The Dark Tower – FFVII Ep. 9

Welcome back to Save File Plays Final Fantasy VII!  Last time, we… uh… did some stuff. We’re still in Shinra Tower, I know that much. Oh, we infiltrated it, yeah, that’s right. We’re on a rescue mission to try and get Aeris out.  We did pretty okay not calling attention to ourselves by taking the long way up.

As a side note, there apparently are exactly 60 sets of stairs that the party climbs up when you take them. The only problem with that is that the party comes out on the 59th floor, not the 60th. Whoops. Anyways, we start this episode off with free reign up to Floor 65. But I skipped a floor in my haste to finish off the last update, so we’re going to take care of that first!

MUSIC: Infiltrating Shinra Tower

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Back down to the 63rd Floor!

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Machine: Level B employee: verified. You are permitted to open doors on this floor up to three times. blip… if you receive an item coupon, remember to exchange it for an item. …Warning… do not enter the air conditioning ducts, they are very dangerous.

So there are a plethora of locked doors on this floor, and three coupons to be collected that can be exchanged for items. The goal is to find the right combination of doors to unlock so that you can get the 3 coupons. You can try as many times as you need, however.

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These are the first 2 to open.

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Those two doors allow you access to the “A” coupon. However, more importantly, they give you access to the A/C ducts.

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Sure, the machine said it was dangerous, but rules were made to be broken, right? In video games, at least.

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This dumps you out into the room with the “B” coupon.

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And opening this last door gives you access to the “C” coupon. Nailed it!

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You can then use the ducts again to dump you out into the room with the main computer console.

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Machine: A coupon… Star Pendant. B Coupon… Four Slots. C Coupon… All Materia. Please use caution… once you have exchanged coupons for items you may not select “All Clear.”

The coupons are exchanged and I get the items listed above. The Star Pendant is our first accessory, and it prevent Poison. The Four Slots is a piece of armor which, true to its name, has four Materia slots (unlinked). It’s not as good defensively as our currently equipped Mythril Armlets though. And another All Materia is greatly appreciated.

Now I can go talk to the denizens of Floor 64.

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Riveting. But I said I was going to talk to the NPCs! It’s pretty unfair to the developers if you don’t.

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Heading into the locker room, you can examine the lockers and find some stuff. Most of them are locked, but I managed to find a Phoenix Down and an Ether.

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Cloud: Hanging onto this won’t do any good.

That’s about it for the 64th Floor. Time to head up to Floor 65!

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This floor, to me, is the definition of filler.

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There are 5 chests on the 65th floor. 4 of them are locked. The only unlocked one contains Midgar Parts.

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Place the Midgar Parts into the scale model of Midgar in the center of the floor, and another chest unlocks. Do this 4 more times.

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Oh, there are battles on this floor too. These Saw Worms aren’t too bad, though one of their special attacks, Slap, can cause the Fury status effect.

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Fury causes your characters to take more damage, and also lowers their accuracy. However, you can use Fury to cheese the Limit Break learning system. Limit Breaks range from levels 1 to 4. Each level also also has two limit breaks (1-1, 1-2, 2-1, 2-2, etc.). You learn the second limit break in each level by using the first limit break a set number of times. By leaving Fury on your characters, odds are they’ll be performing their Limit Breaks more often. The next level of Limit Break is obtained by killing a certain amount of enemies with that specific character, so that’s a little harder to cheese. Just kill lots of stuff, I guess.

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Anyways, once that’s done, the final chest unlocks, which contains Keycard 66. Let’s get off of this stupid floor.

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That was a benefit back in 1997. Now, that would be weird because all men are creepy and weird.

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Believe it or not, flushing the toilet doesn’t do much (though it does, indeed, flush the toilet). We need to climb up in order to access that grate above.

MUSIC: Underneath the Rotting Pizza

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Reeve: We have the damage estimates for Sector 7. Considering those factories we already set up and all the investments, the damage is estimated at approximately 10 billion gil…

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Shinra: We’re not rebuilding.
Reeve: What?
Shinra: We’re leaving Sector 7 as it is. And restarting the Neo-Midgar plan.
Reeve: …then the Ancients?
Shinra: The Promised Land will soon be ours. I want you to raise the Mako rates 15% in every area.
Palmer: Rate hike! Rate hike! Tra la la! And please include our Space Program in the budget!
Shinra: Reeve and Scarlet will divide the extra income from the rate increase.

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: It’ll be all right. The ignorant citizens won’t lose confidence, they’ll trust Shinra, Inc. even more.
Heidegger: Ha ha ha! After all, we’re the ones who saved Sector 7 from AVALANCHE!
Barret: That dirty #$*$^

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Hojo: As a specimen, she is inferior to her mother. I’m still in the process of comparing her to her mother, Ifalna, but for now the difference is 18%.
Shinra: How long will the research take?
Hojo: Probably 120 years. It’s probably impossible to finish in our lifetime. Or in the lifetime of the specimen too, for that matter. That’s why we’re thinking of breeding her. Then we could create one that could withstand our research for a long time.
Shinra: What about the Promised Land? Won’t it hinder our plans?
Hojo: That’s what I need to plan. The mother is strong… and yet has her weaknesses.

