OH GOD, WHY DO I HATE MYSELF SO MUCH – FFVII Ep. 1

Well, my dear friends… because I simultaneously love and hate myself, and am greatly anticipating and fearing the remake of Final Fantasy VII that is on the way… I have chosen the original for my next Let’s Play. It’s not my personal favorite Final Fantasy, but it’s the first one I played. I think it’s a good game. I also think it’s slightly overrated, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy it. I also consider the extended universe to be slightly silly, but the game is still good. This is going to be my biggest undertaking yet, but I’ll get through it somehow… let’s get it started!

If somehow you haven’t play this game yet, this is going to be a pretty complete runthrough. I’m not making promises about doing EVERYTHING, but I’ll do most of it. And it’ll be pretty serious, though I might make fun of the game a little. I just can’t help myself sometimes.

I’m playing the version released on Steam. I still have my discs, and I could run it using an emulator, but that would bring up some graphical glitches and wouldn’t be as smooth of an experience. So to make everything easier, I’ll be using the Steam version, which also has slightly improved graphics.

LET’S GOOOOOOO

MUSIC: Bombing Mission

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STARS! (Also, I did something with the overlay to try and take up some of the dead space)

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MORE STARS!

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They look archaic now, but these graphics blew my damn mind back in 1997.

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The flower girl was just hanging out in the alley. That’s… that’s a little weird, but I won’t question it.

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SLOW ZOOM OUT.

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OH MY GOD, WHAT AM I DOING, I MUST BE INSANE.

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Welcome to Midgar, where the first big chunk of the game will be taking place.

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SLOW ZOOM IN.

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Someone jumps off of the train and goddamn judo flips one of the guards.

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Someone else jumps off and delivers some Sweet Chin Music to the other guard.

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A couple more people show up. They’re probably important.

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But then, our spiky-haired protagonist appears. Cool action pose and all.

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You got it! I have something to do first though.

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YOINK. You can get two of them if you examine the guard twice.

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Moving down, our as-of-yet unnamed hero gets into the first battle of the game!

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Battle in this game uses the Active Time Battle (ATB) system. There’s a little meter that fills up, then you choose what you want your character to do. Enemies run the same way, though we can’t see their ATB bar.

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To be honest though, I won’t be showing off a lot of battles, since they’re the least exciting part to watch.

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That’s why this will work so much better as s Screenshot LP than a video one. I can cut out all the stuff that would be boring to watch! But it is cool to catch the little details of the animations, like this soldier clocking our protagonist in the face with his night stick.

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After all these years, I still don’t know how he’s able to spin that sword one-handed without breaking his wrist.

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THE SPOILS OF BATTLE!

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Jessie: SOLDIER? Aren’t they the enemy? What’s he doing with us in AVALANCHE?
Biggs: He WAS in SOLDIER, Jessie. But he quit and is with us now. I didn’t catch your name…

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Biggs: Cloud, eh? I’m…
Cloud: I don’t care what your names are. Once this job’s over… I’m outta here.

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Barret: Our target’s the North Mako reactor. We’ll meet on the bridge in front of it. …Ex-SOLDIER, huh? I don’t trust ya!

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DRAMATIC ZOOM. Wow, I didn’t realize how much of that there was in the beginning of this game.

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We continue to make our way towards the reactor.

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Wedge: Geez, we’re really gonna blow this huge furnace up? This’ll be somethin’ to see!

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Cloud: No. After all, I did work for Shinra, y’know.
Barret: The planet’s full of Mako energy. People here use it everyday. It’s the life blood of this planet. But Shinra keeps suckin’ the blood out with these weird machines.
Cloud: I’m not here for a lecture. Let’s just do it.
Barret: All right! You come with me from now on.

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AAAAAAUUUUUUGGGGHHHHHH

PRO TIP:  Just replace Mako with the word “Oil” and you’ve got an extremely topical game. That came out nearly 20 years ago.

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This is the menu. Everything on it is pretty self-explanatory.

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That feels a little more “Save File” to me. Also, since Barret has a long range weapon, I moved him to the back row, because he can cause the same amount of damage while taking less back there. Woo!

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TREASURE! As per usual, the Phoenix Down is the “revive” item.

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Cloud: It’s not my problem.
Barret: The planet’s dyin’, Cloud!
Cloud: The only thing I care about is finishin’ this job before security and the Roboguards come.

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I mean, he really does seem like he’s just trying to be as infuriating as possible right now. He’s just being that rebellious teenager that disagrees with everything.

