to open the safe on the 2nd floor to get the Odin materia and the basement key that you’ll need to find Vincent. When you open the safe you’ll fight a boss called the Lost Number. For winning this fight you’ll receive the Cosmos Memory manual.
You can get Yuffie’s All Creation Manual as early as disk 1 when you have the Tiny Bronco. Simply travel to Wutai and challenge the masters of the Pagoda. Once you beat the last boss, who is Godo, Yuffie’s father, you’ll receive the Leviathan summon and the All Creation Manual.
He has no level 4 limit break and therefore no manual to teach it to him.
You can get Vincent’s Chaos manual as soon as you gain access to the submarine. Simply put him in your party and then take the sub to the river mouth north of Cost del Sol. Make sure not to miss it altogether. Dive underwater and look for a small cave entrance. Just follow the path until you come to a circular room. Surface and you’ll be in a small lake. You can dock the sub on the side and go into a cave hidden behind the waterfall. You’ll see a flashback sequence with Vincent here. Once its over leave the area, and go somewhere that you can fight. I suggest the Gold Saucer area since it’s the closest sub dock. After you’ve fought at least 10 times return to the cave where he had his flashback and you’ll receive the Chaos manual and his final weapon, the Death Penalty. When looking for the underwater tunnel be aware that it branches off of the tunnel that leads you to the Key of Ancients. You can also use a green, black or gold chocobo to do this in place of the sub.
Cid’s Highwind manual is easy to get. Once you have the sub travel to the Gold Saucer sub dock. Now you want to dive underwater. There will be the wreckage of a cargo plane nearby. You can find all kinds of goodies in this plane, called the Gelnika. One of the chests in the cargo room contains the Highwind manual.
A Glitch in the System
There is a known glitch in the limit break system that can cause some major problems with your game. This glitch generally does one of two things.
- When you start a new game sometimes this glitch will occur. When this happens you will find that instead of starting out with just your 1/1 limit break your character(s) will have all limit breaks already learned. This may appear as a wonderful occurrence at first but don’t count it as a blessing just yet. I’m not sure what ramifications if any this has later in the game. It’s possible this could screw a few things up later on, such as getting Final Attack from Battle Arena since you need to buy Omnislash and teach it to Cloud as one of the requirements to access the special battle. You can’t exactly teach it to him if he already knows it and I’m not sure if the game will count it or not. I haven’t had this glitch happen to me so I’m not sure if this would really happen but it definitely seems possible. Anyone who has learned Omnislash via GameShark will know that the game doesn’t count it when you try to access the special battle, so it’s quite possible the game won’t count the glitch either. If anyone knows for certain that there are problems caused by this glitch please let me know so I can list them here.
- The second occurrence of the glitch can be even more frustrating. Have you ever learned all of a character’s limits except the last one and then tried to use his/her manual but the game still won’t let you learn the level 4 limit? Well that would be the glitch coming into play again. Once again I haven’t had this happen to me, but I know a few people who have, and by all reports they’ve never found a way to fix the problem short of starting a new game. Basically you just have to start all over or just keep playing without use of the level 4 limit for the character(s) that this happens to.
Those are the two most common results of the glitch. There are a few other that I’ve heard of but I don’t know for certain if there is any truth to them, never having personally witnessed them. I’ll list them anyway for reference.
- You can’t learn limits at all. You get stuck with your 1/1 limit for the entire game no matter how many times you meet the requirements to learn the new limits.
- Learning a new limit gets delayed. You make the required number of kills or uses to get the next limit but you still don’t learn it. Then later on, sometimes after learning the limits after the one that wouldn’t work, you’ll suddenly learn the limit you missed for no apparent reason.
Well that’s all I can tell you on that topic. This glitch is known to happen, but fortunately it doesn’t seem to happen very often. I’ve played through FF7 a total of 13 times so far and I’ve never had any of it happen to me. Just hope you are as lucky as I’ve been.
