Barret Wallace is a playable character in Final Fantasy VII Remake. He wields Gun-arms in battle, meaning he normally specializes in ranged damage. He can also equip melee weapons that change his playstyle to be more based around dealing area-of-effect melee damage. Barret is the most durable party member, able to effectively serve a supporting role and draw enemy fire onto himself to protect the party.
Barret is the first character to join Cloud's party, in "Breach Security" in the first chapter, "The Destruction of Mako Reactor 1." Barret later rejoins in Chapter 5, "Dogged Pursuit," and remains for three chapters, before then rejoining at the end of Chapter 12, "Fight for Survival," after which he remains in the party for most of the rest of the story. Barret is the party leader in his own dungeon at the end of Chapter 13, "A Broken World."
If Barret is transformed into a toad, he becomes a dark brown toad with sunglasses and a metallic wristband.
Barret's is the most durable member of the party, and his role changes depending on his equipped weapon. With a ranged gun-arm equipped, Barret specializes in long-range attacks against single targets. This makes him ideal for a supporting role, able to contribute damage while remaining at a safe distance, or draw enemies towards him and away from the melee fighters. With a melee weapon equipped, Barret instead focuses on dealing melee damage in a wide area-of-effect, being a slow but hard-hitting character. Barret's abilities consume many ATB charges, and vary from physical damage at melee range or at a distance, to abilities that allow him to draw fire from enemies.
With a ranged weapon, holding has Barret spray bullets onto his target for some seconds, finishing with a small blast that causes higher damage and more ATB build up. His unique ability is Overcharge, which deals significantly more damage than his normal attacks and fills his ATB gauge faster as well. Overcharge takes a while to recharge, but pressing speeds up the recharge. If is pressed after the last hit from holding , the animation for manual recharge for Overcharge will be significantly shorter than doing it in other times.
When equipped with a melee weapon, Barret's attacks are slower but deal far more damage per hit. He performs a sequence of three attacks: a punch forward, a kick, and a slam into the ground; these hits cause enemies to stumble and can hit multiple enemies in close proximity. His unique ability becomes Overrun, a multi-hit forward charge where Barret rams the enemy with his body, pinning many enemies and causing them to stumble, and at the end, Barret jumps into the air and performs a slam on the ground. Throughout Overrun, Barret cannot be interrupted. He becomes unable to attack flying enemies without expending ATB; unlike Cloud or Tifa, he cannot jump to hit enemies. His ranged character abilities still operate as normal.
Barret can effectively fulfill the role of a tank, boasting the highest HP and Vitality, as well having access to Steelskin (which reduces damage taken) and Lifesaver (which redirects 70% of damage taken by party members to him). These tanking capabilities can become even stronger when using certain materia, such as HP Up Materia, Provoke Materia, and Barrier Materia. Though Barret can fill a supporting role and provide spellcasting capability, his naturally low Magic and MP pool make him weaker in this role than Cloud or Aerith.
Barret's weaknesses lie in limited mobility, being the slowest character in terms of movement speed as well the speed attribute, with his dodge-roll covering little range. He has the lowest magic and Spirit, making him lag behind other characters as a spellcaster. This can be remedied with some weapons.
Barret's default weapon is the Gatling Gun, which has balanced attributes and some durability improvements. His weapons consist of rapid-fire guns that allow him to attack from a distance, as well as melee weapons that are slow but hard-hitting. Which type the player equips completely changes his playstyle. With Barret's guns, each shot does low damage, but the attack has a high rate of fire, and gives Barret consistent damage-per-second from relative safety towards single targets. His melee weapons are slow and close range, but deal high damage and can knock enemies back easily, as well as preventing him from being interrupted by weaker attacks. Barret can earn SP for his weapons with Sharpshooter's Companion manuscripts.
Barret's guns vary in playstyle, though they are often more focused on magic damage. His Light Machine Gun and EKG Cannon both provide a higher boost to Magic Attack, where the Light Machine Gun is more defensive and focused towards improving Barret's durability, while EKG Cannon makes him a more formidable spellcaster and also with upgrades that increases his critical chance and critical damage. Though Barret's low magic attributes make him less suited towards being the primary spellcaster, with these weapons equipped, Barret can be used effectively in a more supporting role, providing supplemental spellcasting while drawing fire from enemies.
