Welcome back to Save File Plays Final Fantasy VII! There’s not that much left to do besides beat the game, and do a couple of other things that are immensely time consuming and not that interesting, and I will do some of those things this update. But I’m also going to go around and tie up some loose ends as well, story-wise, and get some items that are pretty important. So let’s get it started!
First stop: Cosmo Canyon!
I’ll be cutting out a lot of the travel.
MUSIC: Cosmo Canyon (Symphonic Remaster)
Guard: Why don’t you hurry and see Bugenhagen?
The party makes their way up to the top where Bugen resides.
Red XIII goes sprinting forward; Cloud and Tifa decide to give him some space.
: …Nanaki? You’re still… here?
: I can’t leave you like this, Grandfather! It’s the duty of… Seto’s son, to guard this canyon and her people…
: …listen, Nanaki. I think you may already know. If you have any mission in life, it is not to defend this valley. Look at the withering mountain grass. Listen to the warble of the newborn chocobo’s. Look always to the eternal flow of time which is far greater than the span of a human life. It will teach you more than staying here in the valley… What you will see will eventually become a part of the Lifestream.
: So, please, Nanaki… Go with Cloud. And use your eyes… your ears…
: Ho ho… hoooo… now, now. Don’t look like that. I’m all right. It’s a big world and you must go out and see it… You may even find your life’s mate. You never know.
: Oh yes, take this along. I think it will look good on you now.
: …Grandpa told me that he’s going away again!
: It seems like her really liked that airship. He told me he couldn’t stay still and just zipped out of here! He even gave me a gift, look!
: Wait a minute. Aren’t you supposed to give gifts AFTER you come back? Ha ha… Grandpa sure is strange! Haa… ha ha… ha…
: Hmm… maybe we’ll run into him again somewhere.
: Yeah… maybe. Thanks, Cloud.
Man, I can’t say why for sure, but this death affects me more than Aeris ever did. Maybe it’s just Red XIII’s reaction to it, but it always hits me right in the feels. SO SAD! The Limited Moon, by the way, is Red XIII’s ultimate weapon.
Speaking of ultimate weapons… Ultima Weapon is now on the world map. You can fly into him and fight him, and eventually defeat him, but I’ll be doing that in a later update.
I’ve got something to grab from Corel really quick.
Woman: I’m still too young… I’ll never remarry. This memento is all I have left of my husband… I’ll give it to you if you’ll please stop Meteor.
Catastrophe is Barret’s Level 4 Limit Break.
Next stop: Bone Village!!
There’s some cool stuff you can dig up here, but I’m looking for something a little more specific…
This little beauty, which gives us access back into Midgar! Only the Sector 6 slums and Wall Market though.
Let’s head on in!
This guy is the hint that the key can be found. Excavation tour = Bone Village. Of course, having played this game so much, I was already aware of that.
We can go into the church where Cloud first met Aeris.
And if you stop right after entering… you can see Aeris tending to the flowers.
Moving forward causes her to disappear though. It’s just a little Easter Egg, Aeris’ ghost.
The real reason I’m here is in Wall Market though.
MUSIC: The Oppressed (Symphonic Remaster)
If you went into this little hut earlier in the game, nothing would happen. But now…
We’ve got a tech wizard in the party now!
Cid fiddles around with it, but mostly ends up just kicking it.
: Don’t get mad, you’ll just get more wrinkles. Hey, something’s coming out.
Coming back here nets us the Premium Heart, Tifa’s ultimate weapon.
There’s one more thing to do here, up in the Weapon Shop where we bought the batteries oh, so long ago.
: You probably just found it lying around somewhere, right?
Shopkeep: I’ll admit that I found it, but you may never be able to get another like it again. How ’bout 129,000 gil for it?
I have over 5 Million gil. I have no need for money, so this is a drop in the bucket.
The Sneak Glove is an accessory that boost out Steal success rate. I dunno if I’ll ever use it, but hey, I’m trying to show off as much as I can!