LIMIT BREAK DETAILS AND REQUIREMENTS
This section will provide descriptions of each character’s limit breaks as well as details on how to acquire them. The number of uses and kills in this section are taken from the hard coded data in the game’s memory dumps and are what I previously considered my control set for the Limit Break Mechanics Study.
For anyone wondering exactly what the Limit Break Mechanics Study was, it basically boils down to myself and a few other people actually physically counting kills and uses throughout multiple play throughs of the game. This was done to try and clear up confusion about the actual kill and use numbers. This confusion initially occurred for two main reasons. First, the original official strategy guides for this game were actually published with incorrect data on this subject. I’m not sure where the data came from, but it was flat out wrong. Second, many people had noticed issues with the limit break system in the game. Even when the glitches mentioned above were not coming into play, people had started to notice that kills and especially uses just didn’t seem to add up to what the data in the guides was saying.
The data below is accurate according to what the data in the game says is correct. Our study found that the game itself is sometimes correct, but also sometimes not. I can only assume that some minor bugs in the coding can on occasion keep the game from counting correctly. The more we played, the more we discovered exactly what does and doesn’t count toward uses and kills so I’m pretty confident in saying that the game gets it close, but it doesn’t get it perfect.
Cloud’s limits, as expected for the lead character, are some of the most powerful limits available in the game. They are all aimed at causing damage to your enemies. This in combination with Cloud being your main party member for the vast majority of the game result in a higher kill and use requirement to obtain all of his limits.
Limit 1/1: Braver
This is Cloud’s starting limit break. Braver consists of a single downward slash, which deals 3 times the normal damage to it’s target.
Limit 1/2: Cross-Slash
Requirements: Use Braver 8 times to learn
Cross-Slash is a single physical attack consisting of three slashes. It deals about 3.25 times the normal damage and may inflict paralysis on the target.
Limit 2/1: Blade Beam
Requirements: Kill 120 enemies (from a starting count of zero)
Blade Beam strikes a single enemy and releases a wave of energy doing 3.5 times the normal damage to the primary target. Shock waves from the strike deal roughly normal damage to other enemies.
Limit 2/2: Climhazzard
Requirements: Use Blade Beam 7 times to learn
Climhazzard is a single thrust into the enemy followed by a jump that pulls the sword up through the enemy. This results in roughly 4.25 times the normal damage.
Limit 3/1: Meteorain
Requirements: Kill 200 enemies (320 total including the previous kill count)
Meteorain, as the name implies consists of six falling meteors. Each meteor hits for roughly 1.5 times normal damage.
Limits 3/2: Finishing Touch
Requirements: Use Meteorain 6 times to learn
Finishing Touch hits enemies with a tornado attack dealing instant death to those not immune. Those immune to death effects take about 3 times the normal damage.
Limit 4/1: Omnislash
Requirements: All 6 previous limits learned and use Omnislash Manual
Omnislash consists of 15 randomly targeted strikes with a critical hit effect at about 0.75 the normal damage each.
Barret’s limits are mostly strikes in nature. He does have one limit that can drain enemy MP, which can be helpful when using him as a secondary magic user or healer.
Limit 1/1: Big Shot
This is Barret’s starting limit break. Big Shot targets one enemy with a large fireball dealing 3.25 times the normal damage.
Limit 1/2: Mind Blow
Requirements: use Big Shot 9 times to learn
Mind Blow is a single target gravity elemental attack. It consists of a blue ball of energy, which drains MP from the target.
Limit 2/1: Grenade Bomb
Requirements: Kill 80 enemies (from a starting count of zero)
Grenade Bomb launches a grenade at your enemies. It can deal about 3.5 times normal damage to a single target. It can also hit multiple targets instead at reduced damage.
Limit 2/2: Hammerblow
Requirements: Use Grenade Bomb 8 times to learn
Hammerblow is a close range attack using Barret’s mech arm. It deals instant death to enemies not immune to such effects. Enemies that are immune to death effects take no damage.
Limit 3/1: Satellite Beam
Requirements: Kill 80 enemies (160 total including previous kill count)
Satellite Beam, as the name implies, calls down an aerial beam attack against all enemies for a critical hit of about 2.25 times normal damage.