Barret's other guns are Gatling Gun and Big Bertha. Big Bertha the highest HP bonus and Attack Power of any of Barret's guns without compromising his magic attack too heavily, making him focused on dealing damage from a range, while the Gatling Gun is more balanced. These roles take advantage of Barret's ability to deal strong physical damage from a safe distance towards single targets.
Barret has two melee weapons, the Steel Pincers and the Wrecking Ball, both with the highest attack power among his weapons. Between the two, the Steel Pincers is more well-rounded, with improvements to Barret's spellcasting abilities in addition to his melee damage, while the Wrecking Ball locks Barret into a role of physical damage but excels at it due to its high attribute and great unlocks provided. With these weapons, Barret's attacks are slower and more deliberate, but very impactful, and deal damage with a wide area-of-effect.
In terms of accessories, early on Barret benefits from a Bulletproof Vest to further increase his physical bulk and make him a more effective tank. Depending on the playstyle, Barret is good candidate for the Crescent Moon Charm, which decreases the damage taken by non-active characters, further reinforcing his damage reduction capabilities. The Champion Belt is also a great choice for Barret, as improving his strength attribute and his HP simultaneously leans into his best traits. Lastly, the Salvation Badge can play a pivotal during tough boss battles, as it has direct synergy with his Lifesaver ability and allows him to get his HP back quicker after soaking damage for his team.
For armor, Barret should focus more on improving his durability than on increasing his materia slots, to further capitalize on his tank role and maximize his bulk.
Barret's abilities vary from those that deal physical damage to those that serve his role of drawing enemy fire away from team mates. His damaging abilities are either ranged attacks that strike enemies from afar, or melee attacks that take a while to wind up, but deal devastating blows and knock down enemies. Many of these attacks can consume all ATB charges to deal more than double damage. Almost all his abilities grant him super-armor, preventing him from being interrupted by weaker enemy attacks.
Barret's default ability, Steelskin, is core to his moveset. In addition to reducing damage he takes, it also prevents most smaller interrupts and pushback, making it useful both in a gun and melee role. Steelskin is especially useful when paired with Lifesaver, Barret's best ability in a protective role. Lifesaver draws 70% of damage away from team mates and onto him, protecting the party. Though Steelskin does not reduce damage projected from allies onto Barret, it is nonetheless useful to reduce the damage Barret takes himself while he is also taking damage for other party members.
Barret's remaining abilities are damaging abilities with various effects. At range, Focused Shot can deal considerable burst damage to one target at range, and also build up their stagger gauge. This is decent when used with one ATB charge, but when used with two charges, it can stagger an enemy quickly, making it useful even when Barret is in a melee role. Maximum Fury is Barret's more powerful ranged ability in terms of pure damage, unleashing sustained physical damage, over twice as much with two ATB charges, which can burst down an enemy, and after killing one, will switch quickly to another. This ability is best when Barret uses a ranged weapon against a staggered enemy. Finally, Barret's close-range Point Blank pushes enemies away from him, making it more of a defensive ability while still dealing damage.
Among his melee abilities, Barret has Charging Uppercut and Smackdown. Charging Uppercut provides tremendous damage and staggers enemies a little, as well as charging Overcharge/Overrun. This can be effective when used with Overrun interchangeably, and can be powerful against an enemy who is vulnerable, but has a long wind-up time and takes a while to become effective. Smackdown, similarly, has a long wind-up time, but also deals tremendous area-of-effect damage, and so against a cluster of enemies or a stationary boss, is very powerful.
Barret begins the game with a Lightning Materia and a Healing Materia. Barret should typically equip abilities that further capitalize on his durability, and though his magic attribute is low, he can nonetheless make use of many Magic Materia that do not depend on his magic attribute to be effective as he is useful at playing a supporting role.
Barret can benefit from HP Up Materia even more than other characters, as his naturally high HP means he often only needs one to max his HP. Steadfast Block Materia further mitigates damage dealt against him, and if damage is drawn towards him, can also build up his ATB charges. This is much-needed due to the ATB demands of his abilities. Another excellent materia for Barret is Provoke Materia, which causes lower-level enemies to be drawn away from others and towards Barret; though less useful against bosses, this ability capitalizes on Barret's existing durability.
