Water damage on all opponentsDescription
Aqualung is an attack spell in Final Fantasy VII. It is an enemy skill used by Harpy, Jenova∙LIFE, and Serpent, which can be learned on the Enemy Skill Materia for the player to use. It is one of the more useful enemy skills to learn and one of only three Water-elemental abilities the player can use (along with Leviathan and Dragon Scales).
If learning each enemy skill the earliest they are available, Aqualung is the sixth spell the player can learn, obtained as soon as the player passes through North Corel as part of the story to the world map on the Gold Saucer Area. Here, Harpy is a rare formation on the Chocobo tracks; with the Chocobo Lure equipped, the player can trigger a battle with a Harpy and a Chocobo. The Chocobo is irrelevant; the Harpy can be used to learn Aqualung. This way, the player can get Aqualung even before going to Gold Saucer. However, the player must also beware lest their party be wiped out by Aqualung.
After the events in Gold Saucer and Corel Prison, the player gains the buggy and can drive it across the desert around Gold Saucer on the world map to trigger random encounters against Harpies. By this time, the player can also get Big Guard, which provides MBarrier that will help the party survive Aqualung. This is the best time to learn Aqualung, as Harpies are a common encounter on the desert on the buggy, but the buggy will be permanently lost later, and so the player should learn Aqualung sooner rather than later.
Later on, the boss Jenova∙LIFE in Forgotten City uses Aqualung, which is at this point easy to learn as the party has the Water Ring to nullify damage from it. Finally, the Serpent will use Aqualung inside the sunken Gelnika optional dungeon.
Aqualung deals damage in the following formula:
where "Level" is the caster's current level and "Magical Attack" is their Magic atk stat. Aqualung attacks the entire enemy party, but does not split the damage (1/3 reduction in power) unlike Magic spells do with All Materia.
Aqualung deals Water-elemental magic damage to all opponents with a spell power equal to 3.25x the base magic damage. It costs 34 MP to cast. If the entire party has the Reflect status, it can be cast on the party to reflect onto the enemy party a total of three times.
Aqualung and Beta are E.Skills with comparable powers and effects and MP costs, which can be obtained close together within the story, though gaining Beta early is quite hard for Midgar Zolom is a tough opponent. Aqualung is only slightly less powerful than Beta, but the difference is negligible in practice. The major differences between the two are their elements (Beta is Fire-elemental) and that Aqualung can be reflected, whereas Beta cannot. Aqualung may still be preferable of the two as only few enemies have Water resistance, and the player can reflect it off their own party for multiple castings; reflected off the whole party, the player can cast Aqualung three times in the row onto the enemy party, likely decimating them for a small MP cost in comparison to summons and W-Summon or Quadra Magic.
Like Beta, Aqualung is good against groups of enemies, especially if they are weak to Water. Aqualung is slightly less powerful than tier three elemental spells, but does not lose power from being targeted towards an entire enemy party, like Magic Materia would with All, and costs less MP. Setting up Magic Materia with All also takes up two Materia slots, whereas an Enemy Skill Materia can hold numerous spells while only taking up a single slot.
Good times to use Aqualung include against groups of enemies that are not dispatched with Matra Magic, and any upcoming bosses, such as Dyne, Turks:Reno and Turks:Rude, Materia Keeper, Palmer and Red Dragon. It can be good to wipe out the annoying group of six Touch Mes in Gongaga Area. The enemies Ho-chu and Malboro are weak to Water, and thus Aqualung is great against them. Aqualung remains a strong spell with a competitive MP cost until the end of the game.
Aqua is Latin for "water".