Icicle Inn – FFVII Ep. 33

Welcome back to Save File Plays Final Fantasy VII. Last episode, the party said goodbye to Aeris, as she was cut down in the prime of her life by Sephiroth. What a dick, right? We cannot let this injustice stand! Sephiroth said that he was going to continue north, past the snow fields. When last we left off, the team was right outside of Icicle Inn, the ski resort town. We’ll pick up as they enter.

MUSIC: Buried in the Snow

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I actually love this town. It’s so quaint! And I just love snow. Up to a point, at least. It’s very pretty to look at. It isn’t very fun to shovel. Constantly. And never mind how weird it is that there is a ski resort town in this game.

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It’s a new town, so we’re going to explore everywhere! This sign seems to indicate that the building to the left is the equipment shop, and I am all about that. So let’s do it!

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Grandpa: *smack* *mff* Oh… welcome, glad you came.

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Sweet crispy crackers. The Icicle Inn weapons shop has a weapon upgrade for everyone on the team. Unfortunately, I am nowhere near able to afford upgrades for 8 characters. At least I don’t have to buy for 9 though, AM I RITE?

Too soon, huh? All right, well, I switched up the party in between sessions, so right now Vincent and Barret are in the party. I get the Organics for Cloud, the Lariat for Vincent, and the Microlaser for Barret. I also pick up the Dragon Claw for Tifa, as she will be forced into the party for another dungeon soon, and I won’t have a chance to get her an upgrade in between. This shop also sells Tents, but there is no item shop in Icicle Inn.

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With that taken care of, I figure it will be best to just comb the town from left to right, so let’s see what’s in the next house!

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Huh. Looks… technological.

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YOINK.

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Oooo, home movies? Let’s pry, shall we?

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Huh. Well, let’s just go down the list!

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Ifalna? It’s Aeris’ mama! Well, her biological mom, that is.

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Ifalna: The first ones to discover the Planet’s wound were the Cetra at the Knowlespole.
Professor Gast: Tell us, Ifalna… Where is the land called “Knowlespole?”
Ifalna: Knowlespole refers to this area. The Cetra then began a Planet-reading.
Prof. Gast: Ifalna, what exactly does Planet-reading entail?
Ifalna: …I can’t explain it very well, but it’s like having a conversation with the Planet… It said something fell from the sky, making a large wound. Thousands of Cetra pulled together, trying to heal the Planet… but due to the severity of the wound, it was only able to heal itself over many years.

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Ifalna: No, it’s not that kind of power. The life force of all living things on this Planet becomes the energy.The Cetra tried desperately to cultivate the land so as not to diminish the needed energy…
Prof. Gast: Hmm, even here so close to the North Cave, the snow never melts. Is that because the Planet’s energy is gathered here to heal its injury?
Ifalna: Yes, the energy that was needed to heal the Planet withered away the land… then the Planet… the Planet tried to persuade the Cetra to leave Knowlespole, but…
Prof. Gast: Ifalna… Let’s take a break.

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Ifalna: That’s when it appeared! It looked like… our… our dead mothers… and our dead brothers. Showing us specters of their past.
Prof. Gast: Who is the person that appeared at the North Cave? I haven’t any idea.
Ifalna: That’s when the one who injured the Planet… or the “crisis from they sky,” as we call it, came. It first approached as a friend, deceived them, and finally… gave them the virus. The Cetra were attacked by the virus and went mad… transforming into monsters. Then, just as it had at the Knowlespole. It approached other Cetra clans… and infected them with… the virus.

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Huh. I like this a lot, actually. It’s very good world-building, but it’s also completely optional. You could skip over this building, or maybe you don’t examine the machinery. But it provides some interesting history on things that are never really explained. The North Crater at one point was probably normal land, but something crashed into the planet, and since then, the land has withered away, trying to restore the crater. It gives us some backstory on Jenova, as well. Jenova, in fact, is not an Ancient, as Vincent implied way back when. (What a dumbass, right?) She’s a goddamn alien! Now, I’m normally not a fan of the whole “ALIENS DID IT” thing, but it’s not overdone here. It’s more subtle, kind of like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, or something like that.

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This is fascinating! Let’s watch the next one!

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Ifalna: Yes, Professor. The one the Professor mistook for a Cetra… was named Jenova. That is the “crisis from the sky.” The Planet knew it had to destroy the “crisis from the sky…” You see, as long as Jenova exists, the Planet will never be able to fully heal itself.
Prof. Gast: Back then, Weapon was a weapon the Planet produced by its own will?

