Summon materia icon.

Summoning materia is a unique set of materia in Final Fantasy VII Remake that allows summoned monsters to be called in battle and fight alongside the party.

Summons are fearsome creatures that are the embodiment of ancient knowledge, condensed into materia.[1] The summons appear during a video in the Shinra Building's Visual Entertainment Hall on the Cetra civilization.

Mechanics[edit | edit source]

You're willing to step up for us?

Aerith summoning

Summon command.

One summoning materia can be equipped per character, fit into a dedicated slot in the weapon. Each equipped summoning materia also grants bonuses to specific stats. Summoning materia cannot level up.

Summons cannot be used at will, and require special conditions to be activated. One of them requires characters to sustain damage during battle. During boss battles summons can be used once the boss takes a specific amount of damage. If either condition is met, a Summon Gauge appears, with a set time required before the summon can be invoked. Summoning requires ATB, and can be used once per battle. Certain Summons can only be used in specific boss battles, while others can be summoned at any, including against normal enemies. The size of the summon is a factor in which fights it can be summoned in; the smaller DLC summons can be used in any fight where summoning is possible, while larger summons, like Leviathan, are limited to larger, more open arenas. If no summons that are compatible with the arena are equipped, the Summon Gauge will not appear.

Once invoked, the summon will fight as an independent ally, but special actions can be activated by any character with the required ATB gauge(s). Once the time limit is reached, the summon will execute its ultimate attack before departing. The summon also uses its ultimate attack if the summoner is KO'd.

Summons are categorized by their roles in battle: Carbuncle, for example, is a Support/Healer summon while Ifrit is combat-focused.

The summoning materia for Chocobo Chick is available to those who pre ordered any version of Remake. The Digital Deluxe Edition provides the Carbuncle, and Cactuar summoning materia, where only the latter is only available in the Physical Deluxe Edition. All are added to the player's inventory at the start of the game, and if the player has any of them the summoning materia slot will appear in Chapter 2, "Fateful Encounters". Otherwise, the slot does not appear until players receive the Ifrit materia from Jessie at the end of Chapter 3, "Home Sweet Slum". Summoning for the first time unlocks the trophy "My First Summon", while finding the Chocobo & Moogle materia grants the trophy "Cleanup Crew".

List of materia[edit | edit source]

Materia ATB Summon Abilities Role Acquirement
Carbuncle 1
  • Ruby Light
  • Nacre Light
  • Emerald Light
  • Diamond Dazzle (Ultimate)
Support/Heal Digital Deluxe Edition
Cactuar 1
  • 1000 Needles: deals non-elemental damage.
  • 10,000 Needles?: non-elemental ultimate attack.
Combat, deals fixed damage Any Deluxe Edition
Chocobo Chick 1
  • Chocofire: deals fire damage.
  • Chocoblizzard: deals ice damage.
  • Chocothunder: deals lightning damage.
  • Chocogust: deals wind damage.
  • Chocoflare: non-elemental ultimate attack.
Combat, deals various types of elemental damage in area Base game Pre order Bonus
Ifrit 1
  • Radiant Plume: fire-elemental area damage.
  • Crimson Dive: damage enemies from above.
  • Hellfire: fire-elemental ultimate attack.
Combat, deals fire damage Automatically obtained
Chocobo & Moogle 1
  • Moogle Blast: deals area damage.
  • Chocobo Kick: significantly increases stagger.
  • Stampede: wind-elemental ultimate attack.
Combat (Chocobo: deals wind damage, Moogle: deals non-elemental damage) "Inside the Ventilation Fan"
Shiva 1
  • Icicle Impact: significantly increases stagger.
  • Heavenly Strike: significantly increases stagger.
  • Diamond Dust: ice-elemental ultimate attack.
Combat, deals ice damage. Chadley's VR Missions
Fat Chocobo 2
  • Kaboom: significantly increases stagger.
  • Bombs Away: deals area damage.
  • Kerplunk: non-elemental ultimate attack.
Combat, deals non-elemental damage Chadley's VR Missions
Leviathan 2
  • Briny Bellow: significantly increases stagger.
  • Gyre Spume: damages nearby enemies.
    Tidal Wave: non-elemental ultimate attack.
Combat, deals non-elemental damage Chadley's VR Missions
Bahamut 2
  • Umbral Inferno: multi-hit non-elemental attack.
  • Umbral Strikes: non-elemental attack.
  • Megaflare : non-elemental ultimate attack.
Combat, deals non-elemental damage Chadley's VR Missions

