How to make Crisis Core FF7 harder by unlocking the Cursed Ring

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is one of those games that is fairly breezy, even on hard mode - but it's also luckily a game that you can quite easily make more difficult with a specific item - the Cursed Ring.

Perhaps you find Hard Mode too easy, or maybe you just find the massively random Digital Mind Wave (DMW) system to be annoying. Maybe you're a PSP veteran about to begin playing the remastered Crisis Core Reunion and really want to test your skills. Whatever the reason, if just want a bit more of a challenge, you may want to try a playthrough using the Cursed Ring.

The Cursed Ring is a special equippable accessory item that has two key effects: it removes the DMW slot machine system, and gives you a +10 bonus to all stats.

This massively changes the way Crisis Core plays, as the DMW is a core part of the experience. It is, however, random, based on how some of the staff behind the game enjoyed Pachinko and Slot Machines. Without the random bonuses the DMW affords you, Crisis Core becomes much, much more difficult.

How to get the Cursed Ring to get rid of the DMW and make Crisis Core Harder

The Cursed Ring can only be obtained right at the start of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, and is easily missable.

For what it's worth, before we get into how to get the Cursed Ring in Crisis Core, we want to once again note that it’s recommended to save the Cursed Ring for subsequent playthroughs or if you are very comfortable with the game’s systems and mechanics. It really makes the game completely different.

With that said, the next important thing to note is that the Cursed Ring is only available early on and can be easily missed. If you have missed it, you're out of luck until New Game Plus or a new save file.

At the beginning of the game when Kunsel explains to Zack the items you can get from the SOLDIER storage chests in Shinra HQ, after getting the initial offerings from Shinra, you will want to keep checking the empty bin. Kunsel will scold you for looking for things, but just keep checking!

After checking the bin about 20 times, Kunsel will finally concede and give you one more item, the Cursed Ring, and from then onward, it will be in your inventory to equip when you wish. 

It might take as many as 20 times, but keep mashing on the box to persuade Kunsel to give up the Cursed Ring, allowing you to abolish the DMW.

By locking away the DMW you will lose all the benefits associated with the mechanic, including:

  • Leveling up & Mastering Materia
  • Buffs during combat
  • No Summons or Limit Breaks
  • No leveling up of materia, meaning missing out on any materia fusion results that require mastered materia. 

Playing with the Cursed Ring equipped is the true Iron Man, super hard mode for Crisis Core - if that's your kind of thing. There's no reward for playing that way, either - just a gentle stroking of your ego. Good luck!