Final Fantasy VII Guides
The Battle(s) of Fort Condor
Outwit. Outfight. Outlast. Fort Survivor. I mean Condor, Condor!
The story of Fort Condor begins when you happen upon this odd-looking tower on your way to Junon. Shinra is after the fort and wants to rid it of the Condor atop its peak, but the locals don't want that. Instead, they hole up in the fort and continue to resist Shinra's advances.
This is where you step in. They ask for your help, and should you give it to them, you can stand alongside them and assist in their fight.
There are many nuances to this strategy game, many of which are explained by the headman but are also repeated here for easy reference. In a nutshell, you use your own money to hire mercenaries and defend the reactor at the top of the hill. You may also donate money to help them in their fight, which they will use if Shinra attacks again while you aren't there. The thing is, though, you don't even have to do that. Even if you don't leave money for them, the fort'll still be there when you get back, so you can save your money if you're a cheapskate. Each unit has different pros and cons, and a different price... and speaking of money, you must have 4,000 gil before the game will let you fight. More information is in the table, in the funding subsection.
Conditions for Victory
You win the game by emptying the battlefield of all enemies, or by slaying the enemy commander. If the Shinra reach the shed, you'll have to engage them man to man, fighting the commander yourself. If you lose the fight against the commander, the Shinra soldiers will break through and assault the reactor directly. When the reactor can't stand to an assault any longer, Shinra will take the materia within the reactor along with the lives of the men and the condors.
- Wyverns: Wyverns are flying enemies that are immune to Stoners and Tristoners and move quickly. Shooters are most effective against them, but Defenders are very vulnerable.
- Beasts: Beasts are lumbering monsters with immense attacking power. They are weak against Attackers but strong against Shooters.
- Barbarians: Human Shinra troops with a penchant for attacking indirectly. They can easily defeat Attackers, but can't stand to Defenders.
- Commanders: The enemy commanders. Very powerful and tough, they're weak against nothing and strong against everything. Gang up on them with everything you have.
- Mobile Allies
- Fighters: They're the most balanced of all allied troops, with equal strengths and weaknesses to all opposing units. They should be the backbone of your platoon.
- Attackers: Attackers are your faster troops, best against Beasts but weak against Barbarians. Like their name says, these are your best shock troops.
- Defenders: Your slowest, most powerful units. They beat Barbarians with ease but lose when put up to Wyverns. Defenders are best suited for defending (as their name suggests).
- Shooters: Shooters can reach their targets from a distance, but are very weak. These are your best anti-Wyvern countermeasure, but keep them away from Beasts, or they'll be dead soon.
- Repairers: Your on-field medics and engineers. They can fix any wound or broken wheel in short order, but can't fight to save their lives. Keep them behind cover. They heal other units for 10HP at a time.
- Workers: Workers have low endurance and power, but they can set bombs. Their bombs act like visible mines, exploding when an enemy touches them. Best used in conjunction with stoner and catapult choke points to weaken them for your foot soldiers.
- Immobile Allies
- Stoners: These roll out a single boulder, one at a time, in a straight line. Useful in creating choke points and traps, with moderate strength.
- Tristoners: A more advanced version of the Stoner that can roll three boulders at a time. It's stronger and has a wider coverage area, and overall even better and forming up traps. You can't use these until the technology is developed, however.
- Catapults: Catapults shoot rocks at the enemy. It has a slightly longer range than the Stoner, but a little less power.
- Fire Catapult: A deadly combination of the Catapult and bomb. It has a long range and high attack power, and is very useful for weakening targets for foot troops. You can't use these until the technology is developed, however.
Friendly Unit Statistics
|Shooter||Wyvern||Beast||160||20||1 - 3||520|
|Stoner||N/A||N/A||100||20||1 - 4||480|
|Tristoner||N/A||N/A||150||35||1 - 5||1000|
|Catapult||N/A||N/A||100||18||1 - 5||480|
|Fire Catapult||N/A||N/A||120||25||1 - 6||600|
You can donate funds to the cause, see how much money they have stored already, and see that they need at least 3000 gil for each battle. You can donate in amounts of 500, 1000, 2000, 3000, and 5000, or choose not to donate. You have to have 4000 gil before you can start a battle, however, or the game won't let you continue.
