In battle, there are several important things you might want to remeber. First, like in FF3, you do have the ability to switch between characters during battle. For instance, if you want Red XIII take his turn before Cloud, press Triangle when Red XIII's time gauge is filled up, and choose his action. This may not be something you'd think about too much, but knowing about it may come in handy at times. Say you want to cast the Enemy Skill Big Guard at the start of a battle, but Yuffie is the only one with the spell and she's the last person to take her turn. Well, rather than have Cloud and Tifa (or whoever) defend or just fight, you can switch to Yuffie, have her cast the spell first, and then let Cloud and Tifa take their turns. This is a good tactic to remember when someone needs urgent healing in the midst of a tough battle. I use this ability almost constantly, as it can really be helpful.
Also, a note on running away. While you don't penalized for it (actually, in a way you get rewarded for running away a lot if you like to use the Chocobuckle Enemy Skill), I would advise against doing it too often. As I mentioned above, while FF7 IS generous when it comes to doling out the XP, it's only generous to those who stick around and fight at least 90% of the time. If you run away too often, not only do you not gain levels, but you also don't get any AP for your materia, which can be absolutely devastating in the long run. In other words, what I'm trying to say is: Don't be a coward unless there isn't any other way.
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