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Ifalna:
A small number of the surviving Cetra defeated Jenova and confined it. The Planet produced Weapon… but it was no longer necessary to use it.
Prof. Gast: So, Weapon no longer exists on this Planet?
Ifalna: Weapon cannot vanish… It remains asleep somewhere on the Planet. Even though Jenova is confined, it could come back to life at some time. The Planet has not fully healed itself yet. It’s keeping watch on Jenova.
Prof. Gast: Where is Weapon?
Ifalna: I don’t know… I can’t hear the voice of the Planet well… Times… have changed. The Planet… is probably watching this situation closely.
Prof. Gast: Thank you, Ifalna. That will be all for today…

This is something new. Apparently, the Planet produced a weapon, aptly named Weapon, to get rid of Jenova. This Weapon still exists. And you can bet your buns that since it was mentioned, at some point or another, the party is going to encounter it.

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When choosing the “Confidential” item in the list, Cloud is presented with 2 more choices. Let’s go for the first one!

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Whoa, whoa, whoa…

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Ifalna: What are you going to tape? Is there still something I haven’t remembered?
Prof. Gast: No, that’s not it. I’m going to record my beautiful daughter.
Ifalna: And when she’s sleeping, her face… looks like an angel.
Prof. Gast: First, we have to figure out her name. We can take the video later! I’ve already decided! If it’s a girl, it’ll be Aeris. That’s that!
Ifalna: You are SO selfish! But Aeris is a good name! Hee hee… it’s a good name, considering it came out of that forgetful head of yours!
Prof. Gast: Right?! Oh, the video tape…

Here, we learn about Aeris’ biological father… it’s Professor Gast. MIND KABOOM. WHAT’S ON THE NEXT TAPE?!

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Prof. Gast: Please don’t say it that way… it’s our lovely daughter, both yours… and mine! Don’t you want to capture her childhood on videotape?
Ifalna: If you keep doting on her like that, she won’t grow up to be strong… Aeris is different from the other children. I wonder what dangers await her?

Come on, lady. She isn’t even 3 weeks old, and you’re talking about her father doting on her??

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Prof. Gast: You and Aeris are my only treasures. I’ll never let you go!!
Ifalna: I feel so much better now, darling. If I hadn’t met you, I…

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*KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK*

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Prof. Gast: Damn!! How dare they intrude on our “private time” together!
Ifalna: I’ll send them away. Yes, at once! Who the devil…?

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Aw, snip snaps! It’s Hojo!

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Prof. Gast: Hojo… How did you know?
Hojo: Believe me, I had to turn over a stone or two to find you. Two years I waited… That’s how much I wanted this new sample, ha ha ha.
Prof. Gast: You mean Aeris?!
Hojo: Hmm, Aeris? What a nice name, ha ha ha.
Prof. Gast: That’s it! I’m severing all ties with the Shinra. Hojo, please leave!

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Hojo: I’ll need all of you for my experiment. You understand, don’t you, Professor Gast? We can change the future of the Planet!
Prof. Gast: Don’t worry, Ifalna. I’ll take care of this!
Hojo: Please don’t put up a fight. I don’t want any harm to come to my precious sample.

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*pew pew pew*

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Hojo: Wh… what are you doing, Professor?!
Prof. Gast: Ifalna! Take Aeris and run!
*BANG*
Ifalna: Eyaaaaaah… Darling!!!
Hojo: Oh, and uh… don’t forget the child! Hmm, a video? The Ancients… Weapon?! Heh heh heh… a mountain of treasure! Thank you, Professor… ha ha ha…

And now we find out about what happened to Professor Gast. Man, Hojo is a dick.

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That’s all there is to be seen here. Lots of info in this house though! This is the house where Aeris should have grown up

😦

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Concerned Mom: I never shoulda got him that snowboard.

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Awwww, well that’s kinda sad.

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Grams: He should at least be at the foot of Gaea’s Cliff. It’s marked with a check on the map…
The Help: The master is an experienced climber, you know. I’ve heard that he knows every corner of that Great Glacier!

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Yeah, let’s just steal all of the things!

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Guy: If you’re thinkin’ ’bout going to the Northern limits, you’d better take that map on the wall. What nerve! You already tore down the map.

WHOOPS.

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The last place to check out here is the Inn.

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Yeah, gotta heal up!

After resting up, everyone is still sitting exactly where they were the night before, so let’s chat ’em up, shall we?

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Tourist #2: You heard about the gnarly hill in this town? They tell me its off limits!
Tourist #3: What luck! We came all this way… crap!

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I’ve made that mistake before! Burns hurt, kids.

There’s also a pub down in the basement, so let’s go check that out!

MUSIC: Ahead on Our Way

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WHOA, OCCUPADO!!