MUSIC: Mako Reactor

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Barret is in the party now. He doesn’t have a right arm, he has a gun instead. It’s pretty damn metal. In more ways than one. He also fist-pumps as his victory pose. That is… slightly less metal.

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Anyways, the party is continuing to make its way to the reactor with Jessie.

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She’s hanging back, we must be getting close now.

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Some new enemies. Now, normally I just attack in this game, but I guess I should show off some of the magic as well.

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As a Machine, the Custom Sweeper is weak to Lightning, enough for it to get one-shotted.

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Materia is what is required to cast magic in this game (which we’ll get into more in-depth later).

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Barret: Cloud, you set the bomb.
Cloud: Shouldn’t you do it?
Barret: Jus’ do it! I gotta watch to make sure you don’t pull nothin’.
Cloud: Fine, I’ll do it.

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Buh??

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Cloud: Huh?
Barret: What’s wrong, Cloud? Hurry it up!
Cloud: …yeah, sorry.

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MUSIC: Bombing Mission

(We don’t actually get the real boss music yet)

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It’s the first boss of the game, the Guard Scorpion!

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It’s a nice introductory boss, because it only attacks every other turn. It needs to scope out its enemy first.

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Of course, being a machine, it’s weak to Lightning, which Cloud is able to exploit.

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Like most fights, it’s just a slugfest.

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Cloud, however, is able to use his Limit Break. Limit Breaks are super powerful moves that your characters have access to when they take enough damage. They’re pretty sweet, and they gain more as the game goes one (and there are ways to cheese the system a bit as well).

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Braver is pretty basic, it’s a leaping downward slash. But it’s still more powerful than anything else the party has access to right now.

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WELCOME TO THE FIRST BIT OF WEIRD TRANSLATION. Or maybe I just misunderstood it because I was young and dumb.

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See, the “Attack while it’s tail’s up” sounds like a command. Like, HEY, YEAH, DO THAT THING. But if you do it, it will counterattack. Against both members. It just seems like it’s worded poorly. I get it now though. I didn’t when I was younger.

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And then it died.

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We also get a sweet new weapon for Barret!

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That’s more than enough time.

BUT FIRST:
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A nice improvement. I’ll explain what the “Slots” do when they crop up again in-game.

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The timer keeps running while in battle. Also, the party gets back attacked here. That means that the rows are switched (Barret is in front, Cloud is in back). Also, when a character gets hit in the back, they take more damage. Back attacks kind of suck.

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Luckily, it can happen to enemies as well! And we get the same advantages, so our attacks do extra if we hit them in the back.

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Jessie: My leg got stuck. Thanks!

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She then vaults over Cloud’s head and ditches him. Sweet.

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RUNNNN!!

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RRRRRUUUUUUNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!

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AAAAAUUUUUUGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!

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Holy crap.

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Wedge: Yeah.
Barret: …
Jessie: Okay! Now everyone get back.

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Barret: Rendezvous at Sector 8 station! Split up and get on the train!
Cloud: H-hey!
Barret: If it’s about your money, wait ’til we get back.

MUSIC: Anxious Heart

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Hey, it’s the flower girl from the intro movie!

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I mean, she probably should get out of there.

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That text box is GIGANTIC for just one line. I wonder if that originally said something different?

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Guy: “Don’t be fooled by Shinra! Mako energy doesn’t last forever! Mako is the Planet’s life source! The end is in sight! Protectors of the planet: AVALANCHE”

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It doesn’t make a difference if we fight or run, but fighting at least garners some extra experience points.

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NAILED IT.

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Biggs: Cloud… think he was killed?
Barret: No way!
Jessie: Cloud…
Biggs: Say, do you think Cloud’s… going to stay on and fight for AVALANCHE?
Barret: How the hell would I know?! Do I look like a mind reader? Hmph!! If y’all weren’t such screw-ups…
Wedge: Hey, Barret! What about our money? …Uh, nothin’… sorry.

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*THUMP THUMP THUMP*

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Cloud: Looks like I’m a little late.
Barret: You damn right, you’re late!! Come waltzin’ in here makin’ a big scene!
Cloud: It’s no big scene. Just what I always do.
Barret: (*^%! Havin’ everyone worried like that. You don’t give a damn ’bout no one but yourself!
Cloud: Hmm… You were worried about me?
Barret: Wha?! That’s comin’ outta your share, hot shot!

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Barret: We’re movin’ out! Follow me!
Wedge: Hey, Cloud!! You were great back there!
Biggs: Heh, heh… Cloud! We’ll do even better next time.

