|Ghoul||Fire||Telluric Scriptures Vol. X|
|Useful Materia:||Fire + Elemental (weapon), Healing, Revive, Steadfast Block, ATB Stagger, HP Up|
|Useful Materia:||Fire, Healing + Magnify, Binding + Warding, Revive, ATB Stagger, Magic Up, HP Up|
|Useful Materia:||Fire + Elemental (weapon), Healing, Revive, Haste, Steadfast Block, ATB Stagger, HP Up|
Ghoul hasn't changed much from Normal difficulty - you can expect more aggression, combo attacks and more damage, but otherwise, the same strategy that worked before will work again. It has two phases, corporeal and incorporeal. When corporeal you'll need to attack in melee, and while incorporeal you'll need to switch to magic attacks. In the former case, we suggest using Tifa, charging up her ki, and attacking with "Omnistrike" as often as possible, and in the latter case switch to Aerith, drop an "Arcane Ward" and try to hit the Ghoul with two blasts of Fira. To ensure Aerith can't be prevented from casting, we equip her with Binding + Warding specifically to protect her from "Silence". Other buffs that'll prove useful include Haste (on Aerith) and Regen. It's attacks are as follows:
Balefire Beam: An unnamed attack, it's one of the Ghouls sneakier abilities. The Ghoul will swipe with its now-blue-glowing claws to no immediate effect... save the creation of a glowing line on the ground. The line will explode with balefire after a brief pause, dealing heavy (3,000+) damage to any character standing on it. Be wary of it, and dodge when you see it. It's easy enough to dodge if you're aware of it. In Hard difficulty, the Ghoul is not above chaining into this attack when a character is stunned, knocked back or otherwise has their ability to dodge compromised.
Phantasmic Flurry: Used shortly after turning incorporeal, this seems to charge the Ghoul with energy, causing it to glow red. Its claw swipes while thus imbued will inflict "Silence". While in this state, the Ghoul can also create massive, disembodied arms that attempt to grab a target, inflicting "Bound". While Bound, the Ghoul may follow up with claw swipes and or a fully-focused "Telekinesis" barrage. The latter will heavily damage if not outright kill the targeted character.
Piercing Scream: An area-of-effect attack centered on the Ghoul, it deals little damage, but will stun nearby characters. The bane of your physical offense, it's quite possibly Ghoul's most annoying attack.
Telekinesis: The Ghoul will use this to take control of the junk in the room, using them to bludgeon you at close range, or fling them at distant targets.
The first phase is relatively simple; the Ghoul will start out corporeal, obliging you to attack with Cloud and Tifa. Aim to inflict as much damage as possible - inflicting Stagger is a more worthwhile goal here, but the phase will end when the Ghoul is reduced to 50% of its HP, so you probably won't get all out of a Stagger session you normally would. Tifa's ki abilities are ideal for this, and there's no need to work your way up to "Rise and Fall" - "Omnistrike" will do just fine and takes less time to charge, so just spam that. When it turns incorporeal it'll go into its "Phantasmic Flurry" routine, including "Silence" inflicting claw swipes and a phantasmal grapple/"Telekinesis" combo. You don't want to get hit by this, so pelt the Ghoul with Fira when it turns incorporeal to "Pressure" it and drive it back into a physical state. If Aerith - your main caster - is somehow unable to do this, absolutely do not hesitate to use Cloud and Tifa to manage it. You don't want it to have its way while incorporeal.
After reducing the Ghoul to 50% of its HP it'll shift to phase two, where it'll be more aggressive, shift the layout of the battlefield junk around more often, and use its new "Balefire" attack:
- Balefire: The Ghoul will use this attack in phase two, summoning several gouts of bluish fire close to it. Not only will they deal damage to nearby characters when summoned, they'll shortly begin to meander about the battlefield, making it quite hazardous to do much of anything. The Ghoul is fond of using its "Balefire Beam" attack against foes struck by "Balefire", and combined the two attacks can deal in excess of 5,000 damage. The Balefire can be blocked, and although it's not an ideal strategy, it will prevent you from being knocked down, hence allow you to respond to the "Balefire Blade" follow-up.
Keep up the pressure and work on Staggering it, at least when it's "Pressured" after being knocked out of its incorporeal state with Fira. Once Staggered, endeavor to finish it off with Tifa's unparalleled offensive abilities.
Defeat the Ghoul and you'll obtain the Telluric Scriptures Vol. X* Manuscript.