Final Fantasy VII is remembered for its groundbreaking technical specs and storytelling, but what fans most remembered about the game are the summons. Bahamut from the sky shoots out Megaflare, Leviathan floods enemies with Tidal Wave, and who could forget Knights of the Round's unskippable montage?
The colorful beings' intro eats more time than it should, but for all of its cheesiness, it's satisfying to see them on our side. However, to discern which summon stacks better than the others in terms of animation sequences, damage output, and obtain difficulty, is a challenge.
A summon's cool animation alone doesn't make Final Fantasy VII a great game. The game's materia system provides a command system for gamers to try out multiple summons.
At the end, the best Final Fantasy VII summon relies heavily on how players use each summon. Summons can be paired with Added Effect, MP Absorb, and Final Attack, to produce the best move sets in the game. Square created a game system that encouraged players to get creative with attacks and share winning combinations.
With the announcement of a Final Fantasy VII remake last year, we’re dying to see them on the PS4. After all, if Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core was able to include HD Summon cutscenes on a smaller engine, then it’s mandatory that the FFVII summons are given the full 4K cinematic glory.
Here is Every Final Fantasy VII Summon, Ranked Worst To Best.
Titan’s summoning sequence is... mediocre. FFVII’s Titan was plain compared to the other incarnations. If the play conjures Anger of the Land, he rises up from the ground, flips a giant slab of bedrock over the monster, and disappears.
Considering the fact that there are better versions of the earth giant-- like the epic colossal TITAN in FFXV-- it’s easy to say that this one is the worse summons in the game, and is pretty forgettable.
If the player equips his summon materia, Titan does a heavy amount of earth damage and offers earth resistance. It’s also worth noting that Square featured him in the original demo version, where Barret could summon him.
Early in development, players could have acquired him from the treasure chest in Kalm, but the programmers scrapped the idea and relocated the materia in the ruins of the Gongaga Mako reactor, likely in reference to the wandering traveler spouting nonsense about a titan. The treasure chest is still in the game, but can’t be opened.
15 Fat Chocobo
Out of all of the games, Fat Chocobo is rarely used as a summon, and if then, he mainly appears through the Chocobo summons. Although his animation is simple, getting the giant bird as a summon is based on luck.
There are conditions if you want to summon Fat Chocobo. If the player casts Chocobo/Mog summon, there’s a 1/16th chance he appears and squashes the enemy party. Fat Chocobo appears more if the player is at a lower level since the Summon ID is 1. To see him again at a higher level is based on a bit of luck.
There is another way for players who want to see more of this giant bird fall onto his enemies. Cait Sith’s Limit Break Toy Box can summon him onto the battlefield.
In terms of damage, he doesn’t do too much. Fat Chocobo does 25% more damage than a regular Chocobo summon, but he won’t inflict Stop on enemies.
Who can forget Shiva, the queen of ice in the Final Fantasy franchise? The frosty queen is a mandatory summon in the series, often appearing as the ice powerhouse early in the game. Without her, the Final Fantasy summons are incomplete.
In terms of rank, however, she is placed so low on the list mainly because the other summons have higher damage output. Despite that, she's still a fan favorite and provides ice-resistant to the party if her summon materia is equipped in the armor section.
She's great early in the game, but once players get more sophisticated materias, Shiva is irrelevant in the later portions, except for the one boss who is weak against ice.
Contrast to the harsh, blizzard animation, Shiva’s ice damage packs a powerful punch to on-field enemies, with a multiplier of 1.5X base magic damage, a perfect chill for trash mobs weak against ice.
Priscilla rewards a Shiva summoning materia to Cloud and the team after they rescued her from Bottomswell.
Final Fantasy VII’s giant robot fortress shoots devastating laser beams at his enemies. Since he’s the only summon that does Holy damage, Alexander one of the unique summons in the game.
If cast, Alexander rises up from the ground and uses Judgement to obliterate field monsters. While Holy plays a major role in the game's plotline, not a lot of trash monsters are weak against light damage, which makes him the least used, compared to Chocobo/Mog. Often enough, players sometimes forget to pick him up from the Great Glacier area once it's unlocked.
To get Alexander, the player must find the Hot Springs and touch the waters. The player then has to navigate around the snowy map that requires a help guide, to find the Snow Woman in a cave. This is if the player doesn’t lose stamina or faints in the middle of the snow storm.
Once she’s defeated, the player is rewarded with Alexander. Overall, the payoff is mixed; while Judgement is pretty cool in 3D polygons, it’s better to create a winning materia combination suited for the late game.
Like Shiva, Ifrit is one of the first summons that players obtain in the game. His materia is found on the cargo ship after the team defeats Jenova BIRTH.
In terms of animation, he bursts from the ground mid-air and breathes a fiery breath before going Super Saiyan on his enemies. Flashy and sweet, Ifrit in this game retains the fiery spirit, providing elemental fire damage and resistant if relegated under armor slot. Ifrit is the standard fire damage dealer and is most effective against ice monsters.
The only drawback is the 1.6875X based magic damage, which although better than Shiva’s base attack, pales in comparison to Typhon or Phoenix's damage. Furthermore, combining him with other materias can create decent attacks, but Mimes and other materia are better suited.
