Zack Fair is one of the most famous Final Fantasy protagonists due to his courage and quirky humor. In this Zack Fair guide, we’ll look at this Final Fantasy character that is part of the Final Fantasy VII series. However, there was no information about Zack Fair before Crisis Core.
Square Enix released Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core on September 13, 2007, for the Playstation Portable. Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core is my favorite game out of all Final Fantasy games. The storytelling was top-notch, has a memorable soundtrack, and the action-packed gameplay complements the evolution of Final Fantasy games.
Honestly, in my opinion, Square Enix took inspiration from the battle system in Crisis Core and implemented a revised version of this in the Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core Zack Fair Gameplay
Battle System: Mechanics, Materia Fusion, and the DMW
The battle system of Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core involves controlling Zack Fair alone. There is no party system involved in the game. It is a free-flowing and real-time combat system where you can move Zack around the battlefield.
You control Zack by using the analog stick to move him during battle, and you can choose the move you would want him to perform using the L and R buttons of the PSP. The commands vary through a materia equipment system, in which you can either equip a magic spell that expends MP or physical attacks that uses AP. You also have the ability to dodge and block attacks.
You can use up to six materias at most. These materias vary from magic spells, special physical attacks, or passive stat bonuses. Acquisition of materias comes in the form of side missions, battle rewards, or in-game vendors.
One of the best features in this game is the mechanic called materia fusion. As the name suggests, materia fusion lets you combine materias to create an even more devastating materia.
An example of this is combining fire with a physical attack materia and making a fire-infused physical attack materia. Along with the materias, you can also gather special items that can further enhance the fused materias’ power.
The game also implemented a casino slot machine mechanic to grant you bonuses, lets you perform special moves, or even enables you to summon espers. This mechanic is called the DMW (Digital Mind Wave).
More characters in the DMW will unlock as you progress to the game, and when three of the same characters line up, Zack will perform a special move similar to Limit Break in other Final Fantasy games.
Zack will perform this limit break based on the character that lined up on the DMW; a great example of this would be Aerith Gainsborough. If Aerith is in the DMW and she rolled on all three slots, then Zack will perform a healing limit break.
Another feature of the DMW is the number slot system. If no characters line up, the game will check to see any matching numbers on the slot and provide temporary bonuses to Zack.
After collecting certain materias, there is a chance that the DMW may randomly change into an esper providing Zack the ability to summon the Esper and perform their signature move.
Most Powerful Build for Zack Fair in Crisis Core
This build is my take on the best materia and equipment for Zack Fair in Crisis Core. There are other variations; feel free to experiment with this build. This build is for the end-game of Crisis Core.
- Costly Punch with + 100atk (Through material fusion, combine any punch attack with a DMW materia)
- Energy/Ultima + 100 Mag (Material Fusion)
- Wall + 999% HP (Material Fusion + Enhancement Catalyst)
- Curage + 999% HP (Material Fusion + Enhancement Catalyst)
- Status Ward + 100 Spr (Material Fusion + Enhancement Catalyst)
- Hell Blizaga/Firaga + 100 Vit (Material Fusion + Enhancement Catalyst)
- Genji Armor (Complete all DMW, Limit HP to 99,999, and provides auto-Endure and Regen)
- Genji Gloves (Found in a chest in mission 9-6-4, raises damage limit to 99,999, and also every attack becomes critical)
- Genji Helm (Can be purchased on Net Shop Shade for 1 million Gil, gives auto-Libra and 0 costs to either AP or MP)
- Ziedrich (Can be obtained through a chest in 9-5-6, grants +100 ATK, vitality, magic, spirit plus halves all elemental damage attack taken.)
The Story of A Hero
Zack Fair was born in Gongaga, a native and remote village found outside of Midgar. Gongaga is one of the villages selected to have a Mako Reactor. At a young age, Zack envisioned himself leaving Gongaga and becoming a Soldier.
At 13, he left Gongaga and went to Midgar to become a Soldier, but becoming Soldier wasn’t his only aspiration; he wanted to be a First Class Soldier.
Soldier: Second Class
Being gifted with the natural ability to fight, Zack joined the military, quickly rose through the ranks, and became a Second Class Soldier. After working through the intense training and teaching of Angeal Hughley, a First Class Soldier, Zack gained the trust of Angeal. Angeal then entrusted and recommended Zack to be considered for promotion as Soldier: First Class.
