FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH: The combat of Sephiroth

In FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH, you’ll take direct control of the legendary SOLDIER Sephiroth. But does he live up to that legend?
By Duncan Heaney

We’re back with another look at the combat of FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH.

Last time we showcased the fighting style of Red XIII (read that here). Today we’re taking a look at the legendary SOLDIER himself: Sephiroth.

What led this once heroic figure into the darkness? The game features an extended flashback section, as Cloud Strife recalls an earlier mission in his career as a SOLDIER - the Nibelheim incident. He and the legendary war hero Sephiroth are sent by Shinra to investigate a malfunctioning reactor near the town of Nibelheim - but this mission will change both their lives forever.

This section of the game doesn’t just give you a glimpse into the characters’ backstory, you get to take full control of Sephiroth in battle. It’s a true thrill for fans of FINAL FANTASY VII, as we get to directly unleash the power of this iconic figure like never before.

So, what’s it like to play as Sephiroth?

What is Sephiroth’s fighting style?

If there’s one way to describe Sephiroth, it would be… powerful. And that’s exactly as it should be.

At the time of the iconic Nibelheim flashback, when you can take direct control of him in combat, Sephiroth is at the peak of his career as a SOLDIER. He’s strong, extremely skilled, and highly experienced. He’s a powerhouse - a stark contrast to the fledging Cloud Strife.

His combat style is pure aggression! By pressing the Square button, Sephiroth dishes out powerful combos of strikes, while a tap of Triangle performs a satisfyingly powerful finisher. The finishers available depend on the number of attacks in the combo and include Pierce - a powerful strike - and Sword Dance, a final flourish that deals incredible damage to your foe. You can unleash these attacks after using abilities or a Limit break too!

And in true Sephiroth style, it looks effortlessly cool too.

If the enemy is fluttering out of his range, the SOLDIER 1st class can perform a ranged attack by holding Square. He can also enter a Retaliation Stance with the R1 button, where he can parry and counter attacks with the Square button. Yes, even his defense is aggressive.

In short, Sephiroth’s a powerhouse, even when sticking to his basic moves. But what about his abilities?

How does Sephiroth fight?

As with other characters, Sephiroth fills his ATB charges as he attacks. By pressing Cross (X), he can expend these charges to select an ability (read more about the basics of combat here).

As you’d expect from a fighter of Sephiroth’s caliber, these abilities are brutal. They include:

  • Zanshin - Sephiroth sends rending waves of energy at his foes.

  • Hell’s Gate - Sephiroth descends from the sky and impales an enemy with his sword.

Limit Break

You’d think attacking Sephiroth would be the definition of foolish, but that doesn’t seem to stop the beasts around the Nibelheim Reactor. As with the other characters, when Sephiroth takes damage, his Limit Gauge fills. Once at capacity, he can use a devastating Limit Break.

It’s one that fans of CRISIS CORE -FINAL FANTASY VII- REUNION might just recognize…

  • Octaslash - Sephiroth attacks an opponent with a lightning-fast flurry of eight powerful strikes!

Synergy Abilities and Skills

As you expend ATB charges and use abilities, you’ll fill up your current characters’ Synergy Gauge. Once two characters have sufficient charges, they can team up to deliver a powerful Synergy Ability.

Sephiroth is accompanied by a young Cloud during the flashback mission to Nibelheim, and the two SOLDIERS have a particularly awesome move - you might have seen it in action in a recent trailer:

  • Sephiroth / Cloud: Double Helix - Sephiroth unleashes an elegant flurry of strikes and Cloud does his best to follow suit. This raises Cloud’s limit level and gives Sephiroth unlimited MP. Naturally, he’s equipped with some pretty high level materia, so this is a chance to really go to town with those spells!

As well as Synergy Abilities, characters can also team up to deliver Synergy skills. These are activated by blocking with R1 and then pressing one of the face buttons. They don’t use ATB, so you can use them whenever you see an opportunity.

