Final Fantasy VII FF7 Rebirth Gears and Gambits
Screenshot by Destructoid

FF7 Rebirth: All Protorelic Locations in Cosmo Canyon

Flank the flan.

The Cosmo Canyon Protorelic intel quest in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is a sad one. Not sad as in something sad happens, but it’s one where the characters mourn the deaths of the other members of Avalanche. Also, they play Gears and Gambits.

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As a note, if you’ve been doing the Protorelic quests in order, you’ll have to spar against “The Eccentric Swordsman” Gilgamesh after retrieving the one in Cosmo Canyon. If not, that fight occurs after you’ve obtained the fourth piece.

Final Fantasy VII FF7 Cosmo Canyon Protorelic location 1
Screenshot by Destructoid

Phenomenon Intel 1: Avalanche HQ

You’ll find the first protorelic location on the northside of the precipice with the ruins on top of it. It will show up after you finish Chapter 10. It’s on the lower level of the canyon in some ruins built into the cliff. There’s nothing special you have to do to reach it. You’ll even see some Chocobos parked nearby.

After a cutscene, Chadley will unleash his RoboChad to repair the Lifestream Font. This means the first round of Gears and Gambits.

Gears and Gambits 1

The first round of Gears and Gambits is pretty simple and about 90% tutorial. Essentially, you’ve got your boss flan in the middle and three lanes leading up to it. You unleash robots to attack it in each of the lanes while it sends henchmen of its own. There are three types of robots at your disposal, each with an elemental alignment. You can program them with new attack and defense routines, which is the core of this game. It’s literally programming.

For the first round, however, that’s not important. There’s nothing special going on. When you see a henchman pop up, make sure you have a robot in that lane that exploits its elemental weakness. That’s something you need to keep in mind for every round of Gears and Gambits. When there are no enemies in the way, your robots will fight the boss. Keep deploying your robots in different lanes while making sure to defeat any of the minions, and you’ll eventually win.

Final Fantasy VII FF7 Rebirth Cosmo Canyon Phenomenon Intel 2
Screenshot by Destructoid

Phenomenon Intel 2: Left Behind

The second Protorelic is less straightforward to reach. It’s located in the northern area of the canyon on a ledge on the southern wall. You’ll need to glide there. In the Northeast of that canyon area, you can climb a set of ramps to a pair of gliding ranges. Keep following them up by using the hovering turbines, and eventually, you’ll make it to gliding range no. 29. Jump off this and into the turbine. Hard turn right and you’ll see a landing spot. Glide down to this, and then it’s just up the stairs to the next Protorelic site.

Gears and Gambits 2

Things get more complicated here. You’ll need to do some programming. Well, it’s maybe not all that necessary for this fight, but it might be a good idea to give one of your bots the ranged “Missile” attack.

Also, you can press square to auto-program your bots with the game’s recommended loadouts. There’s no shame in doing this. You’re literally programming these robots and not everyone has the mindset for programming.

Aside from that, the fight is, again pretty straightforward. You can assess enemies with square, but I rarely found this useful. Mainly, I kept up the strategy of putting robots in the way of enemies with their elemental weakness. 

At this point, I was using Portal Skills 2, which is offensive. I found healing my units was less effective than just building new ones, and if you use offensive powers to clear enemies, your bots can focus on attacking King Flan. This is especially handy at the beginning of later battles because you can then push it to the point where it will adopt an elemental weakness, allowing you to focus on exploiting it.

Final Fantasy VII FF7 Rebirth Cosmo Canyon Phenomenon Intel 3
Screenshot by Destructoid

Phenomenon Intel 3: Memories of the Fallen

This one is easier to get to, so long as you’ve been up to the Capital in Cosmo Canyon. If not, you first need to glide up to the cliffs south of the precipice and then glide over. Once you’re there, it’s pretty easy to find. You head east, take a left turn, climb a cliff, and then you’re there.

Gears and Gambits 3

Most enemies will come out hovering. You need to slot a ranged shot to bring them to the ground (gravity or missile). Note, however, that this means that your AI will not target close enemies. Unfortunately, that’s something you may just have to live with, as I found keeping an AI equipped with Lariat was more harm than good.

What’s very important about this one is that you want to pay attention to the elemental weaknesses, but especially their strengths. If the boss is strong against ice, and you keep sending out ice robots, you may notice that their attacks aren’t doing anything whatsoever. The element in the box is the one they’re immune to, while the one with the downward red chevrons is their weakness. Don’t get these mixed up. I did. Multiple times, embarrassingly enough.

As long as you exploit the King Flan’s elemental weakness and don’t make the same mistake I did, you should be able to make it through this fight.

Final Fantasy VII FF7 Rebirth Cosmo Canyon Phenomenon Intel 4
Screenshot by Destructoid

Phenomenon Intel 4: The River of Lights

In order to get to the last one, you’ll need to jump from a gliding range located at the north point of the Capital Ruins (near one of the fiend locations). Once there, you ascend further. There’s an elevator if you’re not keen on stair climbing. You’ll probably have to battle through at least two fiend encounters in order to reach it.

Gears and Gambits 4

This one is all about the setup. Beyond just having more choices, you can now buff your elemental attacks and reduce the cost of your bots. Again, if this is too complicated, you can just auto-program the bots.

Here, I had a healer bot. Since it wasn’t going to be able to shield or heal itself, I amped up its HP. I’ll give you a screenshot of my loadout if you want to copy it.

Final Fantasy VII FF7 Rebirth Gears and Gambits loadout
Screenshot by Destructoid

Here, I used my offensive Portal Skills to ensure my bots could quickly push the boss down to the point where it adopts and elemental weakness. Then, for some reason, my bots landed a massive critical hit that drained nearly half King Flan’s bar. I reviewed the video of it, and it just does its phase shift, a critical hit occurs, and half its bar is gone. At that point, it didn’t even do a second phase shift; it hadn’t even completed the first one before it got hit hard. At that point, I had gained too much momentum for it to recover.

Here’s a quick summary on how to beat King Flan in FF7 Rebirth:

I know that “I got lucky” isn’t very helpful, so the best I can tell you is to stick to my strategies:

  • Spread your bots between lanes.
  • Intercept minions with their elemental weakness.
  • Use offensive Portal Skills to gain an advantage in the beginning.
  • Pay attention to King Flan’s elemental weaknesses and take advantage of it.

If you’re uncertain, you can always auto-program to ensure that you definitely have a winnable build. Keep trying, eventually you’ll get the Protorelic. Then harder versions of Gears and Gambits will unlock to really test what you’ve learned.

All Protorelic locations in FF7 Rebirth

Here are all of the Protorelic locations in FF7 Rebirth:

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Zoey Handley
Staff Writer - Zoey is a gaming gadabout. She got her start blogging with the community in 2018 and hit the front page soon after. Normally found exploring indie experiments and retro libraries, she does her best to remain chronically uncool.