Well… If you’re reading this then you likely want to skin a certain overgrown eel. Luckily, this Leviathan Boss Guide is all you need to turn this fight from “Gyarados” to “Magikarp”. This guide focuses on the materia and party members available to you if you want to beat Leviathan ASAP – That’s Cloud, Tifa, and Barret at Chapter 13.
Preparing for the Fight
This can seem impossible If you want to beat this ASAP (Chapter 13, without grinding), but believe me it’s possible. Some prep work and knowledge of the fight is all you need!
Tidal Wave – 99% of the fight
The main roadblock to beating Leviathan is Tidal Wave: Leviathan’s ultimate (which he repeats, by the way). When I took on Leviathan, Tidal Wave obliterated somewhere between 90% to 100% of my HP. So obviously, you can’t just “hope you won’t die”.
It’s a long fight – You’re gonna need MP
No matter what you do, it’s going to be a long fight. MP becomes a problem. One of the main reasons you’ll run out is Manaward, and a crapton of healing…
MDEF, HP & damage reduction.
Before you go ham theorycrafting your party setup – get this out of the way first, then fill out the rest of your build after. All these tips are useless if your strategy to beat Leviathan all wind up with you being DEAD.
Active Character? Party Setup?
You WILL end up using Barret in the Leviathan flying phases, so be prepared for that. Then you’ll have to choose Tifa or Cloud as your active character for everything else.
During the Fight
Really 99% of this fight is in the preparation work. If you can reliably survive and recover from Tidal Wave, you’ve already won. But in any case, you still can’t slack off in there – here’s what you need to know WHILE you’re fighting Leviathan.
Surviving Tidal Wave is discussed heavily in the preparation segment. In the fight, as long as you play carefully by keeping yourself topped up and having Manaward when able is the best you can do.
Leviathan Phase – Grounded (normal)
DO NOT STAY FAR AWAY FROM LEVIATHAN during this phase. If you do, Levi spams a beam attack that does huge damage and a knockback. I found more success keeping close – even if he has the AoE knockback. I quickly learned this when I first tried using Barret as my main attacker.
Stay safe at all times and keep your HP up. It’s not just Tidal Wave that hurts but the dive attack also chunks you hard (and does physical damage, too).
I have never seen Leviathan in the pressured state. So spam attacks that increase their stagger bar instead of focusing on damage.
Leviathan Phase – Flying
Since you really can’t do much with Cloud or Tifa during this phase, you’re essentially forced to use Barret. It’s not fast, but you’ll eventually get the job done.
Leviathan spawns fountains that follow you and BLOCK PROJECTILES (including Barrets bullets). These are more annoying that painful.
USE THIS PHASE TO GET BACK IN FIGHTING SHAPE! Recover your MP, HP and buffs as this phase is about to end. Basically, do as much damage control as you can before he goes back to normal mode.
Phases repeat – general advice
Just remember, SAVE YOUR LIMIT BREAKS and prepare for MASSIVE DAMAGE DUMPS each time Leviathan is staggered. If you do not know by know, Tifa’s triangle skills increase stagger multipliers so set up your burst well.
I didn’t feel summons to be that good versus Leviathan but SUMMON DURING THE GROUNDED PHASE as I don’t think you get the maximum possible damage during the flying phase.
Before you win, expect to see 2 to 3 of each phase and 2 to 3 Tidal Waves. So prepare for a slugfest – bring the appropriate amount of Ethers!
A massive part of this fight is determined by preparation. Either you beat Tidal Wave efficiently, or it beats you. Be prepared with lots of healing materia and MP restoration items as this fight can be long.
Leviathan cycles between two phases: ground and flying. Obliterate him quick during ground phase and use the relatively calm flying phase to recover your HP, MP, and buffs!
Play safe and don’t stress out. Many strategies work to beat Leviathan but you’ll have to RESPECT the mechanics. Tidal Wave is the defining factor of your success. Second is the dives – so be wary of both.
Hopefully, our guide helped you swimmingly with the Leviathan boss fight! Good luck!