Great Glacier – FFVII Ep. 34

Welcome back to Save File Plays Final Fantasy VII! When last we left off, the party had just witnessed a lot of backstory on Jenova, the Cetra, and Aeris’ biological parents. Then, Elena showed up, and literally rolled out of Icicle Inn when Cloud dodged her punch. After that, a kid lent the party his snowboard, and then they went and shredded up down the hills. Now, they’re trying to make their way through the snow fields towards the Northern Crater. LET’S HOP TO IT.

MUSIC: Buried in the Snow

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This cave. This is the one. The party is still pretty far from Gaea’s Cliff, and there are still some items to get. Got a ways to go, yet!

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Ah, yes, more gigantic centipede monster things.

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THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT TO DOING ONE OF THE THINGS HERE. Make sure you do this!

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I’m now attempting to make my way back to a cave that only appears if you have touched the Hot Spring.

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I… oh.

WELP.

I forgot that if you spend too much time running around the snow fields, Cloud will collapse from… hypothermia? Exhaustion? Something. Perhaps it has something to do with running around in frigid conditions while wearing a short sleeved shirt. LUCKILY, it does not to a game over. In fact…

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It takes you to your destination.

MUSIC: Ahead On Our Way

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Holzoff: My name is Holzoff. I’ve been living here 20 years now. If you are planning to head north, you’d better listen to me.

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Cloud: No.
Holzoff: There’s an old legend that says something fell from the sky here a long time ago. It’s supposed to have pushed the land up and formed this cliff. 20 years ago, Yamski and I braved this cliff to see what was on the other side. But, we weren’t prepared for it. We never dreamed the temperature would be so low… That cliff has a biting cold wind that lowers your body temperature. Yamski was below me. He cut his own rope… I didn’t even notice… I’ve lived here ever since. Challenging the cliff and providing warning and shelter to my fellow climbers.

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Holzoff:
First, check your route… It’s hard to find because of all the snow. Second, warm yourselves up once you get to a ledge. Understand? You must be tired coming all the way up here. Better get some rest before you head out.

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It’s free rest, but after the trauma that transpired during the last free rest, I think the game takes some mercy on us.

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The entire gang is waiting outside. And they look rather cold. To be fair, Tifa is wearing a tank top and mini-skirt, and Yuffie is wearing some sort of belly shirt and short shorts. YOU’RE BASICALLY AT THE NORTH POLE HERE, PEOPLE. Dress for the weather!

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Barret: Seein’ a place like this makes you realize how awesome nature is. But if anyone told me to live here, I’d tell them to… well, you know… I tell you one thing though, if I did have to live here, I’d change things around and make it better. I guess Midgar is the total opposite of this place. When you think of it that way, the Shinra don’t seem so bad…

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Barret: What the hell am I sayin’?! The Shinra, not bad?!
Cloud: We’ll secure the route. You come up later.

As usual, we can talk to everyone and have the option to switch our party up as well.

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Yuffie: Brrr, I can’t take this cold!
Red: I wonder what’s at the top of that cliff? Well, we shall see…
Tifa: Gotta keep telling myself this blizzard’s okay… brrr…
Cait Sith: This is secret info, but… Rufus is going to arrive here too.
Barret: Y’know, standing here like this… kind of makes you feel like the Planet’s not really with us, y’know? Of course, we can’t even compete. I mean… the Planet don’t even notice us humans.
Vincent: I wonder what’s on the other side of that cliff…

YEAH, NOT YOU, buddy.

I decided to go with the old-school party for this trip, of Cloud, Tifa and Barret. LET’S GO!!

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All right, let’s challenge this damn cliff.

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Basically, just keep climbing up. There are dead ends, so be careful. Everytime you get to a ledge, make sure you warm up. If your temperature falls too low, Cloud will pass out and will have to start again from Mr. Holzoff’s house.

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Eventually you’ll find some caves. You don’t have to worry about your temperature while you’re inside.

MUSIC: Lurking in the Darkness

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Unfortunately, the way forward is blocked off, so we need to find some way to clear that off. Apparently gigantic swords and gun-arms just won’t be able to break through that ice!

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GET OUT OF MY WAY, I HAVE THINGS TO DO.

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It’s a little difficult to see, but there’s a path to the south here.