Next stop: Nibelheim!
MUSIC: Anxious Heart (Symphonic Remaster)
There’s a couple of things to do here.
The first is to jam out on Tifa’s piano. You actually have to play the tune that Cloud plays during the Nibelheim flashback.
: Huh? Wait a minute! There’s something inside the music sheet.
“But he was nowhere to be found. Instead, I found you, collapsed inside. I felt saving you was far more important than going after Sephiroth. There were several others that were still alive inside, but I was only able to save you. As I was coming out of the reactor, Shinra troops were just arriving. I recall a scientist named Hojo was in charge. He ordered the troops to gather up everyone still alive for the experiment. I didn’t know what type of experiment he was talking about, but I wasn’t about to let them have my dearest student. Putting you on my back, I headed down the mountain to the village. I used the Cure spell on you many times. And started to head for Midgar to look for a doctor for you. I didn’t like that city, but my Cure spells weren’t helping. I decided to go to Midgar to find a doctor I could trust. I’m worried about you, but I can’t settle down in one place for very long. Have you recovered fully? Are you well? I wonder how many years have passed since then? I just got into town again, but I can’t believe it… The whole town is back to normal, except for the strange people with black clothes all around. The town reeks of Shinra, but I won’t go after them. You may think I’m running from them, but it’s just that I don’t want anything to do with Shinra anymore. Feels like time is running out. I’m sure you’ll find this letter. And this gift for you. It should come in handy. I can’t even jump anymore. But I hope you continue to sharpen your skills and remember what I taught you. To my most precious student,
HOLY SHIT, that was a long letter.
The gift from Zangan is “Final Heaven,” Tifa’s Level 4 Limit Break. Plus, I like the world-building. We knew Zangan survived the Nibelheim fire, but not what happened to him. Now we know! …kind of.
There’s one more thing to do in Shinra Mansion.
If you head into the basement, you’re met with a flashback.
IT’S DINNER TIME!!
Zack decks the Shinra employee when his pod is opened.
Zack grabs his sword and drags Cloud out of town. I’m unsure if Cloud is out of it because he’s still very wounded, or because he’s suffering from Mako poisoning. It’s never really specified.
: Put this on. It smells a little, but don’t complain. You look pretty good with that! Well…
MUSIC: Ahead on Our Way (Symphonic Remaster)
Old Guy: Shaddap! You’re lucky I even gave you a ride!
: I know what I’m gonna do. I gotta place I can crash for awhile. No, wait… the mother lives there too. Guess that’s out…
: Hmm… No matter what I do, I need some money first… Hey, wanna start a business? Now what could we do? Hey Cloud, Think there’s anything I’d be good at? Hey, old guy! What do you think I’d be good at?
Old Guy: Young folks should try everything! You gotta pay your dues while you’re young. Go out and look for what you really want.
: Try everything… That’s easy for him to say. HEY! Of course! I got more brains and skill than most other guys! That settles it! I’m gonna become a mercenary!
: Listen, I’m gonna become a mercenary, and that’s that. Boring stuff, dangerous stuff, anything for money! I’m gonna be rich!
I actually really love this interaction. It shows off Zack’s personality very well, since we know virtually nothing about him, even though he’s a pretty important character.
: We’re friends, right? Mercenaries, Cloud. That’s what you and me are gonna be. Understand, Cloud?
MUSIC: Those Chosen by the Planet
Zack is still carting Cloud around.
Zack runs off screen, and the sounds of gunfire and swordplay are heard.
Uhh… I’m sure he’s fine, right?
JESUS CHRIST! That’s brutal as hell!
: Ah… ughhh….
Officer: Forget it. Just leave him.
And that’s how Cloud made it to Midgar…
Examining the pods shows that they were planning their escape for quite some time.
Now… there’s one thing left to do… Chocobo Breeding.