Limit 3/2: Ungermax (Angermax)
Requirements: Use Satellite Beam 6 times to learn
Ungermax is a bullet barrage consisting of 18 shots aimed at random enemies. These shot deal about 0.5 times normal damage.
Limit 4/1: Catastrophe
Requirements: All 6 previous limits learned and use Catastrophe Manual
Catastrophe is a wide beam attack that hits 10 times against random enemies for 1.25 times the normal damage.
Tifa’s limits are a bit different than most. They work kind of like a slot machine. You have a set of reels that spin during her limit break and you have to stop the reel on “Hit” to connect, or “Yeah!” to connect and deal double damage. Landing on “Miss” results in no damage being dealt. The higher the level of the limit the harder it becomes to stop on “Yeah!”
As Tifa learns her limits a new reel is added to her limit break. That means that the more limits you learn the more hits you can make during her limit break. Each limit has a reel and you have to stop each reel at the correct time in order to keep her attacking. Each attack deals physical damage to a random enemy.
Limit 1/1: Beat Rush
Beat Rush is Tifa’s starting limit break. Tifa will run up to a single enemy and punch it a few times resulting in about 1.25 times normal damage.
Limit 1/2: Somersault
Requirements: Use Beat Rush 9 times to learn
Tifa will Somersault into the air as she kicks an enemy dealing about 1.25 times normal damage.
Limit 2/1: Waterkick
Requirements: Kill 96 enemies (from a starting count of zero)
Tifa performs a circling sweep kick, which is followed by a blast of water. This results in about 1.5 times normal damage.
Limit 2/2: Meteodrive
Requirements: Use Waterkick 7 times to learn
Tifa picks up the enemy and suplex slams it into the ground. This deals about 1.5 times normal damage.
Limit 3/1: Dolphin Blow
Requirements: Kill 96 enemies (192 total including previous kill count)
Tifa performs an uppercut, which is followed by a spout of water and a leaping dolphin. This attack deals about 1.75 times normal damage.
Limit 3/2: Meteor Strike
Requirements: Use Dolphin Blow 6 times to learn
Tifa, will pick up her enemy, spin it around, and leap into the air before launching it into the ground. This attack deals approximately 2 times the normal damage.
Limit 4/1: Final Heaven
Requirements: All 6 previous limits learned and use the Final Heaven Manual.
Final Heaven is a punch that creates a huge energy blast. It will deal about 2.5 times normal damage.
Note: There has been some confusion on the hit, miss, and yeah slots and how they pertain to learning limits. You MUST land either Hit or Yeah in order for the strike to count toward the use total needed to learn the next limit. Also of note, is that you can only learn a */2 limit for the level you have her set to. So if you hit her kill total and learn all of her */1 limits, you can’t just set her to level three and expect to learn all of her */2 limits even though you are using them in combat. You would only be counting toward her 3/2 limit if you did this and still would not learn 1/2 or 2/2.
Aeris defaults to the group healer. This is reflected in her selection of limit breaks. Most focus on either healing the party or providing status buffs.
Aeris has limited involvement in the game after a certain point rather early on so it’s important to retrieve her very powerful Level 4 limit as early as you can if you want to actually make use of it.
Limit 1/1: Healing Wind
Healing Wind is Aeris’s starting limit break. It heals the entire party for half their maximum hit points.
Limit 1/2: Seal Evil
Requirements: Use Healing Wind 8 times to learn
Casts Paralyze and Silence on all targets that are not immune to these effects.
Limit 2/1: Breath of the Earth
Requirements: Kill 80 enemies (from a starting count of zero)
Breath of the Earth cures many status effects on the party including Sleep, Poison, Silence, Sadness, Fury, Confusion, Slow, Stop, Frog, Small, Slow-numb, and Petrify. The one drawback here is that you sometimes want a status such as Fury to be in effect. Getting uses for this one can slow down your limit bar because of this.
