FF7 Rebirth’s Confusing ‘Retry From This Battle’ Screen, Explained [Update: They Fixed It, Kinda]

FF7 Rebirth’s Confusing ‘Retry From This Battle’ Screen, Explained [Update: They Fixed It, Kinda]

As an epic RPG, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth has a ton of fights. Sometimes, the battle doesn’t go your way, and it’s clear you’re headed towards a “game over” screen. But don’t worry, Rebirth has a handy feature that can reset nearly all fight sequences in the game, bringing you back to the start for a neat little redo. The only problem? The fight reset menu has some of the most confusing language in all of Rebirth. Yeah, even the ending’s easier to figure out than this.

You probably know what I’m talking about: the dreaded “Retry From This Battle” vs “Retry From Before Current Phase” confusion. Well, I don’t blame you for being perplexed—it’s a very weirdly worded feature. The game’s most recent patch renamed one of these options to make it a little bit easier to read—but it’s still kinda confusing.

Battles and Phases

Rebirth’s most recent update gave us a new vocabulary term (exciting!). Now, Rebirth characterizes a “Battle” as any single or series of connected fights. Battles can be made up of one or more “Phases,” which are interruptions in the battle, usually with an unskippable cutscene where the characters deliver a few one-liners or some fancy combat moves. When the fight resumes, it’s common to see a boss adopt a new form. The game’s final boss is the most obvious example of this.

Scenes like this often indicate a change in a Battle’s “Phases.”
Screenshot: Square Enix / Claire Jackson / Kotaku

Any time you can imagine Barret saying “what’s it doing now?” Usually followed by Cloud saying “just stay focused,” followed up by Tifa shouting “we got this, guys!” you’ve probably entered a new Phase.

Retry From This Battle or Before Battle, Explained

In my time testing out exactly what the battle restart options do, I’ve learned that the game is not entirely consistent with how it applies each choice to various encounters. And how Rebirth defines a “Battle” doesn’t help, as it seems to use the term to refer to two or three different kinds of gameplay features.

If you’re fighting a boss and there’s a pause for a cutscene halfway through and after that cutscene you continue fighting the boss with a diminished health bar in a new combat sequence, you’ll see two options when hitting the menu button and selecting Retry Battle:

  • Retry from This Battle
  • Retry from Before Battle

Selecting “This Battle” will send you to the beginning of the fight, with combat engaged, meaning you’re immediately thrust into in the start of it. This is a great option if you just want to wipe the entire Battle and start from the beginning, with the intention of still fighting.

Note: Background has been blurred to conceal enemy name.
Screenshot: Square Enix / Claire Jackson / Kotaku

Choosing “Before Battle” will send you to the moments right before you engage in the fight, meaning you’re out of combat and must do whatever that sequence requires you to do to initiate the fight (such as walking past a certain point). You should choose “Before Battle” if you want to back out of fighting altogether to go do something else (assuming you’re not at a point in the story that doesn’t let you go out and traverse the world, such as the game’s concluding series of boss fights).

Retry from Before Current Battle, This Battle, or Before Battle, Explained

If you are fighting a boss who shifts into a new form and has an entirely new health bar, or there are waves of enemies all contained within the same fight, the Retry menu gets confusing, as you’ll now have three reset options:

  • Retry from Before Current Phase
  • Retry from This Battle
  • Retry from Before Battle
Pictured: The Retry Battle menu as of Update 1.030.
Screenshot: Square Enix / Claire Jackson / Kotaku

The best example of this is the final fight of the game, so to avoid spoilers I won’t mention who you’ll fight (though you can probably guess). In this scenario, you’re fighting Monster 1 in a series of battles, followed by Monster 2, then Monster 3, etc. Let’s say you’re fighting Monster 2 after besting Monster 1, the Retry Battle options will work as follows:

  • “Retry from Before Battle” sends you back to the non-fighting part before Monster 1.
  • “Retry from Before Current Phase” will send you to the beginning of Monster 2’s fight sequence.
  • “Retry from This Battle” starts you at the beginning of Monster 1’s phase with your characters in combat.

While I remain incredibly curious about many facets that went into Rebirth’s development, the language of the retry battle screen is probably my number one question Did this confuse people in playtests? Is this a translation issue? Are other people confused? Regardless of why this is the way that it is, just know that “Before Battle” takes you out of combat entirely, “Current Battle” resets a specific phase of combat, and “This Battle” resets the entire fight.

I wish I didn’t need to write a guide for such a thing, but here we are. Have fun!

Updated: 16/4/2024, 1:40 AM AEST: Updated the guide above to reflect recent changes to Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.

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