How To Unlock (And Win) FF7 Rebirth’s Crunch-Off Mini-Game

How To Unlock (And Win) FF7 Rebirth’s Crunch-Off Mini-Game

Final Fantasy VII has been incorporating exercise mini-games ever since the original 1997 release challenged Cloud to pull off some competitive squats. Those returned in 2020’s Final Fantasy VII Remake, with pull-ups tossed in for good measure. Rebirth keeps things going by also introducing a new exercise competition into the mix: the Crunch-Off. Here, Tifa will face off against a few opponents to see who can do the most crunches in a given time limit.

Read More: 21 Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Mini-Games, Ranked From Worst To Best

It’s a fun mini-game, and certainly a reminder for some of us to maybe hit the gym in real life a bit more often than we do. Crunch-Off doesn’t unlock automatically, however. You’ll need to complete two side-quests to play it.

How to unlock Crunch-Off

Crunch-Off is set in a gym in the Corel region (near Costa del Sol, not the Gold Saucer). While you can visit this gym as soon as the region is open to you, this exercise mini-game won’t unlock until you finish the “Bodybuilders in a Bind” side-quest.

Read More: 15 Essential Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Side-Quests

This quest itself has a prerequisite: the “Rendezvous in Costa del Sol” side-quest, which is available in Chapter 7. Once you clear this, “Bodybuilders in a Bind” will be available on Costa del Sol’s job board.

Bodybuilders in a Bind

This side-quest is rather straightforward. You’ll just need to wipe out four groups of monsters in the area. Be sure to use Assess to understand each enemy’s weakness. After taking care of the fiends, you’ll head back to the gym to participate in a match of Crunch-Off. Achieve even the easiest reward here and you’ll wrap up this quest.

Read More: FF7 Rebirth: How To Romance Tifa

Bodybuilders in a Bind will also increase your relationship level with Tifa.

Crunch-Off tips and tricks

Crunch-Off is rather simple on paper: Using the shoulder buttons, you’ll execute a series of patterns to perform crunches to hopefully outpace your opponent. During the game, you’ll see these buttons displayed over Tifa, with an animation indicating when you need to hit the next button.

Screenshot: Square Enix / Claire Jackson / Kotaku

There are a few different opponents in Crunch-Off. You can chat with Amina, the girl dressed in blue, for some warm-ups or Ronnie, the guy dressed in orange, for the full mini-game.

The tricky part, of course, is that the button indicators will soon fade away. Therefore, it’s essential to remember the pattern and commit yourself to sustaining it over the course of the game.

As the competition continues, you can pick up the pace of the pattern. If you press a button too early, however, you’ll mess up your rhythm and need to start over again. Your opponent will likely gain a few more reps in the time it takes for you to reset, so you want to avoid this as much as possible.

The button indicators will also change color from time to time. When you see a green circle around each button, you’ll need to hold the R2 or L2 button down halfway for a short period of time before pushing the button all the way down. A yellow circle around a button means that you’ll need to repeatedly tap that button to finish the rep.

Crunch-Off makes use of the DualSense’s adaptive triggers to increase resistance. While this is a neat immersive feature, you may wish to turn this off for an easier time. Also, if you have a DualSense Edge, changing the travel distance of the controllers will likely make your experience harder, if not impossible. I was never able to pull off the half-trigger squeeze with the L2/R2 buttons set to hair-trigger mode.

I also advise ignoring the crunch counter at the bottom of the screen. You want to keep your eyes on the buttons while they’re visible and focus your attention on the rhythm of the game. Looking at the numbers is a good way to distract yourself and psyche yourself out.

Crunch-Off is a fun, though challenging, mini-game. Once you’ve mastered it, maybe it’s time to try out some IRL exercises. Here’s an hour-long remix of the battle music played during Remake and Rebirth’s exercise mini-games to help get you going. And no, this song will not help you run a 5k every day without substantial injury (ask me how I know).

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