Limit 2/2: Fury Brand
Requirements: Use Breath of the Earth 6 times to learn
In recompense for Breadth of the Earth killing your Fury status, Fury brand will immediately fill the limit bar of your two companions when used.
Limit 3/1: Planet Protector
Requirements: Kill 80 enemies (160 total including previous kill count)
Planet protector grants all party members temporary invincibility.
Limit 3/2: Pulse of Life
Requirements: use Planet Protector 5 times to learn
Pulse of Life fully restores the party’s HP and MP and also cures all negative status effects.
Limit 4/1: Great Gospel
Requirements: All 6 previous limits learned and use Great Gospel Manual
Great Gospel completely restores the party’s HP and MP and temporarily makes them invincible against all physical and magical attacks.
Red XIII has some of the most diverse limits in the game. The lower level ones tend to focus on stat buffs. The upper level ones get into multi-hit attacks. His final limit can deal some massive amounts of damage, although being single hit this becomes limited later in the game compared to multi-hit final limits.
Limit 1/1: Sled Fang
This is Red XIII’s starting limit break. Red pounces on his enemy dealing 3 times the normal damage.
Limit 1/2: Lunatic High
Requirements: Use Sled Fang 8 times to learn
Lunatic High adds the Haste status to the entire party. It will also boost Red’s Defense % by 50% for each surviving party member.
Limit 2/1: Blood Fang
Requirements: Kill 72 enemies (from a starting count of zero)
Blood Fang targets a single enemy doing 1.25 times normal damage. It also absorbs about 25% of that damage as HP and MP to heal Red.
Limit 2/2: Stardust Ray
Requirements: Use Blood Fang 7 times to learn
Stardust Ray is a barrage of stars that fall on the enemy for 10 random hits at about half normal damage.
Limit 3/1: Howling Moon
Requirements: Kill 72 enemies (144 total including previous kill count)
Red will howl a the moon granting himself Haste and Berserk Status. His attack will also be boosted up to 60%, but cannot exceed 100%.
Limit 3/2: Earth Rave
Requirements: Use Howling Moon 6 times to learn
Earth Rave attack 5 random enemies doing nearly 2 times normal damage.
Limit 4/1: Cosmo Memory
Requirements: All 6 previous limits learned and use Cosmo Memory Manual
Red will howl to Cosmo Canyon, which summons a massive energy beam that hits all enemies for about 8 times the normal damage. Unfortunately the damage cap is 9,999 on a single hit so it isn’t as useful as multi-hit limits late game.
Yuffie is another very diverse character. Her attack oriented limits have good power and often target multiple enemies. She also has one of only two healing limits available outside of Aeris’s arsenal. It’s possible to get Yuffie very early in the game, but the developers didn’t expect her to be obtained until fairly late. As a result her kill requirements are lower than the other characters.
Limit 1/1: Greased Lightning
Greased Lightening is a dashing attack that deals 3 times normal damage to an enemy.
Limit 1/2: Clear Tranquil
Requirements: Use Greased Lightning 8 times to learn
Clear Tranquil is one of two healing limits not held by Aeris. It heals all party members for half their maximum HP.
Limit 2/1: Landscaper
Requirements: Kill 64 enemies (from a starting count of zero)
Landscaper is an earth element attack. It causes an earthquake that damages all ground based enemies for 3 times normal damage. Aerial enemies take no damage.
Limit 2/2: Bloodfest
Requirements: Use Landscaper 7 times to learn
Bloodfest is a series of 10 randomly targeted attacks that do about half normal damage each.
Limit 3/1: Gauntlet
Requirements: Kill 64 enemies (128 total including previous kill count)
Gauntlet consists of Yuffie launching a large bomb targeting all enemies. This attack deals 1.75 times normal damage and ignores the enemy defense stats when calculating damage. It’s also always a critical hit.
Limit 3/2: Doom of the Living
Requirements: Use Gauntlet 6 times to learn
Doom of the Living consists of 15 randomly targeted hits doing about half normal damage.