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Scarlet: Something stinks…
Cloud: They were talking about Aeris… right?
Barret: I dunno.
Tifa: Probably.
Cloud: Let’s follow ’em.

I mean, what else are we going to do, right?

MUSIC: Infiltrating Shinra Tower

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The party follows Hojo up to the 67th Floor, as he just leaves the doors open behind him.

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Barret: That Hojo guy. He’s in charge of the Shinra’s Science Department. Cloud, don’t you know him?
Cloud: This is the first time I’ve actually ever seen him. So… that’s what he looks like.

The party continues to chase after Hojo, only to be surprised when he stops to stare at something.

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Hojo: Yes. We’re starting right away. Raise it to the upper level. …my precious specimen.

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Tifa: Is it going to be used for a biological experience?

MUSIC: Who Are You

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WHAT THE CRISPY CRACKERS? Why does that boob have an eye nipple?! AND WHY DOES IT NOT HAVE A HEAD?!

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The mystery is too much for Cloud, and he falls to his knees.

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Tifa: Cloud, be strong!
Cloud: Did you see it?
Barret: See what?
Cloud: It’s moving… still alive?
Barret: Where’s its $#&*&@ head? This whole thing’s stupid. Let’s keep goin’.

Right? I agree with everything Barret just said.

MUSIC: Infiltrating Shinra Tower

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New Materia is always appreciated. The party takes the elevator up to keep chasing after Hojo.

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Hojo: Aeris? Oh, is that her name? What do you want?
Cloud: We’re taking Aeris back.
Hojo: Outsiders…
Barret: Shoulda noticed it earlier, you…
Hojo: There’s so many frivolous things in this world. Are you going to kill me? I don’t think you should. The equipment here is extremely delicate. Without me, who could operate it, hmm?
Cloud: Ugh…
Hojo: That’s right. I recommend you think things out logically before you make any rash moves. Now, bring in the Specimen!

MUSIC: Hurry!!

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Cloud: What do you think you’re doing?!
Hojo: Lending a helping hand to an endangered species… Both of them are on the brink of extinction. If I don’t help, all these animals will disappear.
Tifa: …animal? That’s terrible! Aeris is a human being!
Barret: You’re gonna pay!
Cloud: Barret! Can’t you do anything?

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Hojo: Wh…what are you do–oh! My precious specimens…

Yeah, that doesn’t seem like the safest option, but whatever, I guess.

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Tifa: Cloud, what’s wrong?
Cloud: …the elevator is moving.
Hojo: This is no ordinary specimen. This is a very ferocious specimen!

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Tifa: It talked?!
Red: I’ll talk as much as you want later, Miss.
Cloud: We’ll take care of that monster. Somebody take Aeris somewhere safe… Tifa, I’m countin’ on you! Barret, take care of her!

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Red: Hojo has named me Red XIII. A name with no meaning whatsoever to me. Call me whatever you wish.
Cloud: Come on!

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MUSIC: Those Who Fight Further

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This fight is kind of irritating. The main enemy is, of course, the guy in the back, Sample H0512. However, since he’s in the back row, he takes half damage from physical attacks, unless the character is equipped with a long range weapon (which is why I chose Barret over Tifa).

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The little buggy guys are revived as soon as they’re killed, so you’re better off just targeting the big guy. Our new teammate, Red XIII, comes equipped with a Fire-All Materia combo, as well as another Sense Materia.

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The other main gimmick of the boss is its ability to Poison the party. You may recall that I got a Star Pendant accessory, which prevents poison. However, I am dumb, and did not equip it on anyone. WHOOPS.

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All in all, it isn’t too bad of a fight. Just keep an eye on your HP, and keep blasting away at it with magic, preferably. It’ll make it go much quicker.

MUSIC: Red XIII’s Theme

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Tifa: She seems all right… in many ways.
Red: I have a right to choose, too. I don’t like two-legged things.
Barret: What are you?
Red: An informed question. But difficult to answer. I am what you see. You must have many questions, but first, let’s get out of here. I’ll lead the way.
Aeris: Cloud… so you did come for me.

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Barret: Now we’ve saved Aeris, ain’t no need to be in this building! So let’s get the hell outta here!
Cloud: If all five of us go together, we’ll be noticed. Let’s break up into two groups.

I opt for a party of Cloud, Red XIII, and Tifa.

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Barret: Later! Meet up at the 66th Floor elevator!

