Master Materia is all (or in the case of Command, most) Materia of a certain fused into a single Materia. It is created by mastering all of the Materia needed to create it and then fusing them using the Huge Materia of the corresponding color. Only Command, Summon, and Magic Materia can be turned into Master Materia.
Getting the Master Magic requires mastering all 21 Magic Materias, totaling 1,026,000 AP (it's not as bad as it seems). Of those only three require 60,000 AP (Comet, Contain, and Heal) and three require 100,000 AP (Shield, Ultima, and FullCure).
- Equip all spells: with only 16 Materia slots at most, a single character cannot equip the 21 Materias needed to use all spells.
- No penalties: You can easily lose a third of your HP if you equip the most powerful magics, but Master Magic has no penalties. (No benefits either, but it's not a big deal since the one thing you are never lacking in is MP).
- All on all: Linking an all (or any other Support Materia) adds that effect to all applicable Magic. It still won't let you multi-target spells you couldn't before, such as Contain magic.
All sixteen Summon Materias can be mastered, and five of them (Ifrit, Ramuh, Phoenix, Bahamut, Neo Bahamut) can be missed. Mastering all of them will cost 2,235,000 AP. Yes, that's right - over two million AP. Even in triple growth slot, that's 745 Magic Pots (see below).
The only benefit to mastering a summon is that you will be able to use it an unlimited number of times in a battle.
Of the thirteen Command Materias in the game, you only need seven of them to create a Master Command, and they are the less demanding ones in terms of AP. This will take less than the previous groups: just 430,000 AP.
Master Command set:
- Deathblow (40,000 AP)
- Manipulate (40,000 AP)
- Sense (40,000 AP)
- Steal (50,000 AP)
- Throw (60,000 AP)
- Mime (100,000 AP)
- Morph (100,000 AP)
- Enemy Skill
- Double Cut (150,000 AP)
- Slash-All (150,000 AP)
- W-Item (250,000 AP)
- W-Magic (250,000 AP)
- W-Summon (250,000 AP)
Enemy Skill technically can't get mastered. Double Cut and Slash-All both replace your attack option, so you can't equip both at the same time. While the W- Materias could have been added, be very glad they weren't since it would mean another 750,000 AP to get. In total, the materias that are not included alone would require 1,050,000 AP to be mastered, more than twice the AP required for the Master Command materia.
On the second disc, Shinra will attempt to turn four Huge Materias into a weapon, and you will have a chance to steal the Materias over the course of four minigames. If you fail to collect the Materia, you will never be able to create Master Materia. So save the game before each one.
- The Flying Materia Train! in Corel
- El Condor Splode at Fort Condor
- They all lived in a Red Submarine under Junon
- Blasting off and wasting lard from Rocket Town
Don't worry about creating Master Materia until you get to disc 3 - it would take far too long and isn't really necessary (plus you can't get all of the Magic Materia until then anyway). The most you can get out of a non-boss fight outside of the crater is around 300 AP (in the sunken airplane), and some Materias require several hundred thousand to master. On the other hand, some fights inside the crater will net you 1000 - 2400 AP.
Once you do get into the crater, get to the point of no return (this is when the two parties reunite). At this point you should use your save crystal, save, and heal up. Now, from this room take the upper right exit. It is a linear path for four screens, and then you can go up or left. (Note: if you're coming in from the top, this split will be the first screen after you take the left fork in the road.) From here go to the room on the right. In this room you and the next one to the right you can fight two very important enemies:
- Magic Pots: 1000 AP each, and they have no attacks. However, they are invulnerable until you feed them an elixir (megaelixirs will not work), and they will run away if you attempt to steal from them. When the fight starts give it/them and elixir them kill them fast (Flash is an excellent choice here). You'll run out of elixirs quickly, but you can steal more of them from the Tonberrys in the area, or for a faster method, use the item duplication cheat.
- Movers: 800 AP each, and they always come in groups of three, so that's 2400 AP for the fight. While they can attack, they are pathetically weak and you don't have to use an item before you kill them. They have a somewhat high evasion, but are very vulnerable to Flash.
You can also find Tonberrys in these rooms, so if you don't have three Ribbons, morph the Tonberrys until you have enough.
Movers are very rare in these rooms, but one or two Magic Pots will appear about half of the time. Stay in the first room until the Magic Pots start to appear less and less frequently, then move to the next room and repeat. Once the Magic Pots in the second room start to disappear, head to the next room on the right. From here head through the door on the left (pick up the all-important materia first), without bothering to fight. You'll be back in the room where you were told to create a save point. Heal, save, then go back to the first room with the Magic Pots and repeat until you have everything mastered.
To maximize your Materia growth, get Cloud's Apocalypse sword from the Ancient Forest and Cid's Javelin from Gaea's Cliff. The Apocalypse has triple growth times three slots (APx9), the Javelin has double growth times five slots (APx10). Additionally, equip a materia-growing weapon for the third character and buy three Rune Armlets from the Bone Village since these have double growth.
This setup gets you three triple growth slots and twenty-one double growth slots, so you can get 122400 AP for fighting a group of three Movers, that is on average 5100 AP per materia. It'll still take more than one hundred fights to get a 500000 AP materia (e.g. Knights of Round) mastered...
Cid's scimitar has triple growth rate, but far less slots than the Javelin. If you equip it to Cid the AP rate is actually decreased: you'd get 112800 AP per fight against three Movers instead of 122400 AP, i.e. 8% less.
Free Master Materias
If you beat Emerald Weapon it'll drop the Earth Harp. The traveler in Kalm village will trade your harp for one of each Master Materias. However, Emerald is a gigantic pain in the butt and you'll probably want to have Master Materias going into the fight.
Ideally, you'd like to get three of each type of Master Materia, however if you don't want to stare at the same enemies for 10 - 20 hours, you'll probably be willing to make do with less.
It is relatively fast to get a complete set of Magic Materia mastered. Many of them require around 50000 AP to master, and you probably have many of them at very high levels from using them through out the game. As such, get at least two sets mastered, though if you can spare the time you should get three sets, especially if you are planning on fighting the Weapons.
Mastering the command Materia is even faster since you only need to master seven of them, and they're the ones that require less AP. You don't really need everyone to have every command available for the fight with Emerald, so if you create two then the one you get from it will complete the set.
Summon Materia takes the longest time to master, even more time than the other two types combined. Summons really aren't that useful late in the game, except for Knights of the Round (KR), so it probably isn't worth the time to build more than one Master Summon Materia, if any. Without a Master Summon, the only thing you are really losing out on is not being able to cast KR an unlimited number of times. However, if everyone else in the party has Mime, then one person can cast it once and everyone else can continually Mime it (which cost no MP). The best cost/benefit plan is to master KR and forget about the rest.
Create 2-3 Master Magics, 2 Master Commands, and 0-1 Master Summons, then go beat Emerald. After Emerald, get three more Master Materias from the Kalm Traveler, then beat Ruby and then go beat the mama's boy (Sephiroth).