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I decided to ram the Highwind into Ruby Weapon to see how tough it was out of curiosity. After a few turns of me trying to attack it (and not knowing what I was doing), it used Whirlsand on Cloud, ejecting him out of battle...or so I thought. The next turn it had, it immediately attacked my two other party members, instantly killing them.

And when they died, I got a Game Over.

Isn't Whirlsand supposed to function like the Midgar Zolom's eject? Basically, if someone gets booted by either the Midgar Zolom/Ruby Weapon and it kills the other two remaining members, shouldn't the battle just end without a Game Over (essentially flagging them as alive, but not in the battle and prematurely ending the battle)?

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As you've already discovered, party members removed from battle by Whirlsand count as dead, unlike the Midgar Zolom's tail whip which counts them as escaped. It's unknown whether this was an oversight or a deliberate design choice by the developers, but considering that Ruby and Emerald weapons are meant to be the hardest fights in the game by a wide margin, it was probably deliberate. It is effectively an automatic kill that does not permit any sort of resurrection, nor automatic reactions like Final Attack.

Ruby Weapon does not like 3-on-1 odds, and if you try fighting it with three characters, it will Whirlsand away two of them at random near the start of the battle. Your best bet for taking it on is to load down one character with your best materia and equipment, then kill the other two before you attack Ruby; as long as you don't revive them, it won't bother using Whirlsand, and will fight the remaining character one on one.

(If you do this, it is strongly recommended that you use the Final Attack + Life materia combination; Final Attack + Phoenix is normally a better choice, but that will revive your entire party, at which point Ruby will take offense and start using Whirlsand again.)

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    It should be noted that Ruby will only whirlsand while his tenticles are not in the sand. Once they show up behind your characters, you can revive them without worrying about whirlsand. However, it is possible for Ruby to retract his tenticles during the fight. At which time you'd better kill off two of your teammates quickly or risk them getting ejected again. – UnderscoreZero Sep 9 '13 at 16:02
  • Note, the whirlsand always targeting 2 of your strongest character – Rusted_Silver Feb 21 '17 at 4:42

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