Fort Condor is located in the Junon area, near the back entrance to the Mythril Mine. It's easily accessible from Junon (though a river appears there later in the game).
The basic problem is this: Folks at Fort Condor are waging war against Shinra, who seem to be hell bent on conquering back their precious Mako reactor. The Fort folks merely want to protect the giant condor who is nesting on top of the reactor.
So you're going to spend money on a gigantic warfare simulation. You can either let the folks fight it out themselves, or command the troops yourself. The gameplay isn't too deep, but it's an interesting and fun real-time strategy minigame.
When to play
Fort Condor is an interesting minigame, and you can access it in various parts of the journey.
Shinra attacks the fort a total of 21 times, which are as follows:
|1||1.2.2. Right after the Mithril Mine||11||Weapon: Nanaki's Magic Comb|
|2||1.2.2. Before riding dolphin in Junon||20||Accessory: Peace Ring|
|3||1.2.2. In Junon, after riding the dolphin, before jumping||20||Item: 3 ethers|
|4||1.2.4. After getting the buggy, before getting to Cosmo Canyon||30||Item: megalixir|
|5|| 1.2.5. After the Gi Cave is opened, before defeating Gi Nattak
(but only if the buggy is working)
|25||Item: 5 hi-potions|
|6||1.2.5. After clearing the Gi Cave, before Rocket Town||30||Item: 5 hi-potions|
|7||1.2.6. In Rocket Town, after talking to Shera, before Rufus arrives||30||Weapon: Yuffie's Superball|
|8||1.3.1. After getting the Tiny Bronco, before getting the keystone||30||Item: 3 turbo ethers|
|9||1.3.1. After the date in Gold Saucer, before going to the Temple of the Ancients||30||Item: 3 turbo ethers|
|10||1.3.3. After the Temple of the Ancients, before the Sleeping Forest||35||Item: 5 X-potions|
|11||1.3.3. After the Sleeping Forest, before resting in the Forgotten Capital||35||Item: 5 X-potions|
|12||1.3.3. After sleeping in Forgotten Capital, before the end of Disc 1||35||Item: 5 X-potions|
|13||2.1. At the start of Disc 2, before obtaining the Highwind||40||Item: 3 elixirs|
|19||2.2. After getting the Highwind, before going to Mideel||40||Item: 3 elixirs|
|21||2.4. Mandatory event||Materia: Red Phoenix & Huge Materia|
The final battle is mandatory. See Walkthrough. Rewarded with Huge Materia and Phoenix if won. If you fight Commander Grand Horn (lv. 37), you also get an Imperial Guard.
You only need to fight the final battle to recover the Huge Materia, but it is probably better to fight (and win) some of the other battles, as they will yield some useful items. If you are ever short on funds, consider selling a mastered All materia.
The various units are as follows
|Fighter||200||30||1||400||No weaknesses and no strengths|
|Attacker||180||25||1||420||Good against beasts; Bad against barbarians.|
|Defender||220||35||1||440||Good against barbarians; Bad against wyverns.|
|Shooter||160||20||1–3||520||Good against wyverns; Bad against beasts.|
|Repairer||160||10||1||480||Can repair war machines; Weak attack and defense|
|Worker||160||15||1||400||Can set a mine. Weak attack and defense.|
|Stoner||100||20||1–4||480||Cannot move or rotate once deployed. Rolls down one stone down a preset path.|
|Tristoner||150||30||1–5||1000||Cannot move or rotate once deployed. Rolls down three stones down a preset path (wider attack area than with Stoner.)|
|Catapult||100||18||1–5||480||Can be re-aimed during combat. Launches boulders at a given spot.|
|Fire Catapult||120||25||1–6||600||Can be re-aimed during combat. Launches flaming boulders at a given spot, giving a wider attack area.|
|Beast||180||The equivalent of an ally's Defender. Strong against Shooters; weak against Attackers.|
|Barbarian||130||The equivalent of an ally's Shooter. Strong against Attackers; weak against Defenders.|
|Wyvern||140||The equivalent of an ally's Attacker. Strong against Defenders; weak against Shooters.|
|Commander||280||Combat will end if defeated.|
If the party loses the game, not only they will not get a prize, but they will also have to fight a boss, Commander Grand Horn. This enemy comes in three varieties, that depend on the level of the party members.
- Lv.19 boss: if the average party level is nearer to 19 than 25; if Aeris in the party, if the average level of the other two is nearer to 29 than 37; he always drops a basilisk claw (item).
- Lv.25 boss: if the average party level is nearer to 25 than 19; if Aeris in the party, if the average level of the other two is nearer to 37 than 29; he never drops any item.
- Lv.37 boss: always fought in the final, mandatory battle; he always drops a imperial guard (armor).
Apart from Commander Great Horn, the only way to obtain basilisk claws is by stealing them from Basilisk enemies (near Cosmo Canyon). The imperial guard armlet can only be obtained here and in the Northern Crater (Disc 3); still, there are at least 4 armlets more useful than this one, and they're found earlier in the game.
|Speed up the battle.|
|Slow down the battle.|
Note that you can only deploy your units on the top half of the battlefield.
If money is no object, set up two tristoners on the left path (few units try to go this way usually and these are easily rebuilt), two on the very far right, and three tristoners on the middle. Place the multiple ones on top of each other; this way, if the enemy is destroying the lower one, it's getting hit on the head by the one above. Just above the line, deploy some Defenders and perhaps a few Shooters as well. Shooters are good to be placed right above Tristoners as well.
Another strategy it to deploy one Tristoner in the middle, one on the left. Put a fire catapult in the middle skewed left (so you can shift its direction to cover the middle or the left) another fire catapult in the middle skewed far right, this one can again cover middle or right but favors right (since it is the only artillery for that avenue).
Put one defender on each corner, two defenders in the middle, and a final defender at the far right catapult (he can be exchanged with either a middle or right defender so that oen can go be repaired). Then add in one repairer in the middle, one on the far left. Fill in the remaining space with shooters, 2–3 covering each corner the rest in the middle.
Use the defenders as meat shields that the repairers can fix up after a fight (except when a barbarian is attacking, then allow him to pull forward). Keep the shooters condensed just behind the defender, make sure to adjust the direction of your catapults for where the bulk of enemies are attacking.
Shooters are great as well. In fact, if all of your allies are shooters, you will be guaranteed a win. If your max count is 20, put eight shooters in the middle, six on the left side, and six on the right. These placements are just above the red line. When finished, start the game and put speed on lowest (for now). In the middle section of eight, put four in one spot, and the other four in the spot right next to the other four. Same goes for the left and right sides of six. Two spots of three next to each other. Put speed back to full and whenever an enemy approaches, your shooters will kill them very quickly. When you finish them, except the boss, put speed back to 1 and put all of your shooters in the middle in the two spots of four shooters so its ten and ten. Before the boss lands a hit, it's dead. You will end up getting 4,000 Gil after battle and whatever item left off the field. In the last battle, let the boss come to the house and defeat him with Cid and company. You will get Imperial Guard, EXP, Gil, Phoenix Materia and Huge Materia.
A more aggressive strategy: Before the battle begins, place only one attacker as close as you can to the red line, and then start the battle at the lowest speed you can. Scroll down to where you put your attacker, tell him to go do what he does best to whatever enemies have shown up so far, and try to place another attacker below him; the red line will have moved closer to the bottom. You can repeat this several times to move the red line almost all the way to the bottom of the map; and if you defeat all the enemies currently on the field, you'll win - even if not all of the enemies have spawned yet.