Hell House was a bizarre normal enemy in the original Final Fantasy 7, who could be encountered whilst journeying from Sector 5 to Wall Market. Final Fantasy 7 Remake promoted it to a full-on boss battle, faced in Chapter 9 during the Wall Market Colosseum segment.
This proves an interesting fight, and it can become very challenging if you are ill-prepared. However, like most bosses in Final Fantasy 7 Remake, there are certain tactics that prove extremely effective once you understand the attack patterns and weaknesses. And we’ve got it all covered.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to beat Hell House in Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
Best setup to beat Hell House in Final Fantasy 7 Remake
This is all about equipping the right materia. Equip your best available weapons and armour and make sure you have as many materia slots as possible for both characters.
Hell House is weak to every element at certain times, so you should equip Lightning, Fire, Ice and Wind materia. If you don’t have multiple orbs with at least ‘ra’ level magic, then equip your best ones on Aerith. Her potent magic power makes her the most efficient damage-dealer here. Other than these, load her with some HP Up and either a spare Healing or Time orb.
As for Cloud, equip Healing coupled with Magnify, and also ensure he has Poison equipped even if this is still on level 1. Assess materia is also worth equipping to Cloud. We’ll confirm the weaknesses to look out for, but these change throughout the battle. Therefore having the option of double-checking periodically will be handy in the latter phases of the fight.
Ideally, your materia setup should roughly consist of the following:
Cloud: Healing and Magnify linked, Poison, Assess, Fire, Ice, Lightning, Wind (you won’t fit all four elemental materia so equip depending on which spare ones are strongest)
Aerith: Fire, Ice, Lightning, Wind (if you have multiple, make sure these are your strongest), HP Up, Healing (optional) Time (optional)
Summons: Go with Fat Chocobo and Chocobo and Moogle – these are non-elemental so you don’t run the risk of summoning the wrong element.
How to strike Hell House’s weakness
The most important thing about Hell House is that its elemental weakness will periodically change during the battle with Barrier Shift. This is denoted by significant visual changes that will guide you.
Burning with red windows: Fire element, so weak to Ice
Frosty with white windows: Ice element, so weak to Fire
Fizzling with blue windows: Lightning element, so weak to Wind
Gusty with green windows: Wind element, so weak to Lightning
As mentioned above, if you have Assess materia you can check this to be sure. Cast Assess early in the battle and then you can repeatedly check with the touchpad at any point afterwards. It’s important to strike the weakness, but even more important to avoid its current element. Hell House can absorb these attacks, which is the last thing you want.
There are times in the battle where Hell House will have no elemental weakness at all, and it can also activate God Mode to significantly increase its defence. For these occasions, read on for the most effective strategy to use.
Hell House First Phase
This is a very easy start to the battle if you are fully stacked with offensive elemental materia. Hell House will always adopt one of the four elements in this phase so you can always hit its weakness.
Start the battle by hacking away with Cloud and increasing your ATB to cast Assess as quickly as possible. Switch to Aerith and build up her ATB swiftly from afar. Hell House has a few attacks, such as thrusting itself at one of your characters, but nothing overly dangerous. Try to keep your distance with Aerith and attack from the side as Cloud.
Using either Assess or the visual cues, take note of Hell House’s current weakness and use the appropriate spells from both characters. If you wait too long, it’ll perform a Barrier Shift and switch to another element. Once again, simply check the weakness and use the corresponding spell.
A single spell that hits Hell House’s weakness will significantly increase its stagger gauge, and it’ll only take a few for it to be staggered. Use lower tier spells here to save MP, and when you can see the stagger gauge is nearly full, cast an Arcane Ward with Aerith – this will be useful later.
Once Hell House is staggered, blast it with your higher tier spells using Aerith and smash it with Cloud’s Punisher Mode and ATB skills. No need to waste much MP yet.
Once you’ve knocked off around a quarter of its health, a cutscene will trigger and Hell House will move onto its second phase.
Hell House Second Phase
This phase is far more awkward, because Hell House will now spend significant periods of time without any elemental weakness. Moreover, it will regularly enter God Mode, which increases its defence and makes it difficult to stagger. Cast Bio immediately because this will chip away with some solid damage even whilst God Mode is active.
The good news is that you can still hit its weaknesses if you time it right. Whenever Hell House is in God Mode, don’t spend any ATB (unless you need to heal), and focus on building up ATB for both characters by attacking the arms. Stay near the Arcane Ward you set up earlier and keep dodging and blocking once you’ve got your full ATB.
As soon as the God Mode ends, it’ll start using elemental attacks for a while where it will have a weakness again. Act quickly – get Aerith into the Arcane Ward and cast two strong spells of the relevant weakness element (check with Assess if you aren’t sure). Do the same with Cloud if you can, and you’ll deal a huge amount of damage whilst significantly building the stagger gauge.