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Local #2: What were the Cetra? Oh yeah, they were the same as the Ancients, right?
Local #1: Yeah, a Cetra lived in this town a long time ago. Her name was Ifalna, and she knew about a lot of things.
Local #2: Whaddaya mean?
Local #1: I heard she was abducted by the Shinra and taken somewhere.
Local #2: Shinra and the Ancients… I smell somethin’ fishy.

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Redhead: What an idiot. Is he thinking about goin’ to that hot spring?
Blonde: He’s probably gonna get lost in the glacier and freeze to death. No matter how well equipped he is, out there in that cold on the glacier, I give him two days at the most.
Redhead #2: You thinkin’ of going North?
Cloud: That’s my plan.
Redhead #2: Well… if you’re going past this town, you’ll need a map. Maybe there’s one left at Mr. Holzoff’s house. He used to be a mountain climber.

Way ahead of ya, pal. But thanks for the tip!

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Guy: Something huge must’ve fallen from the sky a long time ago!
Bartender: I’ve hear there’s a snow woman at the Great Glacier that hates hot springs… But I think it’s just a myth to scare off visitors.

Welp, that’s everything in town that acan be done, so I think it’s time to move on!

MUSIC: Buried in the Snow

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Citizen: It’s dangerous, please don’t go!
Cloud: I’m still going.
Citizen: Damn, I was just being nice… What the? WHo are those people over there? Looks like trouble!

Eh?

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Oh, wow, it’s been awhile since we’ve seen Elena!

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Elena: I won’t let you go any further!
Cloud: What’s down there?
Elena: It’s a SE-CR-ET. It really doesn’t matter! You really got guts messin’ up my boss like that!
Cloud: You mean Boss… Tseng? That wasn’t us. Sephiroth did it.?
Elena: No! Liar! Don’t think you can fool me!

Er… have you TALKED to Tseng? I’m sure he would agree that it was, in fact, Sephiroth.

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Elena: Don’t try to act innocent. I’ll never forget it!
Cloud: Oh, man…
Elena: Looks like just talking won’t do. You’re going to have to feel some pain!
Soldier: Just you… and me!!
Elena: No, I can handle him! There’s no way he can avoid my punch!

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…heh

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Kid: Hey, I’ll give you my snowboard.

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Sweet!

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TIME TO GO SHRED UP THOSE HILLS!!!

MUSIC: Snowboarding

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It’s time for the snowboarding mini-game! There… there isn’t really much to say about it, so I’m kind of just going to montage it.

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Even though there’s a timer, you’re not really being timed.

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You can collect balloons, but they don’t really do anything for you here.

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After you complete this, though, you can do it as much as you want. Beyond that, the Snowboarding game in the Gold Saucer is unlocked, where your time matters, as well as the number of balloons you collect. So the real thing is kind of like practice.

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This was also apparently so popular that they released it as a standalone game.

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It was either for mobile phones or some weird forgotten handheld like the N-Gage, or NeoGeo.

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As you can tell, I never played the standalone version. Also, there are actually two branching paths to decide between. Which paths you take determines where you end up in the Snow fields.

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I went right, then left, so let’s see where we end up!!

MUSIC: Buried in the Snow

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Cloud: I guess we’re still in one piece.
Barret: Of course.
Vincent: Yeah, I’m all right.
Cloud: So where did we land? We’ve jumped pretty far…
Vincent: We should check it on the map.
Cloud: It sure is cold. We’ll freeze if we stay here any longer.

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So the way this place works is that there are several landmarks about. We can only check the map at landmarks. We want to make it all the way to the north, but there’s plenty of items to be found around. Of course, there are several passages between each landmark, where there are encounters and such. Right now, we’re at the lone tree in the middle. If we head all the way south, we can get back to Icicle Inn.

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Hey, it’s our next area!

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These little guys suck. They don’t hit that hard, but they have so much HP. They’re basically damage sponges.

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Okay, they hit decently hard. Just frustrating to battle.

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Here’s a little puzzle thing. We can only jump on the big chunks. When you jump on one, the ones next to them switch. Little to big, big to little, etc.

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If you end up on a big chunk surrounded by little ones, you’re forced to start over.

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The Safety Bit is a nice accessory! I don’t remember what it does, but I’m sure that at some point I’ll be glad that I have it.

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These floaty lizard guys like to try and inflict Berserk. But really, Berserk is one of the least worrisome status effects. It just makes the party hit harder.

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Our next landmark is a cave!

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The party can use this cave to completely exit the snow fields, but it’s very strange, since this cave is so close to the actual exit anyways. I have no intentions of leaving, though.

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This is a long update. Let’s stop here, shall we?

NEXT LOADUP ON SAVE FILE: We finish off the Snow Fields!

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