Zack was obviously excited about Angeal’s recommendation to Doctor Lazard, and with this turn of events, Zack is now one step closer to becoming a Hero to the people. He idolized Sepiroth so much that Zack wanted to be a Hero, just like his Sephiroth.
With the recent desertion of a First Class Soldier named Genesis, Director Lazard provided Zack the opportunity to showcase his skills by infiltrating Wutai to investigate Genesis’ disappearance.
Zack infiltrated Wutai with ease; however, in a twisted turn, during the mission, Angeal went missing, and Sephiroth accused Angeal of deserting Soldier as well. Zack was insulted by Sephiroth’s accusation as he saw Angeal as a man with honor and integrity.
Sephiroth chose Zack for his supposed mission since he didn’t want to do anything with his two former comrades. Zack’s compassion and dedication to Angeal made Sephiroth conclude that Zack may be able to get Angeal back with little to no conflict.
Zack’s next mission was in Banora, Angeal and Genesis’ hometown. A Turk named Tseng accompanied Zack in this investigation mission.
Upon entering the town of Banora, Zack was only able to find Angeal’s mother, Gillian Hughley. Gillian then explained to Zack the honor and the origins of the fabled buster sword of Angeal. Tseng then called Zack over to the factory which housed Genesis’ copies and met Genesis for the first time along with Angeal.
After Shinra calls an attack of missiles over to Banora, Zack quickly hurried to Gillian to find her dead with Angeal standing on her lifeless body. Zack lashed out at Angeal, thinking that Angeal killed his mother.
However, the truth reveals that Gillian was part of Project G, an experimental project that gave birth to Genesis and Angeal. Genesis was imperfect, and he was degrading; hence he sought to use Gillian’s knowledge but instead of helping Genesis, Gillian took her own life. This turn of events left Zack confused and weighed heavy on his mind.
Zack Fair a Soldier: First Class
A few months after the events in Banora, Director Lazard promoted Zack to Soldier: First Class. However, Zack was not entirely enthusiastic about it due to what transpired in Banora. Director Lazard and Sephiroth felt that Zack’s emotion might get in the way of their next mission, killing Genesis and his allies, including Angeal.
Genesis launched a strike against Midgar, forcing Sephiroth and Zack to repel Genesis and his copies. While repelling the forces, Zack saved one of the Turks named Cissnei.
Sephiroth and Zack learned that Angeal was spotted in Mako Reactor Number Five as the conflict unfolded. After uncovering Doctor Hollander’s secret lab, Zack met Angeal again. However, this time around, Angeal was different.
Confused about Angeal’s new ideals, Zack refused to fight Angeal, thinking that Angeal was only bluffing. Angeal heavily punished this by blowing up the platform Zack was standing on, sending Zack to the Midgar Slums in Sector Five.
The Voice and Wing of An Angel
Zack ended up falling through the church’s roof, where a young girl named Aerith woke him up. Instantly attracted to Aerith, Zack tried to woe Aerith off her feet. As the day went by, Zack even convinced Aerith to tell him why she wasn’t fond of Soldiers. Zack bought Aerith a bow to commemorate their friendship.
Doctor Lazard then rang up Zack’s phone and ordered Zack to get back immediately as Genesis launched another attack yet again. Along his way back to the Shinra office, Angeal greeted Zack.
Zack has now reflected on what truly happened in Hollander’s secret lab; he realized that the old Angeal was still there no matter how convoluted his new ideals may be. Zack then initially agreed to help Angeal, and together, they defended Doctor Hojo.
Modeoheim: A City Filled with Tears of An Angel
Angeal then provided information to Zack that Angeal is actually in Modeoheim. Armed with this information, Zack and Tseng went to Modeoheim along with a few infantrymen.
The helicopter the crew was in crashed, and they had to go on foot towards Modeoheim. Zack had the chance to meet an infantryman who could keep up with him, and the infantryman was none other than Cloud Strife.
Upon getting to a Mako Reactor in Modeoheim, Zack witnessed Genesis and Hollander arguing, which he interrupted. This time, Zack was able to fight Genesis, and he beat Genesis in a not-so-fair way.
The only reason Genesis lost was because of his degradation. However, this fuzz was only a distraction as when Zack came back to Modeoheim, Angeal incapacitated Tseng and Cloud while chasing after Hollander.
