|Any Two Characters||500 gil||5||5||Refocus Materia|
Before you can even attempt these battles, you'll have to finish the game and gain access to Chapter Select, at which point you can access the Sim in Hojo's Lab during Chapter 17. The battles from here on out are a lot tougher than the others you've fought, not least because you can only select the Hard difficulty mode, that means no Items and tougher enemies.
For this matchup, you can use any two characters versus some of the tougher enemies that you fought in the main scenario although we suggest Cloud and Aerith. To make life easier for yourself, slot Elemental-Fire to Cloud's armor which should be the Cog Bangle. As for Materia, bring along Healing and Revival on both characters and then Ice, Fire, Subversion, First Strike, ATB Stagger and some HP and MP Ups if you have the slots free.
The first round is against a Ghost and a Phantom, two enemies that will frustrate you with their use of Reflect but are weak to Fire. Hopefully you have First Strike set and can start the battle with a Triple Slash from Cloud with Aerith casting Firaga to hopefully take down at least the Phantom. With only the Ghost left alive, you'll most likely find that it has Shield on it so either switch to Aerith and use Fira spells or Breach it to Pressure it allowing you to Stagger it easily.
|Elite Shock Trooper||Fire||--|
|Elite Helitrooper||Fire/Wind||Orb of Gravity|
Next up is an Elite Shock Trooper and an Elite Helitrooper, both of which are weak to Fire (and Wind in the case of the Helitrooper). This is a rather simple battle if you remembered to set First Strike and some magic Materia so begin by having Cloud Triple Slash the Elite Shock Trooper and have Aerith begin casting Fira spells on the Elite Helitrooper. You can switch to Punisher Mode with Cloud to finish off the Shock Trooper or just simply toss a Fira his way before finishing off the weakened Helitrooper.
|3-C SOLDIER Operator||Fire||Turbo Ether|
Round three will see you up against a Grungy Bandit and a 3-C SOLDIER Operator, both of which are once again weak to Fire. The Grungy Bandit can be a bit of a nuisance if you allow it to grab your characters so focus on taking him down first by using Fira spells or by baiting his attacks and attacking him from behind. Left alone, the 3-C SOLDIER Operator shouldn't cause too much trouble, a cast of Fira from both Aerith and Cloud is enough to down him.
This is arguably the toughest round as you're up against a Zenene and the far deadlier Hellhound, the main threat here. Focus on taking out the Zenene as quickly as possible, left alone, it will go around inflicting Poison on your characters. Ice spells work well here as does Thunder spells if you're having trouble hitting a moving target.
The Hellhound will take a little more time and this is where the Elemental-Fire on Cloud pays off as you'll be able to resist or Absorb its most deadly attacks. Remember to use Cure if it's using the Purple Flame otherwise use Ice spells to hit it's weakness. It will take several Staggers to finish off the Hellhound but so long as you use the right spells, you can essentially control the battle easily.
The final battle is against a Sweeper and a Queen Grashtrike, the main threat here. By this stage of the game, Sweepers should be a pushover and with Aerith casting Thundara(ga) on them, it shouldn't take long to leave you alone against the Queen Grashtrike. Her ability to inflict Slow and Poison remains a nuisance but other than that, Ice spells, especially Blizzaga will Stagger her quickly, allowing you to end this battle trouble free.