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There’s also a weapon for Cid to be found, and more caves!!

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Cloud gives the boulder a boot, which rolls down the path and destroys the crystals that are impeding the pathway.

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There’s also this guy, which is like a smaller, red version of the old Materia Keeper boss!

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And that’s the first cave system out of the way!!

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The climbing paths become much longer here, making it more important to keep Cloud’s body temperature up.

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There are also branching paths, some of which lead to absolutely nowhere.

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OH, GOD, IT’S HORRIFYING. Malboros are a staple of FF. They can cast Bad Breath, which is an attack that slaps the party with pretty much every status effect in the book. This is why it’s always good to keep the Ribbon on someone at all times.

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They’re also terrifying eyeball/mouth/tentacle monsters.

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Next cave! It’s go time!

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I’LL TAKE IT.

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This is a wraparound path that purely exists for more battles (which I’ve cut out)

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Those are some suspiciously un-rendered icicles…

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Ohhhhh. Yes, the party has to fight some icicles. The icicles themselves aren’t bad, but the 4 bats that accompany them are annoying as shit. They have high evasion and also like to cast silence on the party.

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Of course, coming in with Limit Breaks ready to go is a great way to start.

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When you defeat them, the icicle starts to splinter at its base.

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And then they fall down to the room below.

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I then do this 3 more times. It’s the same battle every time.

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You have the chance to jump down to the room below after every battle, but then I’d miss out on this Megalixir!

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The room below is very different once the icicles have fallen down. We can now move on. hooray!

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The Enhance Sword has great Materia Slots, but the hit to Attack power is just not acceptable to me.

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One more cliff-scaling area to go!

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One more cave to go!

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Inside this cave is a Save Point and a hot spring that restores the party back to full health. Gee, I wonder if there is a boss fight coming up?

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Continuing on, the party encounters a black cloaked man being thrown backwards.

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The entire screen starts to shake…

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IT’S ON!!!!

MUSIC: Those Who Fight Further

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Say hello to Schizo. Schizo is by far the most difficult boss up until this point. If I was SMART, I would have leveled my Restore Materia up enough to have Regen, which I am fairly close to, but I am not smart. Therefore, this battle is much, much harder than it has to be. I did not prepare adequately.

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Schizo’s left head is ice-based, while the right head is fire based.

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Both heads can also cast Quake3

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I really need Tifa to get her next Limit Break.

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MBarrier is an absolute MUST in this battle if you want to survive. MBarrier cuts down the damage from magical attacks by 50%.

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300 damage is much easier to swallow than 600.

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This is the kind of damage that happens WITHOUT MBarrier on.

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I was actually very worried I was going to lose at several points during this fight.

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And unfortunately, while MBarrier cuts down all magical effects by half, that includes healing magic. Meaning the effectiveness of my Cure spells is… not so much. Regen would be the way to get around that, but… OOPS.

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Cloud’s Climhazzard hit a critical here, killing one of the heads.

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Unfortunately, the heads also get a parting shot. In this case, a very, very painful one. Tifa is the sole survivor here.

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Oh geez, oh geez, oh geez

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Whew. That was close.

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Goddammit! After all that, his last attack almost took out the entire party. That was far more difficult than it should have been. Geez.

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HEAL HEAL HEAL SAVE SAVE SAVE

(I totally healed up in the menu right after that fight in case I got into a random battle before getting back to the heal/save point)

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Because LO AND BEHOLD, it’s a goddamn dragon that would wreck my shit if didn’t heal up!

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MUSIC: The Great North Cave

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Well… we did it. We made it. It’s the Northern Crater. And it’s FRIGGIN’ AWESOME.

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Cloud: Something fell out of the sky and crashed down here. Leaving a scar on the Planet.
Tifa: So the Planet has gathered all this energy here to heal itself?
Cloud: Sephiroth took that energy and is trying to use Meteor. Next time the wound won’t be so small.

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So a few of the black cloaked men managed to make it this far.

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Tifa: I’ve lost a lot because of Sephiroth. Let’s go!

This is where Tifa would force herself into the party if she wasn’t already in it. But I thought ahead!

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OH, BABY!

NEXT LOADUP ON SAVE FILE: The Northern Crater!! TONS OF DRAMA. No, really, there is going to be hella drama. So buckle up!!!

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