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Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII - Mission Survival Guide!

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VIIis undoubtedly one of the best PSP games we've ever played. Getting through the game's story mode is a breeze for most players. Completing the game's optional missions, on the other hand, is another story. While they start off relatively easy, the missions get pretty difficult towards the end of the game. Here's a list of tips and strategies that will help you achieve "100%" on the mission counter while minimizing your mako-induced stress.

Before we start dispensing advice, please note how we'll be referring to the missions. There are 10 groups of missions in all, each having a subcategory. The subcategories contain the individual missions. Let's take the third group of missions that are designated "Genesis's Forces". The first subcategory in this group is called "Genesis's Forces on the March". The fourth mission in this series is called "Destroy the Death Machines". To speed things along, we'll call this mission 3-1-4. It's the third group, first subcategory, and fourth mission. Get it? Got it?!? Good! Now let's get cracking.

- First off, we highly recommend tackling full mission completion after you've beaten story mode. This allows you to start a "new game+". This feature lets you start a fresh game, but at the level you beat the game at and with your items/materia intact. If you're near the end of the game, be sure to pick up some materia that boosts the Digital Mind Wave (DMW). This will be incredibly handy for an essential materia you'll want for the missions.

- While you should finish as many "Very Easy" and "Easy" missions as possible while progressing through story mode, it's essential to complete a series of missions as soon as they become available in chapter five. Right after you meet Aerith, head on over to the save point and tackle the missions in the 7-2 series. There are three items that you'll want to snag as soon as possible: the Item Fusion Tome, the Keychain, and the Backpack. The first item lets you mix materia with other items, which is essential for maximizing power. The latter two allow you to equip an extra accessory, for a total of four. They are must-have items!

- Complete as many missions as possible before heading off to Nibelheim in chapter nine. Furthermore, you should tackle these missions in the lobby of the Shinra Headquarters. There's a lady by the exit that lets you sample free potions. These special potions have the same effect as a Phoenix Down, granting you "raise" status and allowing you one free death. There's no limit to how many times you can indulge in these freebies, so you're essentially allowed one free mess-up per mission. You can complete almost 80 percent of the missions before Nibelheim. It's much easier to do with generous potion lady at your disposal.

- If you're at the point where you're relying on the Phoenix Down effect, it's essential that you hug the walls. Battles are triggered by proximity. Many of them can be avoided by staying on the borders as tightly as possible. You don't want to waste a phoenix down effect on stupid underlings. You want to save it for the mission boss. To help ensure you get to the boss relatively unscathed, you have to hug the crap out of the walls.