Rufus Shinra thinking evil thoughts in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
Image via Square Enix

How to Pressure Rufus in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth

The Rufus boss fight in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is a test of patience and attack discipline, but knowing how to Pressure the Shinra president makes things much simpler.

Fighting Rufus in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is a test of your patience and trigger discipline. Attack him at the wrong time and he’ll automatically counter-attack. However, if you know how to Pressure him, you make the first of the fight laughably simple, and the second a bit easier to handle.

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Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth: How to Pressure Rufus

Pressuring Rufus during his boss fight in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
Screenshot by GameSkinny

The boss fight against Rufus in Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth is ultimately a test of patience. You can’t attack him directly, since you’ll get a mouthful of buckshot. Rufus is also resistant to almost every form of attack in the game: magic, physical, status — you name it, it doesn’t really affect him. Instead, you must Pressure him to do any meaningful damage.

Pressuring Rufus is frighteningly easy but also requires precise timing. The most consistent way to apply Pressure to Rufus in Rebirth is to attack him while he’s reloading. You’ll know he’s reloading by the red-bound text above his head. In most cases, Rufus reloads after every few attacks with his weapon, and it’s the only time he stands completely still.

The recovery on his reloading animation is also very fast, so you need an attack that can cover a lot of ground quickly to maximize the time Rufus stayed Pressured. There are a few options at your disposal, but the best are Triple Slash and Focused Thrust. Which you use will depend on your distance from Rufus.

If you’re relatively close to him, I’d use Focused Thrust, as its increased Stagger buildup will be compounded by Pressure. The attack has a small windup, so you need to be quick on the input. Triple Slash, traverses whole zip codes in distance in an instant. So, if you’re unsure about whether Focused Thrust would get the job done, use Triple Slash. You won’t get the most Stagger buildup, but you’ll be in the best position to continue attacking Rufus for the few seconds he’s stunned after applying Pressure.

How to Pressure Rufus and Darkstar in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth

Pressuring Darkstar in the Rufus boss fight in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
Screenshot by GameSkinny

At about 40% HP, the second phase of the fight against Rufus begins. He brings his faithful hound, Darkstar, into the picture. Pressuring Darkstar requires dealing a large amount of damage in a short time or severing his link to Rufus (which probably means you Pressured Rufus).

The second phase of Rufus’ boss fight is the one time I highly recommend using hard lock on where your camera always follows a single enemy. The reason is that Rufus can still counter-attack anything you throw at Darkstar if the canine is close to his master, and he tends to stick close. Darkstar doesn’t have too much HP, however, nor is his Stagger meter particularly beefy. Removing him from the fray early on simplifies the fight back to a one-on-one. Then, you can fight Rufus as normal.

The big brain strat in this second phase, provided Darkstar is still up, is to group the two together and Pressure Rufus to push Darkstar into Pressure as well, then use an attack you know will hit both of them. Again, Triple Slash is great in such a situation. But if you get the timing right, Infinty’s End or a Limit Break can shatter both Rufus and Darkstar’s health bars in an instant. Maybe even win you the fight.

The second phase is much more active than the first, as Darkstar will be much more in your face than Rufus himself, who alternates between close and longer-range attacks. Despite that pace change, the fight is still something of a waiting game: get Darkstar away from his master and Pressure him or focus on Pressuring Rufus to take the dog out of the fight. Choose whichever makes the fight more enjoyable for you.

That covers how to Pressure Rufus and Darkstart in Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth. Thankfully, neither Darkstar nor Rufus has large health pools, befitting their status as more puzzle boss than straight-up fight. For more help with the mechanics available in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, check out our guides hub. We’ve covered topics like how to pressure Elder Golem and Aggrevrikon.

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John Schutt
John Schutt has been playing games for almost 25 years, starting with Super Mario 64 and progressing to every genre under the sun. He spent almost 4 years writing for strategy and satire site TopTierTactics under the moniker Xiant, and somehow managed to find time to get an MFA in Creative Writing in between all the gaming. His specialty is action games, but his first love will always be the RPG. Oh, and his avatar is, was, and will always be a squirrel, a trend he's carried as long as he's had a Steam account, and for some time before that.