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Crisis Core DMW guide

Let's get to grips with the core Crisis Core DMW mechanic, so you can learn how to use your limit breaks, summons, Chocobo Mode companions, and more

Crisis Core DMW - Zack preparing to fight Bahamut

The Crisis Core DMW system is a core mechanic in both the original and the recent remaster, allowing you to turn the tides of battle in your favour, perform special attacks and summons, and more. However, it can be a little tricky to get your head around, especially if you’ve not played the original PSP game. So allow us to guide you through the Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion DMW mechanics, how to unlock summons and Chocobo Mode companions, and more.

If you’re yet to decide on whether to dive into this exciting remaster, check out our Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion review. Or, for more assistance on your journey, check out our Crisis Core characters and Crisis Core missions guides.

What is Crisis Core DMW?

DMW stands for ‘Digital Mind Wave’ and is one of the game’s core mechanics. You can use it to turn the battle around to your favour, perform a limit break or summon, or even to heal. You unlock multiple DMW limit breaks by progressing through the story, but you can only unlock some of the special summons and companions by completing side missions.

Crisis Core DMW screen showing a bunch of characters

How does the Crisis Core DMW system work?

While in-game, at the top-left corner of your screen, you can see three slots, each with an image and a number. The combination of images and numbers here determines what type of buff or reward you get.

The images can enter a limit verge state based on the limit gauge state that you’re in. The limit gauge state has five different stages – Low, Normal, High, Sky High, and Heavenly – that are dictated by your actions. The higher the stage of your limit state, the higher the chances are that a limit verge will occur. These chances also increase when Zack has heightened emotions towards a character.

DMW not only gives you buffs and allows you to activate summons and limit breaks, but it also shows you when Zack will level up, and consistently activates reels during battle as long as you have enough SP. You earn more SP by defeating enemies and using limit breaks so, with the DMW system working alongside you, it’s rare that you’ll find yourself running out of SP, even when keeping those reels spinning.

When the DMW reels stop on three matching images, Zack enters the limit break state, allowing you to unleash a special attack. The limit break Zack uses depends on which matching images come up. For example, Aerith’s Healing Wave limit break allows Zack to restore a massive amount of HP, whereas Sephiroth’s Octaslash sees Zack unleash a flurry of powerful sword attacks.

If the three matching images are of summons, you can enter Summon Mode, triggering the summon’s limit break.

Crisis Core DMW Chocobo Mode companion limit breaks

What are the Crisis Core DMW effects?

The Crisis Core DMW effects offer unique buffs, which generally last for a limited time, and are determined by Zack’s current state. When Zack isn’t in a limit verge state, DMW provides him with these effects based on the combination of images and numbers.

  • 777: invincible
  • 666: critical
  • 555: null physical damage
  • 444: reduces AP cost to zero until the battle ends
  • 333: null magic damage
  • 222: reduces MP cost zero until the battle ends
  • 111: invincible
  • 77-: reduces AP and MP cost zero
  • 7-7: null physical damage
  • -77: null magic damage
  • 7–: reduces AP cost zero
  • -7-: reduces MP cost zero
  • –7: endure

When Zack is in the limit verge state and the numbers between one and six match, the materia in the corresponding materia slot levels up. If a double match occurs, the materia gains one level, whereas if a triple match happens, the materia gains three levels. Check out our Crisis Core materia fusion guide to find out more about the uses of these tricky little treasures.

Crisis Core DMW list of limit breaks

Where can I find the Crisis Core DMW summons?

Here are the locations of each of the Crisis Core summons and how to unlock them.

Crisis Core Ifrit location

After completing M8-1-1, fight Ifrit again to earn the materia.

Crisis Core Bahamut location

Complete M8-1-4 and defeat Bahamut again to get the materia

Crisis Core Bahamut Fury location

You need to clear most of Yuffie’s missions and battle Bahamut Fury again in M8-5-6 to gain this materia. Just be warned that it’s much stronger this time around!

Crisis Core Odin location

Beat M8-1-6 to earn the Odin materia

Crisis Core Phoenix location

You can’t obtain the Phoenix materia through a mission, and instead, need to find it in Nibelheim. When you arrive, talk to the little boy in the main party of town, who tells you about the ‘seven wonders of Nibelheim’, and informs you that the water in the town has turned red.

After talking to him, climb the water tower at the centre of the town and grab the Phoenix materia. Note that you have to collect the Phoenix materia before talking to Sephiroth in the basement of Shinra Manor, as you won’t be able to obtain it after this point.

Crisis Core DMW Tonberry summon acquirement screen

Where can I find the Crisis Core DMW Chocobo Mode companions?

Near the beginning of the game you bump into Yuffie during a mission in Wutai. This encounter unlocks the M8-4 and M8-5 missions, which allow you to unlock several Chocobo Mode companions.

Crisis Core Chocobo companion location

Unlock the Chocobo as a reward for beating M8-4-1.

Crisis Core Cactuar companion location

Begin by defeating the Cactuar enemy in M3-1-33, before you fight the Genesis clone. This unlocks a selection of later missions, including M10-1-3, which you need to beat in order to unlock the Cactuar Chocobo Mode companion.

Crisis Core Tonberry location

Like the Cactuar companion, begin by defeating the Tonberry enemy hanging around in M6-1-5 to unlock a section of later missions. Then, you need to beat the M10-2-3 mission to unlock the Tonberry companion.

Crisis Core Cait Sith location

Complete M8-4-3 to unlock the Cait Sith companion.

Crisis Core Moogle companion location

Complete M8-4-4 to unlock the Moogle companion.

Crisis Core Magic Pot companion location

The Magic Pot companion is a bit of a tricky one, as you need to encounter it randomly in mission 10-2-3. It appears as an enemy with a heap of HP, requiring you to use your materia to meet its demands. It requests that you perform Fira, Gravity, Assault Rush, and Jump. Once you’ve appeased it, the Magic Pot leaves, and you unlock it as a permanent companion.

That’s everything you need to know about the Crisis Core DMW system, and where to find each of the different summons and companions. If you’re ready to head off on another fresh adventure, check out our list of the best Switch RPGs. Or, for some time to unwind after all that limit breaking and summoning, head over to our Coin Master free spins and kick back with the king of all pigs.