Attack while it’s tail is up! It’s gonna counter attack with its laser!
From a gameplay standpoint, it’s a simple typo. First, it’s grammatically incorrect; the localization team should have used a possessive pronoun rather than a contraction. I don’t think this would work as showing Barret’s uneducated nature. You couldn’t tell the difference just by hearing it. They should change it for the remake.
Second, it’s advice. They Barret should tell you to attack while its tail is down, similar to how Biggs and Wedge tell Terra to attack a Ymir.
…or should he?
“Attack while it’s tail is up! It’s gonna counter attack with its laser!” fits Barret’s nature. Barret is a mastermind, but extremely impulsive and not a long-term thinker. He’s trying to rely on “attack before it counters”.I guess he should then say:
“Attack before he raises his tail.”
But this isn’t going to work. So by not attacking you show how level-headed Cloud is.
Consider you still could have figured out what was going on. You should just forego the instructions altogether. If it counterattacks with its laser, then you shouldn’t attack at all. I don’t think the game’s trying to test us. I think the most perceptive players would have gathered what to do in this scenario.
But players demand a change to this typo. So then how can we keep the general integrity of the phrase, while correcting the typo?
“Attack while it’s tail is up, and it’s gonna counter attack with its laser!”
Now, it becomes a warning from Barret.
They could always have Cloud utter this line instead. Of course, it would really throw off the remake. But it makes sense from a story perspective. Cloud’s memories are incorrect, so of course, he wouldn’t know this is wrong. He’s not a SOLDIER. He doesn’t know too much of this weapon model. He only ended up taking Zack’s memories. Zack fought this enemy in Crisis Core, so Zack’s subconscious probably has it mixed up as well. And Zack does transfer his memories to Cloud eventually.
But we’ll just have to see what they do with the remake.