Boss: Hell House
|Hell House||Varies||Telluric Scriptures Vol. IX|
|Useful Materia:||Healing, Revive, Poison, Subversion + Warding, Steadfast Block, ATB Stagger, Magic Up, HP Up|
|Useful Materia:||Fire, Ice, Lightning, Wind, Healing + Magnify, Revive, Magic Up, HP Up|
Hell House is back, and it's here to make you pay for daring to challenge Hard difficulty! Most bosses thus far have been mostly the same as their Normal difficulty counterparts, sometimes with a fancy new attack thrown in, but Hell House's new tricks are decidedly more mean-spirited than those of previous bosses. Most of the preparations that worked before will work again: ensure you have all four elemental magics equipped on Aerith (Fire, Ice, Lightning and Wind), Healing + Magnify and of course, Revive. Your real trump card for this fight is Poison Materia, however, as Bio is incredibly useful at dealing damage over time - Hell House spends a lot of time unassailable or outright invulnerable, and inflicting "Poison" will turn this otherwise wasted time into something more productive.
Namely, it'll add minions at various stages of the fight - in phase one and phase two Hell House will summon several Tonberrys. Yes, freaking Tonberrys. These are weaker variants than you've seen elsewhere, although they're still Tonberrys - consider equipping Cloud with Subversion + Warding materia to protect him from their instant death attacks like "Chef's Knife". In phase four it'll summon a Sweeper and a Cutter. Honestly, the best way to deal with the last two bots is to defeat Hell House before they can spawn, or failing that, before their role in combat can be decisive.
If you've obtained it, the Gotterdammerung accessory will be useful in this fight, and in fights going forward in general. Honestly, acquiring Gotterdammerung may be easier than attempting some Hard difficulty bosses without it going forward.
The fight starts fairly similarly to the last time, with Hell House using the same attacks as before:
Chair Salvo: One of Hell House's more common attacks - it shoots a barrage of chairs at a character. Wait until a chair is close, then dodge out of the way to avoid most damage.
House Call: Leaps high into the air and tries to land on a target. Heavy damage if it hits. Just run away when you see it leap up and it should miss.
It won't be long before Hell House summons some Tonberrys to complicate matters. Glass cannons, these enemies can probably be defeated with a "Triple Slash" or two. If they stand up, however, you're probably in trouble, as they'll start with their usual antics - stunning counterattacks, instant death inflicting stab attacks ("Chef's Knife"), teleporting about... usual Tonberry stuff. Equipping Cloud with Subversion + Warding will offer you protection against these foes, in case something goes awry.
As for Hell House itself, you should buff everybody with Regen, which will mitigate most of the damage the infernal abode inflicts. During the first phase you shouldn't worry about Staggering it, as it'll likely change phases before you can achieve much. Just attack with Cloud and when it displays an elemental affinity (keep an eye on its windows!) and work on whittling down its HP. Most importantly, however, cast Bio as soon as you have the ATB to do so - it can't be overstated how much damage Bio will do to Hell House over the course of this fight.
Phase two starts out with Hell House performing its "Housing Rush" attack, as usual. Block and counter the first stage of the attack with Cloud, then dodge out of the way, after which you'll just need to continue hitting it with melee attacks and the appropriate element when vulnerable, as in phase one. It'll spew out more Tonberrys this phase as well, but a few "Triple Slash" attacks should (hopefully) take them out. Hell House's new attacks this phase include:
Housing Rush: Hell House will charge at the target (usually the controlled character), dealing damage on impact after which it'll perform a far more powerful lunge. The first attack is weaker, and can be easily blocked and countered by Cloud, but the lunge should be dodged by rolling to the side. Performing a Punisher mode counterattack can often leave Hell House "Pressured".
Hospitality: Hell House sucks a character in, inflicting Bound, dealing damage, and eventually spitting the victim out for more damage. You can avoid this by simply not being in front of Hell House when it uses the attack, and a trapped character can be freed if Hell House is struck with a heavy enough attack - anything that will inflict "Pressured", including elemental attacks. Hell House is usually weak to lightning magic during this attack.
Jetstream: Hell House spins 180 degrees, expelling fire from its rear rocket. Has a short charge-up period, so run away when it uses it to avoid damage
Rocket Charge: Hell House will use its rear rocket to dash forward, dealing heavy damage if it hits. Just run out of Hell House's path, as it can't course correct once launched. Hell House is usually weak to ice magic during this attack.
At 50% HP, Hell House will switch to phase three, where it'll start using "God House Mode", making Hell House nigh invulnerable to melee attacks. Cloud can still attack to charge ATB, of course, but the only meaningful way to inflict damage is to hit Hell House with the appropriate element (again look at the color of the windows) - it won't advertise element changes, but it usually shifts them before and during attacks. Hell House won't summon allies during this phase, and Bio will still work despite its resilience to damage, so be sure to apply another "Poison" debuff if the first one ran out. Otherwise, you'll just need to dodge Hell House's attacks, hit it with the right element when it's vulnerable, then attempt to deal damage with Cloud when it's "Pressured". New attacks this phase include:
Chair Salvo Deluxe: Similar to "Chair Salvo", save that Hell House will launch larger, more powerful projectiles during this attack. Typically used during later phases.
Housing Shock: Similar to "Housing Rush", Hell House now becomes charged with electricity and deals significantly more damage. Same tactics should apply, block and counter the rush attack with Cloud, then dodge before being struck by the followup lunge. Hell House tends to be weak to wind magic during this attack.
Triple Rocket Charge: Similar to "Rocket Charge", save Hell House will perform multiple charges in succession. You can dodge each attack, as normal, and Hell House will usually be vulnerable to ice magic throughout this attack - target it as it finishes each charge to give Blizzard enough time to connect.
This phase hasn't changed much from the original... save for the addition of a Sweeper and Cutter if enough time passes. You should try to finish things before this happens, if at all possible. Hell House will start out by using its new "Heavensward" attack, where it'll take to the skies and fly in circles around the arena while pelting you with "Chair Salvo" attacks. Endure it and wait for its countdown to end, at which point it'll take on an elemental vulnerability and prepare to dive bomb a character. Quickly hit its elemental weakness with Aerith, switch to Cloud and do your best to inflict as much damage as possible - damage, not necessarily Stagger. Make sure it's inflicted with "Poison", then try to finish it off by hitting it with another elemental spell when it's vulnerable - if Cloud's limit break it charged, use it when Hell House is vulnerable. Save your summon for later, as it can serve as desperation attack should the Sweeper and Cutter show up.
For defeating Hell House in Hard difficulty you'll obtain the Telluric Scriptures Vol. IX Manuscript.