Chapter two was always one of the easiest, shortest chapters in the game, and in hard difficulty this might even be more true. For the first half of the chapter you’re just meandering through the city after the bombing. After meeting up with Aerith you’ll start fighting, and your foes are some of the weakest of the game, including Security Officers, Guard Dogs, Grenadiers, Shock Troopers and Riot Troopers. None of these foes should be remotely challenging, leaving only the The Huntsman as the only real threat on the entire level.
|Useful Materia:||Fire + Magnify, Healing, Chakra, First Strike, ATB Stagger, Magic Up, HP Up|
All your enemies in this chapter are weak to fire. If Cloud has a decent Magic Attack score (300~), he should one-shot most foes. Fire + Magnify and First Strike Materia therefore trivializes the majority of this chapter.
If MP is an issue, use Chakra to heal when your HP are low, and smash Shinra Boxes to recover MP via Mako Shards.
The final fight with The Huntsman and his minions is a bit more tricky, but for perspective, that’s only because the rest of the fights in the chapter were trivial. Use Fire + Magnify to clear the mobs out and isolate The Huntsman. He can afterwards be defeated by hitting him with Fire, then using “Focused Thrust” to drive up his Stagger gauge, while “Braver” can deal damage once The Huntsman is Staggered.
While not all that hard, The Huntsman can deal significant damage with his attacks, especially “Stun Baton”, so be extra careful not to attack him while his shield is raised. Even if you have to resort to blocking or - even more shamefully - just keeping your distance while your ATB gauge fills.
You will obtain The Art of Swordplay Vol. IV Manuscript for defeating The Huntsman in hard difficulty, which may earn you enough SP for Cloud to hit Weapon Level 6.