Before the battle, you can opt to place your troops and prepare. You do this by selecting a spot of ground that has an open hand, not one with an x over it, and press the OK button to select and place a unit there from the menu that appears. Once you've placed all your mercs, you can start the battle by pressing the Cancel button and then selecting "Yes". Soldiers can only be set up near the shed at the beginning, because if your troops are too far away, they won't be able to take orders well. Pressing OK while trying to place a unit beyond range will make a red line appear for a moment, and then fade away. This is your unit placement boundary line. Pressing the Select button in-game will show a Help screen detailing the use of all the buttons. Lastly, when you give units Move orders, they'll perform the action and then give you a report. You can go straight the unit giving the report by pressing the OK button, or you can stay where you are by pressing the Cancel button. Units also give reports when they engage an enemy.
The game's controls are simple, too, but need to be split into sections, Setup and Battle.
During the setup screen, you place units by selecting an available spot of ground above the placement line with the OK button, then select a unit from the menu that appears and place him. To cancel a selection, use the Cancel button, and you use the Directional pad to move your cursor about. You can place and have up to twenty units at a time, but if you want more, one has to die or be removed first.
During battle it gets a slight bit more complicated. You move about with the directional pad, of course, but there are many more things to learn. To move a unit, select it and press the OK button. The screen grays and action halts, and from here you press OK again to give it an action, or Cancel to cancel and return to battle. Pressing OK again, you can move your unit to a point you select and pressing OK one more time gives it the order. If you point your cursor over an enemy while giving it a move order, you can also tell it to Attack.
Stoners and Catapults have a different option set. You can either change their direction, or remove them entirely from the battle. Repairers can either move, repair a unit ten HP at a time (be it organic or mechanical, don't let the game's wording fool you), or attack, but they have terrible fighting strength. Workers can either move or fight, or lay a bomb, probably their most useful ability.
The PageDown and Target buttons speed the action up, while the PageUp and Camera buttons slow it down. You have four speed settings.
Strategy and Tactics
Right, now on to the different strategies you can use! Basically, there are three grand strategies you can use, and many lesser tactics.
Strategy One: "The Cop-Out"
Instead of actually doing anything with troops and units, you could just not place anyone and let the enemy walk straight up to the bunker, throwing you into an easy boss fight with the Commander. Use this if you just want to get through the section without wasting much time... it's called the Cop-Out for a reason.
It's notable that there are three versions of the Commander Grand Horn. You fight the first version, CMD Grand Horn (Lv19) for the first four battles, the second version (CMD Grand Horn (Lv25) in battles five through sixteen, and the final version during the last battle, the one for the Huge materia: CMD Grand Horn (Lv37). Keep in mind that fighting the boss always means you don't get the item at the end of the game: you have to actually be successful at defending with hired troops to get those.
Full stats for each boss are listed below, for easy reference:
CMD Grand Horn (Lv19)
Poison Breath, Grand Attack
Immune to Status
CMD Grand Horn (Lv25)
Poison Breath, Grand Attack
Immune to Status
CMD Grand Horn (Lv37)
Poison Breath, Grand Attack
Immune to Status
Strategy Two: "Hell Bent for Leather"
Line up a platoon of Attackers, Fighters, and throw in a couple of Defenders for the big enemies, then march them straight up to the enemy's front door. Basically, press them hard and back them up into the hole they keep coming from, and eliminate every single one of them on the screen. If you're good and can wipe them all out before more can appear, you'll win without ever even seeing the Commander. This is the most aggressive strategy, and after you get the hang of it, very easy.
Strategy Three: "The Alabama Tick"
Amass a line of Attackers, Fighters, and Defenders (throw in some Shooters, Repairers, and Workers if it suits you), and then back them up with a line of Catapults and Stoners. Then, keep them behind the farthest reach of the artillery and let the enemy march straight into this gun line. The three passages at the top of the map make great choke points from which you can batter down the enemy until they reach the guards you've stationed near the guns. They'll be weakened and much easier to take down by that point.