Zack confronted Angeal; however, a shocking truth presented itself to Zack. Angeal is part of an experiment, and with this knowledge, Angeal can no longer bear the burden of being a monster. Angeal, wanting to retain his honor and his core values, forced Zack’s hand to kill him to stop his existence as a monster.
Zack was able to kill his friend and mentor Angeal. He was visibly distraught by the events of Angeal’s death. Before Angeal dies, he gives Zack the fabled Buster Sword to remind Zack of the virtues and values he lived with.
The immediate aftermath of Angeal’s death resulted in Zack’s grief and turned to Aerith while Zack was mentally healing. Once Zack had finally healed, he was ready to serve as the figure that Soldiers would look up to, much like how Angeal was to him. He encouraged the new batch of infantrymen to embrace their dreams protect their honors as Soldiers.
The Return of Genesis
All in Shinra thought that Zack and Sephiroth dealt with Genesis and Angeal, but to everyone’s surprise, Genesis busted Doctor Hollander out of his prison in Shinra. With Genesis copies running rampant, Zack asked Sephiroth if he could go and see if Aerith is doing alright. Sephiroth permitted Zack to see Aerith.
After defending Aerith from Genesis copies, it seems that there’s still an Angeal copy left in existence and is now guarding Aerith. Zack then built Aerith a flower wagon to help Aerith fill the streets with flowers.
But before they could celebrate much, Tseng summoned Zack to tell him he was assigned a mission with Sephiroth in Nibelheim, Sephiroth’s hometown. Tseng discreetly advised Zack that he may not return anytime soon. In turn, Zack looked up to Tseng and trusted him to take care of Aerith until he returned.
Nibelheim and Sephiroth’s Realization
Sephiroth and Zack’s mission in Nibelheim was to investigate the disappearance of soldiers and the sudden appearance of monsters near the reactor. Cloud and a young Tifa Lockheart serve as their guide in Nibelheim.
Once they got into the reactor, the crew found several mako-infused monsters created by Doctor Hojo. Sephiroth stated that even though average Soldiers are mako-infused, they are still human.
Zack pried in on this information and asked what he meant by average. Sephiroth suddenly experienced a headache due to the information he had about the Shinra Science Department and the coincidence that his mother and the calamity of a meteor falling from the skies are both called Jenova.
It’s as if Sephiroth had an enlightenment wherein he did not even consider that he might be part of the experiment as well.
Through a mere harmless question by Zack, Sephiroth became curious about his origins, and of course, Genesis arrived at the perfect time to even pique Sephiroth’s curiosity.
When Zack returned to the Inn where Cloud was resting, he told Cloud that he never thought being Soldier meant that he would have to deal with all of these complex situations.
Seven days later, after the reactor incident, Sephiroth lost his mind and burned the whole village of Nibelheim. Zack woke up to the sounds of screaming people and the searing heat of the flames. He then saw Sephiroth going towards the reactor and followed him quickly.
Sephiroth posed as a madman when Zack confronted him. Zack had the experience of a steadfast First Class Soldier, but this wasn’t enough to entirely best Sephiroth. Cloud rose to the occasion and stabbed Sephiroth while he was distracted with finally being reunited with his mother, Jenova.
When the cleanup crew of Shinra arrived in the Mako Reactor, Professor Hojo decided to use Zack and Cloud in his latest experiment. This experiment exposed Zack and Cloud to extreme levels of Mako, and they were both injected with Jenova Cells.
The effect of the Jenova Cells failed on both Zack and Cloud; hence Professor Hojo decided to leave them submerged in Mako at the Shinra mansion basement for over four years.
Zack was able to have a hallucination of Angeal, resulting in him regaining consciousness and finally being able to break out free. While Zack was fortunate enough to regain his consciousness, Cloud, on the other hand, had his mind scrambled due to the exposure of Mako energy. This unfortunate result handicapped Zack as he couldn’t leave his friend behind.
The Plan to Return to Midgar
Zack knew this would be an arduous journey due to Cloud holding him down, but he persevered through. While escaping and finding a way to get to Midgar, Zack learned that the Turks were also pursuing him and Cloud. This situation hurts since they were former comrades and the Turks and Zack formed a bond before the Nibelheim incident.
Cissnei tracked Zack down, and Zack knew he would easily beat Cissnei and combat and politely asked Cissnei to leave them be. However, Cissnei instead surprised Zack by giving them a motorcycle with a sidecar.