Speaking of Typhon, his summoning sequence is one of the coolest animations in the game. If players offer 160 MP, he appears in a twister before breathing a windstorm, and lets his rear head flip gravity.
His animation is a twister but, ironically, doesn't do any wind elemental damage. Disintegration does all four elemental magic attacks: fire, lightning, ice, and earth, ignoring defense on land monsters– the exception being flying monsters, which is one setback.
To find his materia, players will have to defeat Ultima the third time, in which he’ll fall and create a creator in the Ancient Forest. From there, Cloud and his team will have to battle monsters with an annoying high evasion rate, while trying to make sure they can find all of the items, including Typhon, in the Forest Labyrinth.
The Lightning God of Final Fantasy has a pretty awesome sequence. Lightning strikes the ground and a mountain forms above, where Ramuh appears ready to lay Judgement Bolt.
Early game monsters are weak against lightning based attacks. Since this is Ramuh’s first polygon cutscene sequence, Square made use of his 20-second animation to deliver the iconic lightning damage dealer.
True to his element, his materia flashes once in the game and is never seen again. Ramuh's red materia is located in the Jockey Room at the Golden Saucer. Once Barret defeats Dyne, the player has access to the area, where Ramuh’s materia can be found.
If the player forgets to retrieve the orb, it's gone forever. Players can kiss it goodbye, since it's unobtainable after they exit the room. This is a huge problem if players are working towards Master Summons, which requires all Summon materias.
The only other way to find it is not through Bone Village, but by erasing the existing file and starting a new one. It's one of the many glitches we hope Square fixes in the remake.
Leviathan invokes a giant tidal wave to flood his enemies. In the series, the sea serpent is the staple water summon, nicknamed the “the Sea King” or “Lord of the Seas.” The payoff is decent, considering the Sea King whips Tidal Wave that does about 4.6875X base magic damage, and it’s a tower completion reward.
However, players obtain Bahamut in the next dungeon, so by then, Leviathan is worthless. The only true good thing about him is that you get a Leviathan Trophy if players bought the game on a PS4.
For FFVII, Leviathan is found in Wutai Village and can only be obtained if Yuffie defeats the fifth pagoda god, Godo– not to be mistaken for the Wutai’s village chief.
The boss has Trine, which can be a hassle to deal with for low-level players if they wish to clear the Pagoda Tower early in the game. The only reason to complete the tower is that Godo also drops All Creation item, which contains Yuffie’s final Limit Break.
Arguably the strongest base summon in the game, Bahamut’s iconic Megaflare is the equivalent of a meteor crash landing on Earth, and there’s no way the series would ignore the summon mascot– the exception is FFXII’s interpretation of the dragon.
However, in the game, Bahamut is a special Summon because there are three different kinds of Bahamut species, or “Bahamut Strains,” as Professor Hojo refers to them. The animation sequence is what FF fans would have wanted; Bahamut spreads his wings and rears his head to unleash Megaflare onto its enemies.
Technically, he would have been on the top as the best summon, though Square outdid themselves with several other creative mythic beings that are far better than a B-class monster.
Like its predecessors, the player must prove their worth to Bahamut by defeating the Red Dragon in the Temple of Ancients, after which, his materia will appear in place of the defeated dragon.
The Chocobo summon is often overlooked, as the lowest level summon of the bunch. So, why is a Chocobo/Mog Summon higher than the rest, despite its weak damage, especially compared to Bahamut’s Megaflare?
The answer lies in materia combination. As the player’s first summon, Chocobo/Mog has a wind elemental damage, which is perfect against any airborne or bird creatures if paired with Elemental.
While it’s not an extensive minute long summon, Mog and Chocobo is a winning combination for early gamers because they can inflict “Stop” on monsters. If combined with Added Effect, the party have a higher chance of inflicting status effects.
The materia’s master level is easier than most of the other summons, and damage/mp ratio is also pretty decent. Chocobo/Mog not only has the cutest animation sequences, but it additionally provides decent combo attacks for early gameplay.
Did we forget to mention that this is the only summon that has Mog riding on top of a Chobo? Never underestimate the adorable duo.
If summoned, Kujata conjures the four elementals, but his main attack is heavy lightning damage. Players can find the materia in the Sleeping Forest at Bone Village, though it’s easy to miss the small red materia shrouded in branches.
Also, the player should have an empty slot, because once it’s picked up, and your inventory is full, the summoning materia won't be in the inventory. This is due to another glitch, thanks to Square's poor programming job. Hopefully, Square Enix fixes this problem, and provides Kujata with a new makeover.
The great bull also has an interesting mythology. The beast is derived from the Arabian myth of Bahamut, a giant bull who stands on a giant fish named Bahamut. His ruby back was to support an angel sent by God to prevent the world’s calamity.
The game took this description and added a few additional features, such as multiple horns and eyes. Kujata also has a higher lightning damage-based attack on the border 6.25X damage for 110 MP.
