Cloud's career as a freelance monster hunter in Final Fantasy VII Remake is off to a good start. With Tifa in tow, he's made a name for himself by hunting wererats in Scrap Boulevard, to help the locals in the Sector 7 Slums.

The good news is that Scrap Boulevard's still clear of wererats. The bad news is that it looks like something else ate them. Hunt the Wrath Hound in the "On the Prowl" side quest with this illustrated walkthrough.

Completing the On the Prowl Side Quest in the Final Fantasy VII Remake

When you've completed the "Rat Problem" side quest in Chapter 3, you can go back to Wymer and speak to him to get a new job. There's a big Shinra-modified dog threatening the locals, and it looks like it'd pick its teeth with any of the people who live in the Slums, except Cloud. You're hired to go in and take care of business.

This is a simple quest, but it involves fighting a difficult enemy: the Wrath Hound. You can find it roaming on Scrap Boulevard, available from the Slums' west exit, where the Hound is the only enemy left on the map.

The Hound has high defense, deals a lot of damage with each attack, and has over 6,300 health. While it has a weakness to ice magic, the Hound is also fast enough that you can't reliably pelt it with Blizzard spells. It takes a second before Blizzard's animation inflicts damage on its target, and it's easy for the Wrath Hound to be out of its area of effect by the time the spell concludes.

While you can theoretically beat the Wrath Hound just by flailing wildly at it, even this early in the game, you'll probably use up a lot of your potions in the process. It just doesn't take a lot of physical damage. Make sure to acquire any upgrades you can find, like buying a protective accessory for Tifa, and bring Ice Materia anyway.

Watch for it to start casting its own abilities, like Headbutt, and interrupt them with Blizzard. The easy way to beat the Wrath Hound is to focus on Staggering it as quickly as possible, before it has the chance to tear your head off. If it casts Tentacle Whip, it's going to knock anyone within melee range away from it; take the opportunity to dive-roll away and cast Blizzard on the Hound.

Once it reaches about 70% health, the Wrath Hound automatically casts Flee and escapes. Chase it east, through the small dark cavern, and smash all the crates along the way for potions and Mako shards. There's also a free Fire Materia orb in the cavern, for future use.

Talk to Wyman, then heal your characters and follow the Wrath Hound under the fence. You could run away from it last time, if the fight was really going south, but this time you'll be trapped in the arena with the Wrath Hound.

It acquires one new move at this point, Throat Clamp, which takes a comically long time for it to cast. Once it finishes, the Hound dashes forward and incapacitates a character while gnawing on their face. You'll need to switch to your other team member and deck the Hound a few times to get it to let go, although this is another good opportunity to drop a Blizzard on it.

Watch the Wrath Hound carefully, wait for it to leave openings, and pummel it with ice magic to keep it pressured and finally staggered. It's a tough fight for this stage of the game, but it's also another useful example of how the combat system works.

On Hard Mode, while the Wrath Hound does formidable amounts of damage, it's another example of an early-game enemy that can be trivialized by late-game equipment. You can install Element and Ice Materia together on your weapons to make your basic attacks inflict cold damage. By so doing, you bypass the Wrath Hound's primary defense--being too fast for you to readily exploit its weak point--and can stagger its face clean off.

You'll receive an Elixir and a free HP/MP restoration from Wyman when you turn in "On the Prowl." If you're playing on Hard Mode, you also receive Way of the Fist Vol. IV, a Manuscript for Tifa, as a drop from the Hound.

We've got a lot more articles about FF7R if you're in the market for them, including:

It's strange that in the early hours of the Final Fantasy VII remake, the most dangerous things in the game are Shinra guard dogs. Between that and the "Lost Friends" quest, this whole game is clearly pro-cat propaganda. Argue about this by reaching out via our Twitter, @PrimaGames.