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

Design[edit | edit source]

Concept art of Shiva.

The team decided that simply recreating the summons as they were in the original Final Fantasy VII would not be enough for modern graphical designs. The summons went through many iterations to make them feel "magnificent, supernatural, and majestic" and were given glowing particle effects to capture their essence.[1] Ifrit, as a fire summon, was made to express his ferocious brutality through cracks in burning lava and black volcanic rock formations. Shiva's color tones were made cooler, and she was given metallic accessories. Bahamut also went through many iterations before his final version was chosen.[1]

The developers originally wanted to bring back Ramuh who appears in most Final Fantasy games. He was dropped in favor of Leviathan to allow players to summon the water serpent in Mako Reactor 1, something that was possible in the Final Fantasy VII demo, during chapter select.[1]

Summons as rewards[edit | edit source]

Chadley's portable VR battle simulator.

Because of the lore of the summons, it would not make sense for the party to run into them in Midgar. Therefore, summons were introduced as VR battles as a tribute to Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- where virtual battles were used for SOLDIER training. Since the Shinra Combat Simulator does not appear until the Shinra Building near the end of the game, the portable VR headset was given to Chadley, as inspired by PlayStation VR.[1]

The developers wished for summons to feel like a special event,[2] but also like a reward for the player. Early on in development, it was decided that summoning materia could only be obtained by defeating that monster in battle. This was not present in the original Final Fantasy VII, where summons are found among the story areas, and rewarded for completing side objectives, but for Final Fantasy VII Remake, the developers wished for players to feel a greater sense of achievement when obtaining them.[1]

Gameplay balancing[edit | edit source]

When bringing back summons from the original game, the developers wanted to ensure that they (along with any mechanic brought back from the original) could not simply be used as a sure-fire way to win a battle, feeling that this would lead to battles becoming repetitive. Summons were balanced by limiting their use with the developers also feeling they would be more memorable if experienced as a "fever time" where summons would stay and help the player thereafter. To make up for the restriction, the MP cost was reduced to 0.[2]

The developers also wanted the summons to stick around and give the player the ability to control them.[2][1] The original plan was for summons to have individual ATB bars and be given commands once filled. This was removed in favor of allowing party members to consume their own ATB to command summons, as though it allowed summons to feel collaborative, it did not change the feel of battles in a meaningful way, and lacked the desired "special feeling from summoning something strange in battle".[1]

Reception[edit | edit source]

Among survey respondents, Bahamut was the most popular summon at 40%, followed by Shiva at 20% and Ifrit at 19%.[3]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

Evocation is the act of calling upon or summoning a spirit, demon, god or other supernatural agent, in the Western mystery tradition. Comparable practices exist in many religions and magical traditions and may employ the use of mind-altering substances with and without uttered word formulas.

Materia means "matter" or "substance" in Latin, Spanish and Italian; it also means "subject" in Italian and Spanish, and is the ascendant of Portuguese "Matéria".

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Naoki Hamaguchi (June 22, 2020). How Square Enix created the Summons in Final Fantasy VII Remake. PlayStation Blog. Archived from the original on June 22, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Joe Juba (May 21, 2020). Final Fantasy VII Remake Creators Answer Our Questions About Summons, Combat, And Dance Scenes. Game Informer. Archived from the original on May 21, 2020.
  3. 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.
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