For example, in Sephiroth’s case, he can use:

  • Dualblade Dance - Sephiroth teams up with his partner to unleash up to three consecutive close-ranged physical attacks.

Final Thoughts

You only get to control Sephiroth for a limited time, but he makes a very strong impression.

He teaches the player the ropes as much as Cloud, and it’s a thoroughly entertaining way to get to grips with FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH’s expanded combat system. He’s also really fun to play as - tearing through enemies with a truly gratifying sense of power.

He’s unrelenting in battle, and this hyper-effectiveness amply demonstrates how much weaker and less experienced Cloud is in comparison.

But perhaps most effectively of all, it reinforces what a threat he is to Cloud, his allies, and the planet as a whole in the present day. Whatever his ultimate goals are, he’s not going to be easy to stop…

You’ll be able to experience Sephiroth’s raw power for yourselves from February 29, 2024, when FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH launches for PS5.

The game’s available to preorder now.

Preorder any digital edition of the game to get the following bonus item:

  • Moogle Trio Summoning Materia (in game item)

What’s more, if you have a save file from FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE, FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE INTERGRADE or FF7R EPISODE INTERmission, you will be able to claim the following items in FINAL FANTASY REBIRTH:


  • Summon Materia: Leviathan


  • Summon Materia: Ramuh

Please note that save data must be saved on the PS5 system.

Standard Edition (physical and digital)

Available both digitally and physically. The physical version comes across two discs and includes a reversible cover.

This edition includes:

  • The full game

It’s available to preorder now:

A Digital Deluxe Edition Upgrade will also be available to purchase for the digital Standard Edition, which adds Digital Deluxe Edition content. This cannot be preordered and will become available when the game launches.

Deluxe Edition (physical only)

The physical Deluxe Edition also includes the below:

  • The full game
  • Steelbook® case
  • A mini soundtrack CD (in jewel case)
  • Physical artbook

It's available to preorder now:

Digital Deluxe Edition (digital only)

Available to preorder from the PlayStation Store, this edition includes:

  • The full game
  • Digital mini soundtrack
  • Digital artbook
  • Magic Pot Summoning Materia (in-game item)
  • Accessory: Reclaimant Choker (in-game item)
  • Armor: Orchid Bracelet (in-game item)

It’s available to preorder now:

Collector’s Edition

Available from the Square Enix Store, this edition is a real treat for fans. It includes:

  • The full game (across two discs)
  • FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH STATIC ARTS - SEPHIROTH - a large, highly detailed statue of Sephiroth
  • Steelbook® case
  • A mini soundtrack CD
  • Physical artbook features stunning illustrations and concept art from the game
  • Moogle Trio Summoning Materia (in-game item)
  • Magic Pot Summoning Materia (in-game item)
  • Accessory: Reclaimant Choker (in-game item)
  • Armor: Orchid Bracelet (in-game item)

It’s available to preorder now:

Twin Pack (digital only)

This terrific twin pack gives you access to both FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE INTERGRADE and the upcoming game FANTASY VII REBIRTH.

Once ordered, you can start playing FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE INTERGRADE right away and be ready to continue the adventure in FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH on release day.

The set includes:


Purchase this twin set before launch to get a substantial discount - essentially you can get both titles together for the same price as one standard edition! Check the PlayStation Store to see prices in your region:

Digital Deluxe Twin Pack (digital only)

This bumper bundle gives you both FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE INTERGRADE and the FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE Digital Deluxe Edition, and all the awesome content that comes with it.

Once purchased, you can start playing FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE right away:

It includes:

  • FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH Digital Deluxe Edition - full game
  • FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH Digital mini soundtrack
  • Magic Pot Summoning Materia (FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH in-game item)
  • Accessory: Reclaimant Choker (FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH in-game item)
  • Armor: Orchid Bracelet (FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH in-game item)

It’s available to order now. What’s more, purchase before launch for a significant discount on the price of both games!

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