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This is also left behind in the Specimen chamber. It’s pretty handy. You can learn certain skills from enemies, but only if you have this Materia equipped, are hit by the attack, AND survive it. It’s very similar to Blue Magic from the older Final Fantasy games.

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There are a bunch of Potions scattered around this floor, for whatever reason.

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Man: To prove it to you… here, this is the key card to the 68th Floor. Would I be doing this if I was the enemy?

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We can actually head up to the 69th (heh) Floor.

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It just results in a party member yelling at you that you aren’t going the correct way.

But once you head into the 66th Floor Elevator…

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Cloud: Turks! Must be a trap…

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And thus, the party is captured…

And it seems like it was going so well too! Alas…

MUSIC: The Shinra Corporation

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The party is bound and marched out in front of the President.

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Cloud: Where is Aeris?!
Shinra: In a safe place. She’s the last surviving Ancient. Don’t you know? They called themselves the Cetra and lived thousands of years ago. Now they are just a forgotten page in history.
Red: Cetra… that girl is a survivor of the Cetra?
Shinra: Cetra, or the Ancients, will show us the way to the “Promised Land.” I’m expecting a lot out of her.
Red: The Promised Land? Isn’t that just a legend?

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Shinra: It’s been said the Promised Land is very fertile. If the land is fertile…
Barret: Then there’s gotta be Mako!
Shinra: Exactly. That is why our money-making Mako Reactor is necessary. The abundant Mako will flow out on its own. This is where Neo-Midgar will be built… Shinra’s new glory…
Barret: @$#*^%! Quit dreaming!
Shinra: Oh really, don’t you know? These days all it takes for your dreams to come true is money and power. Well, that is all for our meeting.

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Rude comes forward and contains Barret.

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OH HO HO HO HO… Jackass.

MUSIC: Anxious Heart

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When you approach the door, you have a choice to talk to one of your party members.

Cloud: I wonder how Red XIII is doing

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Barret: Grandpa?! Ha ha ha… Grandpa, hmm… ha ha ha…
Red: What’s so funny?
Barret: Nothin’… ha ha ha…

Cloud: I wonder how Barret is doing

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Barret: Aeris is an Ancient and the real name of the Ancients is Cetra. The Ancients know where the Promised Land is and the Shinra is searching for that Promised Land. I only heard stories ’bout the Promised Land. I don’t know if it really exists. Is that right? The Shinra believe that the Promised Land is full of Mako energy. Which means, if the Shinra get there, they’ll suck up all the Mako energy… and the land’ll wither away. The Planet’s gonna get weaker. I can’t just leave ’em be. I’m recruiting new members! Me, Tifa, Cloud… and Aeris too. How ’bout you?

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Barret is our handy-dandy recap for everything we’ve just learned.

Cloud: I wonder how Aeris is doing

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Cloud: Aeris?! You safe?
Aeris: Yeah, I’m all right. I knew that Cloud would come for me.
Cloud: Hey, I’m your bodyguard, right?
Aeris: The deal was for one date, right?

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Aeris: …?! Tifa! Tifa, you’re there too!
Tifa: EXCUSE me. You know, Aeris. I have a question.

I can’t help but imagine Tifa’s last statements as being extremely sarcastic.

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Tifa: Does the Promised Land really exist?
Aeris: …I don’t know. All I know is the Cetra were born from the Planet, speak with the Planet, and unlock the Planet. And then… the Cetra will return to the Promised Land. A land that promises supreme happiness.
Tifa: What does that mean?
Aeris: More than words… I don’t know.
Cloud: …Speak with the Planet?
Tifa: Just what does the Planet say?

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Cloud: You hear it now?
Aeris: I only heard it at the Church in the Slums. Mother said that Midgar was no longer safe. That is… my real mother. SOmeday I’ll get out of Midgar… Speak with the Planet and find my Promised Land. That’s what mom said. I thought I would stop hearing her voice as I grew up, but…

Oh good, she has some sort of multiple personality disorder. That’s the twist, she just hears voices in her head.

Cloud: Let’s just get some sleep.

MUSIC: Trail of Blood

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Tifa: What’s wrong?
Cloud: Something’s wrong. Look outside.

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Cloud: He should have the key on him. Come on, Tifa, get Aeris. I’ll go help Barret and Red XIII.

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Barret: How’d you get in? Why’s the door open?

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Red: No human could have done this. I’ll go on ahead.
Barret: I’ll clean up back here, so you guys go ahead. And don’t get caught by the Shinra!
Tifa: Come on, let’s follow Red XIII!

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Going through the floor, it isn’t looking very good. Everyone is dead, and there are blood stains everywhere.

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Cloud: …Did it get away? Jenova?

Ooooooooooo, SPOOKY! I think that’s a good spot to end it.

NEXT LOADUP ON SAVE FILE: The thrilling conclusion of Shinra Tower!

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