This Final Fantasy article contains spoilers.
After years of development, teasers, and pushed release dates, Final Fantasy VII Remake is finally here, and with it comes one of the most epic stories in the series. An organization known as Shinra is draining the planet Gaia of its lifeforce (“mako”) and a ragtag group of eco-terrorists known as Avalanche is all that stands in the way of ecological disaster.
While Final Fantasy VII is a sprawling saga that spans several locations across Gaia, the remake only covers the events set in the Shinra-controlled city of Midgar. This still gives us plenty of time to become reacquainted (or acquainted for the first time) with many of the game’s beloved characters, including the tough-as-nails Tifa, a freedom fighter who forgoes swords, guns, and magic staffs and instead lets her fists do the talking.
Tifa is a childhood friend of protagonist Cloud and joins Avalanche after the main antagonist, a Shinra supersoldier named Sephiroth, killed her father and destroyed Nibelheim, the village where she lived. She eventually ends up in Midgar, where she owns the bar and restaurant 7th Heaven, which also acts as Avalanche’s secret underground base. It’s in Midgar where she’s reunited with Cloud, who she believes she hasn’t seen in years (that’s a whole other story). Tifa decides to recruit Cloud for Avalanche so that he can help them blow up the reactors Shinra uses to drain mako from the planet.
As a party member (and party leader), Tifa helps Cloud on many missions in Midgar, including attacking the Sector 5 reactor, and she later accompanies him in a desperate attempt to stop Shinra from destroying the Sector 7 slums and 7th Heaven. But Avalanche doesn’t stand a chance against Shinra and most of the members of the group are killed. Tifa is eventually forced to flee the city with Cloud, Avalanche leader Barret, and magic-user Aerith.
The game ends with Tifa and the rest of the party pursuing Sephiroth to parts unknown. There’s plenty of story still to retell and hopefully Square Enix will get to give the rest of Final Fantasy VII the remake treatment.
In the meantime, there are a few more things to learn about Tifa if you’re playing Final Fantasy VII for the first time or haven’t played it in years. Here’s a rundown of her weapons, special limit break abilities, and even the different dresses you can pick for her at one point in the game:
Unlike Cloud, Barret, and Aerith, Tifa doesn’t use any weapons, favoring hand-to-hand combat. She’s a damage-dealing brawler who prefers to get up close to enemies and is a powerful ally who can deliver a chain of attacks in quick succession.
Since she uses her fists instead of swords, guns, or staffs, Tifa’s “weapons” in the game are all variations on the gloves she wears. Here’s a rundown of the gloves you can acquire for Tifa in the remake:
Leather Gloves – These are Tifa’s starter gloves with standard physical attack effects.
Metal Knuckles – These grant Tifa a damage boost at the cost of lowering her defenses. You get these as a reward in Chapter 5.
Sonic Strikers – These give Tifa a magical edge but also lower her defense stats. You can find these in a purple chest in Chapter 7.
Feathered Gloves – These gloves favor both her physical and magic stats while also giving Tifa a damage reduction upgrade. You can find these in a chest in Chapter 10.
Mythril Claws – These are another set of magic-focused gloves that turn her into powerful damage-dealing mage. You get these as a reward in Chapter 13.
Purple Pain – These boost Tifa’s critical hit rate and her ATB meter. You can find these in a chest in Chapter 16.
You can also use Materia orbs to upgrade and boost the stats of these weapons. Here’s a helpful guide to how to use Materia in the game.
Tifa Limit Breaks
On top of her many weapons, Tifa also has access to rare special abilities known as Limit Breaks. Once Tifa fills her limit gauge by staggering opponents (or based on the amount of damage she takes in a fight), she can unleash these special attacks on her enemies, especially when she’s against the ropes. When her limit gauge is full, open the command menu and choose “Limit Break.” You can only perform these attacks once in a while.
Tifa’s standard limit break is “Somersault,” which allows her to send enemies flying with a powerful kick. After completing her Corneo Coliseum challenge, Tifa also receives the limit break called “Dolphin Flurry,” which unleashes a storm of attacks that stagger her enemies.
Here’s a helpful guide on how to use limit breaks and why they’re important.
At one point in the game, players can choose the dress that Tifa will wear in Chapter 9 of the game. To do this, you need to unlock a Discovery event called “Alone at Last” by finishing all of the side quests in Chapter 3. You are given three options of dresses: Something Mature, Something Sporty, or Something Exotic. These options are purely cosmetic so don’t sweat any changes to your stats.
As far as the outfit choices go, Something Mature is a backless blue dress, Something Sporty is a leopard-print cheongsam-like dress, and Something Exotic is a black dress with flowers in Tifa’s hair.
There’s an achievement for unlocking all of the dresses for the three main characters in the game (yes, Cloud, too) called “Dressed to the Nines.” This will take multiple playthroughs of Chapter 3. You can find a helpful guide on how to get all nine dresses in the game right here.