Once you eliminate all of the enemies from the map, the Commander will then take the initiative and march on your position, approaching through the center. Since your other guns are now useless, you can safely remove them if you want, and then move all of your remaining units into the passageway the Commander is marching on. When the commander gets close, unleash your platoon's full fury on him, making every soldier you have attack at once. Heavily outnumbered and outgunned, he'll fall fast, especially if weakened by the guns you still have trained on him.
Strategy Four: "Probe rush!"
This is an even more extreme version of strategy two. At the beginning, place only four Attackers: two in the leftmost passageway, one in the rightmost, and one in the center. Place them as far down as they'll possibly go. Then, as soon as the battle starts, move them full against the bottom of the screen and engage the enemies. Wipe them out as fast as you can, placing Shooters for Wyverns or Defenders for Barbarians just in front of or after your men to take them down quicker. All you have to do is kill all the enemies on screen and the battle ends, so if you're really fast, you can win the battle by killing just the first two enemies, and possibly by using as few as four or six men. Not bad.
There are many other tactics and grand strategies you can use, too, if you're creative. One of the main tactics that works consistently is to move men out in groups of two or three. The enemy usually only moves in single units that will be weak against two or more opponents.
The only other thing to add is to not be afraid of experimentation. Usually the best way to come up with tactics that work for you is to simply try things out, and see if it suits your style. There's no right or wrong way to win this game. In fact, there's no real way to lose the game, either... even if you die during the boss fight, nothing actually happens, so don't sweat it.
And speaking of winning, don't be in such a hurry to just get in and get out... there's another goodie to this little side quest. After most Fort Condor battles, the enemy leaves some kind of item behind for you on the battlefield, and you get back two hundred gil for each unit left alive. Speaking with the boss man after each fight, he gives you an item that he "found on the battle field". Now how useful this item is depends on the item itself, because it's different from battle to battle.
Hand-in-hand with this, fights at Fort Condor happen at various points in the game, usually after you complete some marker in your quest. The complete list of the points in time when the battles occur and what item you'll find after each one is below.
- Initial encounter, after Mythril Mine (Magic Comb)
- Before getting in the water with Mr. Dolphin (Peace Ring)
- After getting in the water with Mr. Dolphin, but before you get on the beam (Ether, but the game says you get a Tincture.)
- After getting the Buggy, but before it breaks down in front of Cosmo Canyon (Megalixir)
- After going through the Save of the Gi, but before you get the Tiny Bronco (Five Potions [well, it says that, but you actually get five Hi-Potions].)
- After getting the Tiny Bronco, but before you get the Keystone (Five Potions [see above])
- After going on the date, but before you put the Keystone in the Altar at the Temple of the Ancients (Superball)
- After going through the Temple of the Ancients, but before sleeping at the Forgotten City (Three Turbo Ethers)
- After getting to Disc Two, but before completing the Whirlwind Maze (Three Turbo Ethers)
- Battle Numbers Ten through Fourteen occur during the seven days you're sleeping and captured in Junon. You can't get to it, and there's nothing you can do about it.
- After getting the Highwind, but before visiting Cloud at Mideel. (Nothing... the message box is... blank...)
- Battle Sixteen happens while you're visiting Cloud at Mideel. You can't get to it and there's nothing you can do.
- The last battle, and one you can't miss. This is the one for the Huge Materia after you visit Cloud at Mideel.
As you can see, there are seventeen battles in all, and the last one is part of the story and unavoidable. For winning the last battle, you get the Phoenix materia and the Huge Materia. If you lose, you can never go back to Fort Condor... ever again. There's also a quirk about the CMD. Grand Horn in this last fight if you let him get to the shack: he only uses Grand Attack as a final attack, just before he dies. Just so you know.
This part of the Fort Condor minigame depends on your own personal patience... you need to have the motivation to be able to press all the way back to Fort Condor from whatever point you are in the game to reach all the battles on time. Many of the items are quite useful, however, and you can get some good stuff earlier than you'd normally be able to.