|Final Fantasy VII Boss|
- See also: Midgardsormr
- “It's a serpent-like creature over 30 feet tall!! It picks up on footsteps that enter the marshes... And then, BAM!! It attacks!!!”
- —Chocobo Bill
The Midgar Zolom appears as a grey serpentine shadow gliding across the marsh. Riding a chocobo makes the party fast enough to outrun it. After traversing the swamp for the first time, the player enters a one-time field location, entitled Marshes, where a Midgar Zolom is impaled on a tree, leading the party to speculate the feat was done by Sephiroth. If the player enters the menu the moment the scene is about to play they can skip it.
If the party battles Midgar Zolom, they must kill it to proceed - if they flee, they are transported back to the edge of the swamp. Midgar Zolom can eject someone out of battle; this will not flag them as defeated, and because that person is still alive, it is not Game Over even if the other characters die, and the current party leader will appear on the edge of the swamp. Even if killed, the Midgar Zolom quickly respawns to begin chasing the party again.
Due to the configuration of the marsh area, it is possible, though difficult, to outrun the creature on foot in either direction. From the Chocobo Farm side, it can be done starting from the point furthest out into the marsh, with the Midgar Zolom to the left and slightly behind the player. From the Mythril Mine side, the player must wait until the Midgar Zolom is moving away and towards the far right side of the swamp (from the point of view of having exited the mine). If well timed, the player can avoid the Midgar Zolom and run past it.
The player may also utilize the Save Game exploit, which is done by starting to cross the swamp, and when the Zolom's shadow is about to attack, the player can save the game, exit and reload the game. Midgar Zolom will spawn on the other side of the swamp.
When the battle begins, Midgar Zolom attacks only by using its physical attack, Bite. The attacks are powerful and can kill or severely weaken a character. As an upside, the attack will fill a character's Limit Break meter.
Midgar Zolom has three other abilities, which it will always perform as counterattacks in response to direct attacks, all when its HP is at a certain percentage:
If it takes damage when below 3/4 HP, it uncoils, rising into the air. If it takes damage when below 1/2 HP, it will use Push to remove a character from battle. If it takes damage at low HP, it will use the powerful Beta attack inflicting approximately 1,000 - 1,200 Fire-elemental damage on the entire party. Using the Sense Materia is recommended for determining Midgar Zolom's current HP if Midgar Zolom is poisoned, as the damage display may be off-screen during attack animations, and Poison may hit twice per round.
If there is no direct attack at low HP, but only Poison damage, the Midgar Zolom may still push, even a second time, instead of using Beta. If damaged only by poison, Midgar Zolom will not use Beta, and may not push or stand up either.
Elemental Materia connected to a Fire Materia in armor will halve Beta's damage. Fighting in the back row and using Defend each halve Bite's physical damage; both together bring it down to 80 or so. Using a Tranquilizer to put characters in Sadness reduces both physical and magic damage by 30%.
The Spirit stat (and thus the Talisman) reduces the magic damage from Beta (Magic Defense was not implemented in Final Fantasy VII); armor Defense and the Vitality stat (and therefore Protect Vest) reduce physical damage. Characters' HP gain at level up is random within a given range; given his HP rises high enough each level, Barret can survive Beta at level 11, using the above tactics.
The Poison damage from Bio or Deadly Waste gives the player plenty of time to time attacks; Midgar Zolom takes 125 HP of poison damage per round. A faster result can be obtained by also using Gravity damage. If Gravity or Laser are unavailable, the party can use any Graviballs they may have won from Deenglows in the Train Graveyard in Midgar to do heavy damage.
Poison damage can kill the Midgar Zolom immediately after using Beta if the provoking strike is carefully timed to knock it below 125 HP. Poison status, and the three attacks, at 3,000 HP, 2,000 HP and low HP, are all that is required to both kill the Midgar Zolom and make it cast Beta. This sequence is recommended for low level parties, as it can Push twice, Push then Beta, Push then Bite, not cast Beta at all, and all manner of other inconvenient combinations, if other sequences of attacks are used. Conversely, if the player wishes only to kill Midgar Zolom and prevent it from casting Beta, poisoning it only, with no further attacks, will ensure it does not cast Beta.
Surviving Beta at the lowest possible level relies on it missing altogether. Given enough attempts, this can be achieved by giving a character a command to use a Hyper and confusing them with Loco Weed before the Hyper is used, whereupon they have a chance of using Hyper (which cannot normally be used against enemies) on the Midgar Zolom. This gives a 15.37% chance of Beta missing altogether.
Due to its respawning and automatic attack, Midgar Zolom can become a target of automated leveling for high level parties, with an auto-fire controller and Final Attack - Revive or - Phoenix combinations, limited only by available MP.
Characters that are pushed out of the battle will have the Fury and Sadness status effects removed.
If the player is trying to obtain the Beta as Enemy Skill, they must make sure the character who holds the Enemy Skill Materia both survives the attack and wins the battle. The simplest way to do this at low levels is to equip an Elemental Materia in a linked slot with a Fire Materia to reduce Beta's damage to approximately 600, allowing a character with high enough HP to survive it.
The character can then cast Beta to kill the Midgar Zolom and end the battle with Beta learned. The player must be sure, however, that the character with this Materia set-up does not attack once the Midgar Zolom rises into the air so it is less likely to target them with Push, and focus on the other two characters for offense.
Aeris's level 3 Limit Break, Planet Protector, makes the party invincible; using this at the right time can ensure the party survives Beta. The Fire Ring from Costa del Sol, equipped on the character holding the Enemy Skill Materia, nullifies all damage from Beta (and potentially allows the player to counterattack with Beta).
- Main article: Midgardsormr#Etymology
The name "Midgar Zolom" is a variation of "Miðgarðsormr", a serpent from Norse mythology said to swim in the ocean surrounding Midgard, preventing travelers from crossing into higher or lower realms. It is named so as it resides in the swamps near Midgar.
- There is an unused battle (#470) where the Midgar Zolom is fought inside the Shinra Building. This was unlikely to ever be used in the final game, however it is a scenario that means the Midgar Zolom is actually fought in Midgar.