Limit 4/1: All Creation
Requirements: All 6 previous limits and use the All Creation Manual
Much like Red XIII’s Cosmo Memory, All creation is a large energy beam that hits all enemies and does 8 times normal damage. It suffers from the same damage cap as Cosmo Memory as well.
Cait Sith is…well…different. Sometimes that’s good and sometimes bad. He’s a gambler type character and he only has two limits total. The damage these limits inflict is random and as such they can be extremely powerful. They can also be laughably weak. Cait Sith can be fun to play, but never count on his limits to win a fight.
Limit 1/1: Dice
Cait Sith throws down his dice and a multiple of the result is the amount of damage he inflicts on the enemy. He gains one die every 10 levels, so there is an increase in damage as his character grows. Damage is calculated based on the sum of all dice, times the sum of the highest repeated number, times 100. So damage can range from decent to terrible depending on your luck.
Limit 2/1: Slots
Requirements: Kill 40 enemies (from a starting count of zero)
Slots can be dangerous. It’s basically just a slot machine and depending on what slots you stop of you will get various effects as a result.
||| ||| Slots ||| |||
A battalion of toy soldiers appear and fire at all enemies dealing 5 times normal damage.
A Moogle dances to restore all HP and MP for the party.
A cat-girl appears to grant all characters automatic critical hits for the rest of the batter. Anyone KOed and revived will not have this status restored with the revival.
This requires at least one other party member to be alive. Cait Sith being solo will cause it to fail. Basically your allies are absorbed into Cait Sith and he grows into a stronger version of himself. His new stats are an average of the characters absorbed, but cannot exceed normal stat limits. Cait Sith will stay in this form the rest of the battle and can do everything as normal except use additional limits. When the battle is over the remaining HP and MP will be divided evenly back to the individual characters and anyone that was KOed will be revived.
This will cause instant death to all enemies in a two sided battle. Those with death immunity will still be killed by this attack. In rare 3 sided battles, where you are being attacked from both sides, only one side will get hit with the Game Over attack.
All allies are instantly killed. Normal methods of resisting death will not work to save you. The only way you can survive this is if you are in three sided battle with the enemy in the middle. Only one half of you party is hit this way and the other side will survive the attack.
A random summon is performed. Cait Sith’s level affects how strong of a summon is called. The higher his level, the more likely a strong summon will appear.
- Toy Box: A random object is dropped on one enemy.
- Falling Rock: Hits a single enemy for 2 times normal damage.
- Icicles: Hits a single enemy for 2.5 times normal damage.
- Weight: Hits all enemies for 3 times normal damage.
- Hammer: Hits a single enemy for 3.5 times normal damage.
- Fat Chocobo: Hits a single enemy for 4 times normal damage.
- Hell House: Hits a single enemy for 4.5 times normal damage.
- Meteorites: Hits a single enemy for 5 times normal damage.
Vincent is another character with an unusual and unpredictable set of limits. I find them to be a bit more useful than Cait Sith’s, but they can still get you into trouble.
Vincent has only one limit break per level for a total of four. When he uses a limit he will transform into an uncontrollable monster. This means that he will auto-fight for the rest of the battle or until he is KOed. While in this form, he will automatically use one of two available abilities.
Limit 1/1: Galiant Beast
When Vincent transforms into the Galian Beast, he takes on the appearance of what looks to me to be a cross between a werewolf and a behemoth. Oh, and he’s purple. His Defense increases by 20%, his Dexterity by 50%, and his Max HP is set at 130% normal. His abilities in this form are:
- Berserk Dance: Single target physical attack that hits for 1.5 times normal damage.
- Beast Flare: A magical attack that targets all enemies for 3.75 time normal damage as a fire elemental attack.
Limit 2/1: Death Gigas
Requirements: Kill 40 enemies (from a starting count of zero)
Death Gigas bears a resemblance to Frankenstein’s Monster. Defense is increased by 50%, Mdefense is decreased by 70%, and Dexterity is decreased by 20%. Max HP is set at 200% of normal. His abilities in this form are:
- Gigadunk: A physical attack targeting a single enemy for about 2.5 times normal damage.
