The Heli Gunner (ヘリガンナー, Heri Gannā?), also known as the Valkyrie, is a recurring enemy in the Final Fantasy VII series, first appearing in Final Fantasy VII as a boss. Its appearance is that of a cone-shaped machine that always hovers using its three propellers and fires with the three cannons attached to its sides, allowing it to fire its target(s) from any direction. It is notorious for its deadly spinning move that depletes an enormous amount of HP from party members who fail to evade the attack.
The Heli Gunner is fought by Barret Wallace, Aeris Gainsborough, and Red XIII as a boss in the Shinra Bldg. while going down the elevator. During its hovering mode, its attack Firing Line may inflict Sleep and Poison depending on which cannon it is currently using. When its HP is reduced to 250, it switches to spinning mode and uses attacks that deal more damage than in its previous phase. As with all machine-type enemies, Heli Gunner is weak against the Lightning element.
The Heli Gunner is an enemy fought during the mission at Banora and the optional missions Massive Machines and Freight Recall. It can utilize its cannons to shoot Zack from any direction, meaning constant dodging is an optimal strategy. It also makes use of Spin Attack, a strong melee attack. Distance should be observed when the Heli Gunner gets too close.
The Valkyrie is a boss fought on the collapsed Sector 7 Plate during "To the Top of the Plate" at the end of "The Day Midgar Stood Still", the fifteenth chapter. It can use powerful ranged attacks and, after moving to another location, use a spinning move that proves to be deadly for melee party members. Even though melee attacks build its stagger faster, only Barret's ranged attacks can hit the Valkyrie when it is high up in the air. When staggered, a recommended strategy is to attack with Tifa's Unbridled Strength techniques to increase damage received by the Valkyrie.
Valkyries are the goddesses from Norse mythology that collect the souls of dead warriors to take them to Valhalla, the hall of the slain. Valkyries are often depicted as beautiful women wielding shining spears and riding flying horses. The word "valkyrie" comes from Old Norse valkyrja, which means "chooser of the slain".