Please keep in mind that I’m condensing this section MASSIVELY. This is probably about 6-8 hours of gameplay squashed down into 30-ish screenshots. I’ll even explain how it’s done!
First, catch 2 Great Chocobos, found in the Mideel area. Then, feed ’em both about 30 or so Sylkis Greens (bought from the Chocobo Sage) to boost their stats as high as they can get.
Then go race ’em at the Gold Saucer!
Head on up into the race area, and talk to Ester! (Yeah, remember Ester?)
Ester: There’s a lot going on in the world outside. It’s a little lonely around here, but you can’t keep a jockey from doing what he loves. How ’bout it? You want to ride again? You have your own Chocobo, right?
Race them to as high as a rank as you can. The Great Chocobos will probably only be able to get up to A rank before they get outstripped, but that’s good enough. Raising their rank increases their odds of birthing a special Chocobo when you mate them. Just use the short race, it takes less time, and there’s no difference between the short and long when it comes to leveling.
3 Victorious races will move your Chocobo up a rank, from C -> B -> A -> S.
Mate them using a Carob Nut, which can be stolen from, or won from the Vlakorados monster, just outside of Bone Village (NOT in the forest). Doing so should get you a Blue Chocobo (River Chocobo) and a Green Chocobo (Mountain Chocobo). Do the same thing for them. Take them to the Gold Saucer, and race ’em up the ranks. Also, that’s supposed to be named “Greeny,” not “Greedy,” but I am bad at spelling.
Incest aside, mate your Mountain and River Chocobos, using a Carob Nut again, to get a Black Chocobo (River & Mountain Chocobo)!
I named mine, Darko, Dark God of the Dark.
After you have a Black Chocobo, go catch a “Wonderful” Chocobo, which can be found in the Icicle Inn area.
Race that baby up to a high rank as well, and finally mate your Black Chocobo and your Wonderful Chocobo using a Zeio Nut, which can only be found on a small island in the northeast, from battling Goblins.
TA-DA! You have yourself a Gold Chocobo! Gold Chocobos can traverse any landscape OR waterscape. It’s also known as an Ocean Chocobo, because it can literally walk over the ocean! With Goldie, I can access the few parts of the world map that can be reached with the Highwind. Also, I could have gotten to some of these places with the Blue, Green, or Black Chocobos, but I figured I’d wait until I got a gold one.
That only took several hours. Hooray!
Also, you can be riding a Chocobo and still use the Highwind. There’s a Chocobo stable on the inside.
MUSIC: Cinco De Chocobo (Symphonic Remaster)
So let’s go explore!
There are 4 “Materia Caves” that can only be accessed with the Special Chocobos. I’ll be hitting up all 4 in succession. The first can be accessed with a River Chocobo, and is north of Mt. Corel.
There’s unique Materia found in each. This one is the HP<->MP Materia, which as advertised, swaps your HP and MP values. Meaning you can have 9999 MP, and only 999 HP. It’s extremely situational, and I will probably never use it.
The next can be found on the same island as Wutai, and can be reached as soon as you have a Mountain Chocobo.
The Mime Materia has whoever uses it replicate the action of the character before them (except for Limit Breaks). This is not limited by the fact that they don’t have the Materia equipped. So you can have a character use a summon, and then have the next mime the summon.
The Quadra Magic is basically a 4x Magic Materia. It can be accessed once you have a Black Chocobo, and is found near Mideel.
The last Cave is found on tiny island (not even on the map), in the very northeast. It can only be accessed with a Gold Chocobo.
And it holds the hallowed Knights of the Round summon. It’s extremely powerful, and the animation is about 2 minutes long. I’ll probably end up using it at some point.
And also, we can finally access the Ancient Forest which is near Cosmo Canyon. You can access it with a Mountain Chocobo as well. There’s another way to reach it that I’ll show off next update, but this is where I’ll leave off for now, and where we’ll pick up next time!