6 Neo Bahamut
The fiery red dragon is the second best Bahamut Summon of the three; cooler than the original but not as great like its final form. Neo Bahamut has one of the coolest animation sequence. If called onto the field, a chunk of land is literally lifted up to the sky. The enemy party are squared face in front of Neo Bahamut who incinerates them and the floating land with Gigaflare. The enemy monsters falls to the ground, or what’s left of them.
Damage wise, Neo Bahamut is an upgrade from the original form; his Gigaflare devastates enemies and the non-elemental damage is a bonus over elemental attacks. It’s fortunate that the dragon is on the heroes side, or the team will be burned to a crisp.
Neo Bahamut is found in the Whirlwind maze, which is not hard to miss if the players explored the whole area.
The Phoenix's mystical properties, attributed to its feathers, Phoenix Down, is a fiery summon worth the MP, especially if half of the party is KO’d. As a fire damage dealer, the multiplier is decent; however, Phoenix is mostly used to prevent a "Game Over."
In some cases, if the summoner is killed but manages to summon Phoenix as the last action, then the whole party is revived with full HP. Fans would recall this combination, Final Attack and Phoenix Materia. Obtaining the summon materia requires extra care. If Cid and the gang protect the Huge Materia from Shinra, a baby condor hatches along with the summoning materia.
The Phoenix's intro sequence, is a unique one, showing a reborn animation rather than the bird arriving at the scene. It starts as a small drop, before the a fiery burst of flames explodes and the phoenix emerges from the flames to soar above, delivering its signature attack Phoenix Flame.
Phoenix is a reviver and a damage dealer, and with its shiny animation, it soars high above the ranks and delivers a full blown epic entrance.
While the Phoenix summon revives your party, Hades brings Hell onto his enemies, with a spell called Black Cauldron. Since he’s the Lord of Underworld, it’s a surprise that his signature magic attack isn't Death.
Instead, he inflicts all status ailments on the monster, which can help on a major boss battle. If the boss happens to be immune on one debuff, there are several other afflictions that Hades can provide. Place Hades' materia with added effect, and watch the enemy party lay waste to Poison, Confuse, Sleep, etc.
Hades’ summon is terrifying– four pillars and a stone slab appear as a platform for Hades and the cauldron. You hear a Kefka-like laugh from him, before he proceeds to brew a nasty concoction.
If the Lord of the Dead doesn’t want your soul, then it’s a slow painful death that he’s after. Hades is an exclusive summon that featured in the game and hasn’t appeared in any other series.
We couldn’t forget the mighty Norse god who can instantly KO’ a monster without a glance. Since most boss monsters are immune to Death, Square created two different animation sequences, both epic and clear-cut if the enemy gets a taste of Zantetsuken.
If it’s instant death, the player sees a silhouette of Odin perched above the steep cliffs in front of a full moon. Odin draws his blue blade and leaps down to bring his Steel Bladed Sword to his enemies.
If they are immune to Death, then Odin will attack with Gunge Lance. Odin will come out from the dark fog and throw his spear Gugnir into the sky, which breaks all clouds and darkness, before falling down onto the enemy.
The animation sequences are still the best despite it being created in the '90s. We get a taste of Odin’s summon in Crisis Core and it’s still just as awesome. It's one of the top three summons that we'd like to see remade in the remake.
2 Bahamut ZERO
As Bahamut’s third and final form, the dragon from space, Bahamut ZERO shoots a powerful laser cannon, equivalent to a nuclear napalm, onto the enemy party from the cosmos. He prefers shooting Teraflares on Gaia from afar.
His summon sequence is not as grand as Neo Bahamut’s animation, but Bahamut ZERO’s high damage output and combination attacks are powerful enough to match up Emerald and Ruby Weapon bosses at the final stages of the game. Just pair Bahamut ZERO with HP Absorb and MP Absorb, and he'll shoot Teraflares while the party regains HP and MP at the same time.
If players haven't completed the Knights of the Round quest, then Bahamut ZERO can sub in as the main damage dealer.
This powerful summon will only appear in Cosmo Canyon if the party has both Bahamut and Neo Bahamut materias in their inventory. Otherwise, they can find him in Bone Village if the party missed the sidequest.
1 Knights of the Round
Knights of the Round is the best summon in terms of damage and animation. Furthermore, obtaining the summon materia is a mini-adventure of its own.
The location is easy– it's housed in Round Island located northeast of the world map and can be only accessed by a Gold Chocobo. Getting the Gold Chocobo, however, is the hard part. The player is required to breed Chocobos and once you have a Black and Wonderful Chocobos you’ll have to race them until they get rank A. Afterwards, mate the two and they should produce a Gold Chocobo that can walk through any terrain.
There’s no doubt that Knights of the Round is the most powerful being in FFVII, as it is so strong that it can take down Safer Sephiroth after a few uses with the right combinations. It is the ultimate summon, and features King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
Each knight can hack your enemies away, while the player grabs a drink and can still make it back in time to command the next attack. The major drawback is that you can’t skip it the animation sequence, and if paired with Magic Counter and Mime materia, they can be summoned seven times-- the equivalent of nine minutes of cutscenes.
What's your favorite Final Fantasy VII summon? Let us know in the comment section!