Minerva is at level 100 and has 10,000,000 HP and 999,999 MP. She uses non-elemental attacks, the strongest being Judgment Arrow, an attack with animations resembling that of a summon. Her special move is Judgment Arrow that greatly depletes the player's HP, takes away their MP and AP and nullifies buffs (including Raise).
Once she is defeated, the player obtains the accessory Divine Slayer, which increases HP, MP, and AP by +100%, and increase all stats +50, breaks the HP, MP, AP, and Damage limits, and gives Auto-Libra. The player can repeat the battle even after she is defeated.
Zack will need to be able to break the damage limit. The battle should not be entered without a Costly Punch Materia, which will deal a maximum of 99,999 damage (if the player only uses Costly Punch it will take 101 hits to win), a Full Cure/Curaga Materia, a Phoenix Down, a lot of Elixir, Soma, and Ether items.
It would be recommended that as soon as the player sees Judgment Arrow, they switch to Ether, and select it so that Zack can restore his MP and use Full Cure. It is also advised to have Zack equipped with a Phoenix Down, and if he uses that one, mug more from Minerva.
It is not worth equipping a Libra because Minerva's HP and MP are hidden due to being so high. The player should be aware of the attacks that Minerva throws at Zack and guard only if dodge roll is not possible. Player should always aim to interrupt the Ultima casting, and not spam Costly Punch.
The player should not recklessly press on Costly Punch, because it won't make Zack's attacks come any faster, and he might need to switch to dodge roll or guard. If Zack has under 3/4 of his max HP, the player should be prepared to heal directly after Minerva uses Krysta.
Minerva also uses a slow-moving but high-damaging homing attack called Crimson Flare. It is possible to avoid this attack by running, but if it hits it will do serious damage. Even with a full set of Genji equipment, Ziedrich, and Materia with high stat boosts, this fight can be very difficult.
Equipping the SP Master is highly recommended as it will reduce the damage and increase damage considerably (approximately doubles Zack's damage output and reduces damage taken to 0, if mastered) by spending SP points. A good equipment setup is Ziedrich, Genji Armor, Genji Gloves, and Genji Shield or Protect Ring and Materia that increases Strength, Vitality, Spirit, and HP to the maximum. With the stats and equipment, if Zack guards, her attacks will cause between 100 and 7,000 damage. One should be sure to have at least 20 million SP.
To have a large amount of SP or money, one can mug 99 Phoenix Downs from Minerva and sell them, then buy a lot of Dualcast Materia and convert to SP. An alternate and easier method is using Materia Fusion and the 99 Phoenix Downs to create a Curaga Materia with +999 HP stat (Curaga + Libra + Fat Chocobo Feather to convert the attached stat to HP and then Curaga + Libra + 99 Phoenix Downs to max out the HP stat) and then converting it to SP. This Curaga Materia takes approximately 1 million SP to make but when converted, grants 2 million SP. (These strategies will not work with the game's Japanese version since once a mission is lost it will be Game Over). The Dualcast Materia can be bought from the Net Shop Shade.
- The hardest group of missions becomes available early in the game, right after Zack is promoted to a SOLDIER 1st Class, thus it is possible to do these missions before receiving the Buster Sword, especially if the player is playing in New Game+. The Minerva battle starts off with a cutscene showing Zack with the Buster Sword even though it hasn't been obtained yet, and because the cutscene transfers directly into the battle, the Buster Sword remains on Zack for the battle. However, wielding different weapons are merely cosmetic in Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, so it won't affect anything outside the sword's appearance.