Crisis Core: How to get Costly Punch
There's a lot of powerful abilities in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion, but one of the absolute best is Costly Punch. There's a couple of catches to that, however - one being that Costly Punch is a bit of a Costly Pain to get.
The reason that Costly Punch is so valued is its sheer power - of all the Command Materia in the entire FF7 universe, this has to be one of the most overpowered. It's so useful for many of the late-game challenges in Crisis Core that it's become entirely associated with protagonist Zack Fair - and many fans of the PSP original breathed a sigh of relief when Costly Punch didn't get nerfed for the Crisis Core Reunion remaster.
- Why Costly Punch is so good
- How to get Costly Punch in Crisis Core
If you look at Costly Punch on paper, you might wonder what all the fuss is about. However, the way this particular Command Materia works is unique - though it has some similarities to a few other historical Final Fantasy abilities - and that's what makes it so powerful. To be specific:
- You can ignore that Attack Stat of 38. While it is technically true, Costly Punch is more valuable than many materia with a higher base stat.
- Costly Punch's strength is based on Zack's HP. The higher Zack's HP, the more damage Costly Punch can do. When paired with Breaking the Damage Cap or making use of the Reunion-exclusive Battle Stance mechanic with a higher Buster Sword Proficiency, that means it can very easily reach the higher, maximum damage limit of 99,999 damage.
- Costly Punch has a Cost, however. Depending on the version of the game you're playing, each use of the skill will deplete Zack's health by 1.5% (PSP) or 15% (Reunion, a major nerf). Plus, the move has a big wind-up that Zack can be hit out of - so you need to be careful using it.
- Nerf be damned, it's still must-have. Despite the damage it also deals to Zack being massively increased to nerf the move in Crisis Core Reunion, it's still one of the most powerful moves in the game - and you can always use an item or cast some magic to heal the HP lost back.
These elements make Costly Punch pretty unstoppable in the right setup, and that's why we've elsewhere named it one of the Best Materia in Crisis Core. So - how do you get it?
To get Costly Punch in both the PSP and Reunion versions of Crisis Core, the absolute quickest and earliest method is going to involve a bit of Materia Fusion. There are also some other ways you can get it, however - so the choice of which you do is up to you.
If you choose fusion or 'naturally' obtaining Costly Punch will largely depend on how deep you already are in the Crisis Core experience when you decide to get it. To speedrun to Costly Punch earlier, you'll want Fusion. Otherwise, you can get it as a reward for various things. Let us explain:
There are three methods you can use to get a Costly Punch Materia without having to craft it yourself. Both of these methods are late-game and require Zack to already be pretty beefy, however.:
- Grab Costly Punch from one of the treasure chests in Mission 9-5-4 'Abnormal Power'.
- Steal it from the Mako Ifrit boss in Mission 9-5-1 using the Steal/Mug Materia.
To use Materia Fusion to craft a Costly Punch, you'll need two primary ingredients: another punch Materia, and a DMW materia. There are other complicated methods to fuse and create a Costly Punch, but they require multiple mastered materia - and we assume that if you're reading this, you're trying to get Costly Punch relatively early on.
There's four possible alternative 'Punch' materia - Goblin Punch, Iron Fist, Magical Punch, and Hammer Punch. Here's where to get them:
- Goblin Punch can be stolen or obtained in certain missions:
- Can be stolen/mugged from the Vajradhara Kumbhira enemy (50% chance) in Missions 4-4-4, 4-4-5, and 9-2-1.
- From a treasure chest in Mission 9-5-4.
- A reward for collecting 10 chests in the Gongaga Waterfall minigame, available in the Gongaga Outskirts during Chapter 10.
- Complete 55% of the 300+ Side Missions accessible from save points - Goblin Punch is the reward.
- Iron Fist can be stolen from a handful of enemies:
- Steal it from a G-General enemy in either Mission 3-4-3 or 3-4-4.
- Magical Punch is available in quite a few side missions:
- Available as a reward for Mission 4-5-6, 5-4-2, and 9-3-4.
- Found in treasure chests in 6-5-5 and 7-5-5.
- Hammer Punch can be stolen or grabbed in a few missions:
- A reward for clearing 9-3-1, a late game mission.
- Available from a chest in Mission 3-5-1.
- Can be stolen from Vajradhara Kinnara in Mission 4-4-6 or 9-2-1.
And there's one DMW Materia for every single DMW character in the game, including the summons, as detailed in our DMW Guide. The DMW Materia are available from a few of the unlockable Crisis Core Shops, plus as a efw rewards:
- Junon Souvenirs, unlocked via a chest in Mission 2-4-1, sells Chocobo Mode DMW Materia.
- Bone Village Commerce is unlocked by opening a chest in Mission 7-5-3, and sells Summon DMW Materia.
- Research Dept. QMC+ is missable content, and must be picked up from a chest in Gongaga during Chapter 10.
- Mission Strand 9 also features some DMW Materia awards for certain missions in its later stages.
Once you have the DMW Materia and Punch Materia in hand, it's time to fuse Costly Punch!
To fuse Costly Punch, simply combine any DMW Materia with any of the other Punch Materia. The result will be your very own copy of one of the best skills in the game! Make sure you break that damage limit and HP cap and make your enemies bleed!
Remember, if you go to improve Costly Punch, it's pointless to put mats into improving its attack stat if it's your primary damage dealer. That's because despite being a Command Materia, Costly Punch's power is based off your HP, not your Attack stat - raising Attack doesn't buff it.