- Livewire: A magical attack targeting all enemies for about 4.5 times normal damage as a lightning elemental attack.
Limit 3/1: Hellmasker
Requirements: Kill 56 enemies (96 total including previous kill count)
Leatherface!!! Well not exactly. Hellmasker is kind of a cross between old Leatherface and Jason of Friday the 13th fame. Both Defense and Mdefense are increased by 50% in this form. Abilities in this form are:
- Splattercombo: This is a physical attack for five random hits at half damage.
- Nightmare: A status attack that inflicts Sleep, Poison, Silence, Confuse, Frog, and Mini on one enemy.
Limit 4/1: Chaos
Requirements: All 3 previous limits and use Chaos Manual
Finally we get to the demon bat vampire monster we were waiting on. In this form Defense and Mdefense are increased by a full 100% Abilities are:
- Chaos Saber: A physical attack for 2.5 times normal damage against all enemies.
- Satan Slam: This does 5.5 times normal damage against all enemies with a 28% chance to inflict instant death on those not immune to the effect.
Cid can be a real powerhouse, featuring limits that often hit multiple enemies or multiple times. His final limit has the potential to be one of the most devastating in the game. He is also fairly easy to learn limits for as being introduced later in the game results in lower requirements to learn.
Limit 1/1: Boost Jump
A classic dragoon’s jumping spear attack. Boost Jump targets a single enemy for 3.25 times normal damage.
Limit 1/2: Dynamite
Requirements: Use Boost Jump 7 times to learn
Cid will light up a stick of dynamite with his cigar and toss it into the enemy ranks, targeting them all for 2.25 times normal damage.
Limit 2/1: Hyper Jump
Requirements: Kill 60 enemies (from a starting count of zero)
Another dragoon style jump attack. This one is followed up with an explosion and targets all enemies for 3.5 times normal damage with a 20% chance of causing instant death to those not immune.
Limit 2/2: Dragon
Requirements: Use Hyper Jump 6 times to learn
Cid will summon a dragon to attack a single enemy for 1.25 times normal damage. He will absorb about 25% of that damage in HP and MP with a capped limit equal to the enemy’s current HP/MP.
Limit 3/1: Dragon Dive
Requirements: Kill 76 enemies (136 total including previous kill count)
Another dragoon style spear attack. This one consists of multiple hits on random enemies for 1.5 times normal damage. There is a 28% chance to inflict instant death on those not immune.
Limit 3/2: Big Brawl
Requirements: Use Dragon Dive 5 times to learn
A slashing attack against 8 random enemies dealing slightly more damage than normal.
Limit 4/1: Highwind
Requirements: All 6 previous limits and use the Highwind Manual.
Cid calls in the Highwind for an aerial strike for 18 hits on random targets at 0.75 normal damage. Late game, this along with Omnislash and Ungermax are the most devastating attacks in the game.
The Study Data
This data is what is left of the original Limit Break Mechanics Study. I doubt it’s of much interest to anyone these days, but after all that work I feel compelled to leave it up for anyone interested.
This first set of values are pulled directly from the game itself. These are the hardcoded values. Click the link to expand the table.
Control Set (these values are hardcoded into the game itself)
The following values are the first set of results that I manually counted during a playthrough of the game. I counted these very thoroughly with the help of another person. You’ll notice that they are generally very close to the hardcoded values but there is some variation. Click the link to expand the table.
Manual Count 1 (the first count I did during a playthrough)
The following values are a second set of results that I counted just as thoroughly as the first. Again, not all the totals are the same but they are generally very close. I’m still trying to figure out why the totals don’t seem to stay exact from one playthrough to the next. I’m still guessing the game just isn’t counting correctly. Click the link to expand the table.
Manual Count 2 (the second count I did during a playthrough)
That concludes the Limit Break Mechanics Guide for Final Fantasy VII. This page is now complete for the foreseeable future.
Thanks for reading,
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