Hell House can perform an attack called Renewed Hospitality, which sucks a character into his doors and temporarily incapacitates them. If the character is on low health you can heal them up whilst they are inside, but if not this is actually a great time to attack. Strike with Cloud’s Punisher Mode if Aerith is captured, or hit it with Soul Drain or elemental magic if Cloud is taken. If Hell House ends up pressured when Cloud is attacking, then perform Focused Strike to massively increase stagger.
Stay healed up and keep biding your time for the post-God Mode opportunity to attack its weakness. When you inevitably get a stagger, go all out with magic and Punisher Mode again. This is the longest phase and you’ll need to reduce Hell House to around 30% of its health to move onto the final phase.
Hell House Final Phase
The final phase will start getting really chaotic, but your tactics won’t need to change much. Hell House can now fly into the air with Heavensward and begin a countdown, peppering you with attacks in the process. As ominous as this sounds, it isn’t too bad. Use this time to heal up with Cloud, refresh the poison if needed and control Aerith to build up her ATB as much as possible.
When the countdown ends, it’ll reign a load of burning chairs and finish with a move called Hellbound, where it floats up high before blasting itself towards one of your characters.
Hellbound is tricky to avoid but you can interrupt it by hitting it with a magic attack that hits its weakness first. You’ll have a window of opportunity where it floats in the same spot whilst its windows will indicate which element it is using. As before, try and keep your ATB charged and bide your time for this opportunity to strike with Aerith (who should have full ATB).
Once it has finished with Heavensward and Hellbound, it will stay on the ground for a while and enter God Mode again. This will follow exactly the same pattern as phase 2, where you should spend God Mode attacking the arms and building ATB, before letting loose with your most powerful magic as soon as the spherical barrier subsides and an elemental weakness is revealed. This is also a good time to use your summon (Chocobo and Moogle or Fat Chocobo).
These windows of opportunity seem a bit shorter in phase 3, but there’s still plenty of time to strike. To reiterate once again – make sure you are not wasting ATB during God Mode so your magic attacks are ready to go. Only use ATB to heal or cast another Arcane Ward.
You should stagger Hell House in no time, which will give you ample chance to finish it off with magic, limit breaks and ATB abilities.
How to beat Hell House on Hard Mode
There isn’t a huge difference to the general pattern of the battle on hard mode, but there are a couple of things to look out for as well as some setup tweaks.
In terms of setup, you should have the strongest elemental magic by now, so preferably equip Cloud and Aerith with a mastered Fire, Ice, Lightning and Wind materia each. Give both characters First Strike and Revive since you can’t use Phoenix Downs in Hard Mode. I also find mastered Prayer materia is a decent option for healing which doesn’t cost MP. Finally, ensure Poison is equipped (hopefully with Bioga) and stack those HP Ups.
If your heart skips a beat when three Tonberries appear at the start, you aren’t the only one. Once the shock has worn off you’ll find these have mercifully low HP and are easy to dispatch quickly. Don’t take any chances and use Cloud’s Triple Strike and/or Aerith’s Sorcerous Storm to beat them before they can even get up. Hell House can produce more of these as the battle wages on, so keep a close eye on it and make sure you tackle them immediately if they appear.
To compound it all, in the third phase a Cutter and Sweeper will appear. Again, this isn’t as bad as it seems. Hell House will actually harm them along the way, so you can mostly ignore them and they’ll eventually be defeated on their own. The downside of their appearance is that it makes a chaotic battlefield even more cluttered. Keep an eye on your health and don’t be afraid to use up some MP here – you’ve always got Aerith’s Soul Drain if you run out.
Other than these quirks, the strategy is exactly the same – save your ATB until God Mode ends, and blast him with magic attacks. Since MP must be used sparingly, I’d advise sticking to lower tier spells until you stagger it. Try and get an Arcane Ward set up and let loose with a ‘ga’ level spell once it’s staggered.
There’s a lot of information, but the tactics for Hell House are fairly simplistic once you’ve got used to its pattern. Here’s our simplified strategy:
- Equip all strongest elemental magic onto Aerith, and as many as you can onto Cloud
- Assess early in the battle and attack with low tier magic that hits Hell House’s current weakness to stagger easily
- In the second phase, try to build up ATB during God Mode and then check its weakness as soon as God Mode ends – quickly strike its weakness with magic attacks during this window
- Keep Hell House poisoned with Cloud, and use healing with Magnify whenever necessary
- During the third phase, attack to build Aerith’s ATB whilst it’s flying around, and hit its weakness when it starts floating in the same spot
- Use your summon during the third phase, preferably a Chocobo-based non-elemental one
- Repeat the second phase tactics until it is staggered, where you can finish it off
That’s all there is to it. Hell House is actually a pretty fun battle when you know what to do, but has a tendency to drag on and become awkward if you don’t.
Hopefully this guide of how to beat Hell House in Final Fantasy 7 Remake helped you through Chapter 9. For more tips and guides, check out the articles below.