This simple Final Fantasy 7 Remake mission forces you to battle one of the game’s toughest enemies – Tonberry. He may seem like a simple green man, but this creature is a killer that cannot be stopped. The chef’s knife attack kills your characters with one hit. Moreover, it can paralyze you, switch remotely, use Insta magic, and stop time. It’s a nightmare to fight, and if you’ve been struggling to win, we’ve got a few times that might make your life a lot easier.
Tonberry is encountered in the “Malicious Goons” side mission, obtained by talking to Madame M at the Wall Market. You’ll get this mission very far in the game – along the way in Chapter 14, you’ll find several other side missions to complete before attacking the Shinra Tower. Before rushing to search for your last solution, here’s how to complete this extremely challenging side mission.
Malicious Goons | Side-Quest Guide
Location: Slum 6 – Wall Market – talk to Madame M near S6-5. It will direct you to a gang attack once again in the Eryth house in Sector 5 slum.
You’ll find the goons waiting for you in the arena where you faced Rude earlier in the game. Instead of fighting thugs, you have to fight Tonberry. This creature is a famous monster from the Final Fantasy universe, and it is extremely difficult to beat it here.
How to defeat Tonberry: Avoid the attack of the chef’s knife – it kills with one blow. Dodge and attack after you err to build the Stagger gauge faster. You will have a short window before it attacks you again after each missed knife strike.
Before attempting to fight the Tonberry, stock up on the Phoenix Down and equip Barret with a long-range weapon and the Raise Materia. This way he can revive your teammates and build his own ADP without ever having to get close to Tonberry. You don’t need to heal, because Tonberry does no harm – it kills you, or it doesn’t.
The Punisher Pose can safely attack the Tonberry knife. Use it to protect against Tonberry Teleport attack. Tonberry is likely to attack your party leader, so when he teleports, switch to Cloud and Guard in Punisher Mode. You are guaranteed to survive a sudden knife attack.
Note: Vandalism material gives you resistance to instantaneous death spells. It doesn’t appear to be working against his knife, but it should work against Tonberry’s instant death spell. Test it – it might save your life.
Keep Barret away from Tonberry to avoid his deadly Freeze Time attack. Tonberry can stop time in a small area of influence around his body. When this attack accuses, move away – or switch to Barret and keep shooting out of range. When the Tonberry is low on HP, time will stop in a small area around it. Use Barret to distract Tonberry after he casts this spell to save your allies.
Tonberry is only immune to sleep. Other status effects like Poison will work on it – but they’re not very effective. Time Materia also helps slow Tonberry or speed up ADP gains. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to protect against a Tonberry knife attack. It’s an instant kill, so I recommend using Cloud mostly – use it to feed Tonberry. If you are in Punisher Mode and Guard then you are always safe.
The trick is just to avoid letting Tonberry kill your entire group. Use a raise whenever you can, or use Phoenix Downs. Stay alive, drop it slowly, and you win. There is no great prize for completing this side research – just a step closer to completing 100%.