Among magic materia for him, Barrier Materia and Cleansing Materia are excellent choices. Both allow him to support the party effectively, and neither depend on his magic attribute. Barrier materia can also be paired very well with Magnify Materia to mitigate damage for the entire party in an MP-efficient and ATB-efficient way; if this is paired with Lifesaver, it will also mitigate the damage dealt to other party members that is then passed onto Barret.
Both healing and Revival Materia are good choices on Barret because of his high HP, as he will often be the last one standing, and thus the most likely to be able to revive fallen party members. The only downside to this is that Barret's MP pool is low, and his low magic attribute means he can provide less healing than other characters can. As alternatives, Barret can equip Chakra Materia, which gives him an ability to heal himself at no MP cost and can be useful if he is the only one taking damage due to Lifesaver, while Prayer Materia also gives him away to heal others at no MP cost.
Because he is in a supporting role, Barret can make use of offensive spells. If he does this, he should use them alongside a weapon that boosts his magic attack, and should either equip MP Up Materia or Magic Up Materia to improve his effectiveness.
In both a melee damage and ranged physical damage role, Barret can make good use of ATB Stagger Materia to build up his much-needed ATB charges. He also benefits greatly from the Refocus Materia, which can make abilities that consumes all ATB charges even more powerful.
Barret's Level 1 unique limit break is Fire in the Hole, and his level 2 limit break is Catastrophe. These are both physical damage abilities that are aimed towards a single target, but have a wide area-of-effect and can hit nearby enemies. As the abilities deal physical damage, they rely on Barret's strength and attack power attributes. Catastrophe also significantly increases an enemy's stagger gauge and has a far greater damage output, but when set as his limit break, causes the limit gauge to take longer to fill.
Barret's attributes are generally lower than Cloud and Tifa's, whose limit breaks also deal physical damage. Nonetheless, Barret's limit breaks will deal great damage that can be very helpful in a fight. Barret is normally better off waiting until an enemy is staggered in order to optimize his damage output.
Depending on his role, Barret can benefit from Transference Module or Spectral Cogwheel. These will increase Barret's limit gauge when he uses expends ATB charges or MP respectively. However, these accessories are more beneficial to Tifa, who has a higher damage output from her limit breaks, and Aerith, who can spellcast more frequently and has unique utility from her limit breaks, respectively. Once obtained, Gotterdammerung can be given to Barret to use his limit breaks more frequently, but likewise, it may be better given to characters with higher damage output like Tifa or Cloud, or to Aerith for her utility.
Barret can benefit tremendously from Refocus materia, allowing him to use the Refocus limit break. This increases his ATB bars to three, allowing him to use abilities much more often, which is helpful in the role of a supporting character. More importantly, it allows his Focused Shot, Maximum Fury, and Point Blank to use three charges rather than two, greatly increasing their potential.
Barret joins the party during "Breach Security" in the first chapter, "The Destruction of Mako Reactor 1." He remains in the party for the rest of the chapter, and leaves until Chapter 5, "Dogged Pursuit." At this point, Barret remains in the party until Chapter 8, "Budding Bodyguard," then rejoins in Chapter 12, "Fight for Survival."
In Chapter 13, "A Broken World," Barret becomes the party leader for his own questline beginning with "In Solitude." He remains in the party, and is present for the Odd Jobs in Chapter 14, "In Search of Hope." Barret remains in the party until the start of Chapter 17, "Deliverance from Chaos," though he is in his own party with Cloud for the later quest "Find the Others," switching between a party with him and Cloud and one with Tifa and Aerith.
Compared to Tifa and Aerith, there are few interaction options with Barret. If the party achieves less than five affection points with Tifa or Aerith before reaching the quest "Resolve" at the start of Chapter 14, "In Search of Hope," Barret appears for the resolution scene.
Behind the scenes
The majority of survey respondents listed Maximum Fury as their favorite ability at 58%, followed by 13% for Focused Shot, and 10% for Catastrophe. Of the resolution scenes, only 2% reported seeing Barret's resolution scene, followed by 56% who reported seeing Tifa's and 42% who saw Aerith's, suggesting Barret's was a rare occurance as most players completed enough Odd Jobs with Tifa or Aerith to see their scenes.
- Square Enix (August 14, 2020). Results of the FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE Post-Play Survey. Final Fantasy Portal Site. Archived from the original on August 14, 2020.