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Jessie: Oh, Cloud! Your face is pitch-black… There you go! Say, thanks for helping me back there at the reactor!

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It’s full of HOOLIGANS and TERRORISTS and RABBLE-ROUSERS *grumble mumble grrr*

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This homeless guy is pretty cool, at least.

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“shu’up?” I know they’re going for the localization here, but, come on.

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Traingoer: The terrorists that bombed the No. 1 Reactor are based somewhere in the slums. …blowing up a reactor… they sure put some thought into this one. They must have a real calculating leader. I wonder what they’ll do next?

Either it’s been several hours since the bombing, or those are some damn fast reporters.

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Biggs: I’m sure that will change by tomorrow. *YAWN*… that sure took its toll on me. I’m gonna sleep till we get to the station.
Wedge: Someday AVALANCHE’s gonna be famous… and me, too!

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Jessie: It’s a map of the Midgar Rail System. Let’s look at it together. I’ll explain it to you. I like this kinda stuff. Bombs and monitors… you know, flashy stuff. Okay, it’s about to start.

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Jessie: It’s about a 1/10000 scale. The top plate is about 50 meters above ground. A main pillar supports the plate in the center, and there are other support pillars built in each section. (The No. 1 Reactor we blew up was in the northern section). Then there’s No. 2, No. 3, all the way up to the No. 8 Reactor. The 8 Reactors provide Midgar with electricity. Each town used to have a name, but no one in Midgar remembers them. Instead of names, we refer to them by numbered sectors. That’s how things turned out. Phew, look what’s next! Look!

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Jessie: We should be coming around the center right now. Each checkpoint has an ID sensor device. It checks the identities and backgrounds of each passenger on the train and is linked up to the central data bank at Shinra headquarters. (We definitely look suspicious, so we’re using fake IDs.)

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Jessie: That light means that we’re in the ID Security Check area. (When the lights go off, you never know what kind of creeps will come out.) We’re almost back now. What a relief.

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Jessie: I know! Next time, I’ll make one just for you.
Cloud: Looking forward to it.
Jessie: Okay, then I’ll put a little extra effort in and make it with a BANG.
Wedge: I’m seein’ stars. This sucks. I hate the dark.

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Barret: If that plate weren’t there… we could see the sky.
Cloud: A floating city… Pretty unsettling scenery.
Barret: Never expect ta hear that outta someone like you. You jus’ full of surprises.

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Barret: It’s cause of that &^#$# “pizza” that people underneath are sufferin’! And the city below is full of polluted air. On top’a that, the Reactor keeps drainin’ up all the energy.
Cloud: Then why doesn’t everyone move onto the plate?
Barret: Dunno. Probably ‘cuz they ain’t got no money. Or, maybe… ‘Cuz they love their land, no matter how polluted it gets.
Cloud: I know… no one lives in the slums because they want to. It’s like this train. It can’t run anywhere except where its rails take it.

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We made it!

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Nah, I’m making it a point to talk to basically every NPC because I just never do that anymore. But today, and for this playthrough, I AM.

Train Guard: When you’ve been a train man as long as I have, you see a lot of people and a lot of lives. People meeting, parting, joy, sadness… After awhile, it doesn’t even get to you anymore.

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Barret: The hard part’s still to come! Don’t y’all be scared of that explosion! ‘Cause the next one’s gonna be bigger than that! Meet back at the hideout!! Move out!

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Sounds like THEY’RE going to have fun tonight…

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Guard: Did I do good this time?
Guard2: You gotta be tougher!
Guard: But, uh, I…

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Guard2: You can’t pass. I got the miserable job of keepin’ scum like you from trying to sneak in here.
Guard: W, wow! You’re great!
Guard2: Damn right!! Don’t waste time talking is what I always say!
Guard: But, uh, I…

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You can’t see it in screenshots, but this guy’s sprite totally makes him look like he was just peeing in the corner. Or masturbating, whatever. Either way, his surprised reaction doesn’t help things.

Peein’ Dude: What on earth are you doing? Just butt out… geez! Huh? You came to see it too? There was a bombing on top. If this pillar should come down, everyone in the slums is dust… Well, there’s no point in worryin’ about that. Hey!! Check it out! It’s huge, ain’t it?

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Peein’ Dude: This is my place, but you can come here when you want. See ya, bro!

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FUCK YOU BARRET, I’M SAVING MY GAME!

NEXT TIME: The AVALANCHE Meeting.

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