Genesis then stopped Zack and Cloud, theorizing that the injected Jenova Cells could help prevent his degradation. With results not living up to his imagination, Genesis then turns around and looks the other way for a solution to stop his degradation.
Zack and Cloud eventually stumbled upon Gongaga; however, Zack being naive, decided that it would be alright to see his parents one last time. Fortunately, Cissnei was there to scold Zack about his decision as Gongaga was the first place that the Shinra army would search.
As Shinra is one thing to worry about, Zack completely forgot about Genesis, and he was now targeting Cloud. An unlikely figure aided them in combat; Doctor Lazard, a former Shinra Director.
Doctor Lazard turned into an Angeal copy, in which Lazard later revealed that he wanted revenge on Shinra for their devious plans. After injecting himself with Angeal’s cells, Angeal’s ideals and values won Lazard over, resulting in Lazard’s urge to help Zack.
The Final Confrontation
After repelling Doctor Hollander and Genesis away from Cloud, Zack realized where Genesis has been staying this whole time. It’s none other than his hometown, Banora.
The two met in an epic battle that serves as the conclusion of Genesis’ tale. Zack returned to Cloud and Lazard with Genesis seemingly at the brink of his life. Soon after, Zack found out from Lazard that Aerith wrote him 89 letters. Lazard then passed away, joining the lifestream. Zack then realized that he had been in the Shinra Mansion for over four years.
With Shinra being the only problem left, Zack persevered to get to Midgar in hopes of finally returning to Aerith. However, Shinra decided to step up their game and send out more troops to find Zack and Cloud.
A Hero’s Noble Sacrifice
Zack and Cloud took an unusual route and decided to hitchhike a truck going to Midgar. Zack then talked to a seemingly unconscious Cloud about his hopes and dreams. However, Zack spotted an ambush from the Shinra troops, and then he prepared himself to fight their way out of the ambush.
“The price of freedom is steep.”
Zack said those words before he assaulted the Shinra troops. He then cleared almost every one of the infantrymen. With no more energy left within him due to his wounds, Zack was lying on the ground, bloodied and battered, as three more Soldiers approached him to finish him off.
After the battle, Cloud regained consciousness. With his dying breath, Zack passed on the Buster Sword as with what Angeal has done before, telling Cloud to be his living legacy.
Involvement in Final Fantasy VII Remake
To the surprise of Final Fantasy fans, it seems that Square Enix included Zack Fair in the latest remake of Final Fantasy. At the end of the first part of the remake, the ending cutscene heavily implied that Zack survived the Shinra Army onslaught and was able to take Cloud to Midgar himself.
With fans eager to know the next installment for the remake, Zack Fair will most likely have an appearance on the second part of the remake.
Other Notable Appearances
Zack also appeared in a few Square Enix games, these are:
- Dissidia Final Fantasy Opea Omnia (Mobile Game)
- Theatrhyhm Final Fantasy Curtain Call (Nintendo 3DS)
- Pictlogica Final Fantasy (Mobile Game and Nintendo 3DS)
- Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade (Mobile Game)
- Final Fantasy Artniks (GREE)
- Final Fantasy Record Keeper (Mobile Game, Microsoft Windows)
- Final Fantasy World Wide Words (Mobile Game)
- Mobius Final Fantasy (Mobile Game)
- World of Final Fantasy: Meli Melo (Mobile Game)
- Final Fantasy Trading Card Game
- Triple Triad (Final Fantasy Minigame)
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Is Zack Fair Alive?
Answer: In the Final Fantasy VII Remake Part 1, Square Enix heavily implied that they set the world in a different timeline; some events differed from the original Final Fantasy VII. Zack Fair was also seen in the ending cutscene surviving the massive Shinra Army where he was supposed to die.
We’ll have to wait for the second part of the game to see how Square Enix will play out Zack’s role in the remake.
Question: Is Zack a Clone of Sephiroth?
Answer: Zack technically became a failed clone of Sephiroth. Doctor Hojo injected Zack with the same Jenova Cells as Sephiroth; however, it did not have much of an effect on him. We can also consider a Sephiroth clone since Doctor Hojo injected Cloud with the Jenova Cells.
In the world of Final Fantasy VII, anyone injected with cells of a superior being can be called a clone.
Question: Why is Zack Fair Popular?
Answer: Zack Fair is famous because of his admiration and courage to be a Hero. His stance on honor, values, and dreams is very inspiring and appealing, especially for younger fans of the series.