|Important Items in this Area||Enemy Skills in this Area|
|Final Attack Materia||Shadow Flare|
The North Cave looms before you, but before you explore its depths, it’s time to secure some weapons which will aid you in your final battles. Return to the Highwind and take off, destination; Cosmo Canyon. Put Red XIII in the party and head inside the town, where you’ll receive some news about Bugenhagen. Make your way to the old man’s observatory and Cloud and the other party member will give Red XIII some alone-time with his grandfather, who will give Red XIII a gift before embarking on his next journey.
Note (Limited Moon): Red XIII’s Limited Moon weighs in at 93 Attack and has eight Materia sockets (four joined pairs) with no AP growth. It charges similarly to Cid’s Venus Gospel; the more MP Red XIII has as a percentage of his maximum MP, the more damage he will do. This is a good thing.
Chasing the Ultimate Weapon
Now it’s time to chase down Ultimate Weapon, and coincidentally, obtain the last ultimate weapon. Get your party together and arrange your team for maximum AP gain, then fly to Junon. East of Junon you’ll find a massive crater, presumably created as part of the cataclysmic events during Sephiroth’s summoning of Meteor and the subsequent birth of the Weapons. Perched in this crater is Ultimate Weapon, the beastie that attacked the B-team back in Mideel. Pilot the Highwind into it to start a fight… after first making sure everybody has Long Range Materia or a long ranged weapon equipped.
Boss Battle: Ultimate Weapon
This battle is very similar to the one in Mideel; Ultimate Weapon is not a very powerful foe by Weapon standards. Still, it’s tougher than the last time, and more powerful than all of the bosses you’ve face so far. The battle, however, is somewhat segmented; after a few rounds of combat Ultimate Weapon will flee and you’ll either have to chase it down, harassing it constantly by ramming him until it stops to fight again, or wait for it to choose a location on the map to terrorize (either the Junon crater, Mideel, Mt. Nibel, North Corel, Gongaga, Fort Condor, Midgar or the North Cave). After a fight, if you can’t find it, the creature is either flying around somewhere, or it’s at one of those locations. You can steal either a Circlet or a Reflect Ring from it during each encounter. Once sufficiently injured, Ultimate Weapon will fly to Cosmo Canyon, where it’ll make its last stand. Only this final battle near Cosmo will earn you XP, AP, Gil or the weapon you’re after.
Where ever it is, its tactics don’t change much. If you fight it in the air, you’ll need Long Range Materia to reach it (and it can be robbed for a Circlet). If it’s on the ground you can steal a Reflect Ring from it, and obviously won’t need Long Range Materia or weapons. Just like in Mideel it’ll cast Quake 2, attack physically, and use its "Ultima Beam". In addition to this, it also has the ability to spit an orb of thunder at one target. All of these attacks will deal around 1500-2000 damage to their target(s). If flying, Ultimate Weapon will not cast Quake2 or perform physical attacks. Since most of its attacks cost MP, if you use "Magic Hammer" you can effectively restrict it to physical attacks and its thunder orb… which really doesn’t diminish its offensive capabilities too much.
For the final battle near Cosmo Canyon, be sure to arrange your Materia for maximum AP gain, putting the most useful, most AP hungry Materia in high-growth weapons and armor. Again, Cloud’s Apocalypse and Cid’s Javelin and Scimitar shine for this. Also take the extra step of equipping a character with all four Enemy Skill Materia and try and ensure they get the final hit on Ultimate Weapon, as it will use its "Shadow Flare" attack as a final attack on the character that killed it. If you have all your Enemy Skill Materia on the same character (who took the final hit) all those Enemy Skill Materia will learn the attack. It can be learned other ways later, but this is an easy and controllable way to do it all in one go. Just keep in mind that Shadow Flare can do some wretched damage, so try to have the receiving character protected by "Big Guard" or, better yet, wear a Reflect Ring to bounce the attack back. You still get the Enemy Skill for it, even if it doesn’t damage you.
As for fighting Ultimate Weapon, you should by now have ultimate weapons on every character save Cloud, and until you reach the final fight at Cosmo Canyon, there’s no reason to favor AP growth over raw damage. Cid, Red XIII, Barret and Yuffie should all deal great damage against the beast with their ultimate weapons equipped, especially if they’re using Double Cut Materia. Bahamut ZERO also packs quite a punch, as do Limit Breaks. To end things quickly, however, casting Knights of the Round (boosted with MP Turbo) should sent Ultimate Weapon right to Cosmo Canyon, where it can be finished off for good. Once it falls you’ll get a massive influx of XP, AP and Gil, as well as the Ultima Weapon , which, finally, is Cloud’s ultimate weapon.
Here’s a succinct run-down of how to deal with Ultimate Weapon as easily and cleanly as possible: In the first battle near Junon, equip one character with Knights of the Round + MP Turbo and cast it on Ultimate Weapon. Chase the creature to Cosmo Canyon, equip all your Enemy Skill Materia and a Reflect Ring on one character and make sure your weapons and armor are set for maximum AP growth. Engage Ultimate Weapon and kill it by whatever means available using the character with the Enemy Skill Materia, reflect the final attack, "Shadow Flare" to safely learn it, and profit from Ultimate Weapon’s demise.
However you effect your victory, when Ultimate Weapon dies, it’ll go out with a bang, leaving a crater that allows you to access the Ancient Forest, if you haven’t already went there with a Chocobo earlier. Now that you can just walk there, you really have no good excuse to not explore the place.
|Steal:||Circlet/Reflect Ring (not during the final fight)|
|Drop:||Ultima Weapon (final fight only)|
Note (Ultima Weapon): Boasting a whopping 100 Attack and eight Materia sockets (four joined pairs), Cloud’s Ultima Weapon seems to be a pretty potent weapon. Like the HP Shout, it charges based on Cloud’s current HP (in proportion to his max HP). Simply put, the healthier he is, the more damage he’ll do. It’s not the best way to charge a weapon, since he’ll grow weaker as he takes damage, but it’s not the worst, either.