Final Fantasy 7 Part 1 – Avalanche and Seduction

Final Fantasy 7.

If you are a RPG fan, you have heard of this game, most likely even played it.
Final Fantasy 7 was the first game to make the leap into 3D, which was huge when it first released.

Today, FF7 remains one of the most popular and is a huge turning point for the series.
Even so far as to earn a HD remake in the coming future as of this writing!

This was also the introduction to some of the most popular FF characters to date, like Cloud, Tifa and Yuffie.

This was also the introduction of the materia system, a system that allows players to equip their party with gems that would give them abilities and spells.

These materia could also be combined with other materia to create various effects, like countering attacks with a certain spell, allowing you to cast a spell that affects the entire party, plus many more.

This was unique, because unlike, say, FF6, spells weren’t permanently learned. If you removed a materia from a character, they couldn’t use that materia anymore, so strategic planning of what materia to put on your characters as well the potential combos of those
materia really matter.

Much like FF6, this features a decent sized cast of characters that we will get into as we play the game.

I was a bit of a late-comer to FF7.

I never played it around the time it was released. I played 8 and Tactics.
However, I picked this up on Steam a couple of years ago and played it for the first time.

I enjoyed it, but we will talk about that later.

Let’s begin our next journey into Final Fantasy 7!
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So we begin with a shot of a girl.
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As she makes her way through the alley, we are then treated to a view of some kind of city as well as a large, factory-like building.
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Then, a train drops off our main character, who does a neat flip as we attack some soldiers in our way.
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Here is the battle system.
It runs very simliar to FF5 and 6, you have a bar that rises, it fills, it’s that character’s turn.
Limit is something new to FF7.

When the Limit bar is full, it allows a character to perform a Limit Break, usually doing great damage plus other various effects.
You gain limit by taking damage. The greater the damage, the more your limit bar is filled.

Right now, our character, “Ex-Soldier” has little on him, but he does come with an Ice and Bolt materia.
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Continuing on, we introduce ourselves as Cloud.
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It appears we are working with a group called Avalanche, and us being Ex-Soldier, we are not trusted yet.
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A large man comes and gives us some orders to attack a part of the area.
He is revealed to be Barret.

Continuing on, we find some battles as we make our way through this area.

We find Barret who explains that these reactors are sapping away at the planet’s energy, and we are here to stop it.
He then joins us.

Let’s look at our status screen, shall we?
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Everything is pretty self-explanatory, but the green connected gems on Cloud’s Buster Sword indicates he has two materia equipped on that weapon, in this case, Ice and Bolt.

The fact that they are connected does matter later on, since you can combo materia together.
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For Barret, you will notice his Gatling Gun only has one slot for a materia, which is currently empty.

As we venture further into the game, the amount of materia slots will grow, and we will have to make some tough choices about what to equip or not.

Sometimes, it might be more beneficial to equip an item that has lower attack or defense, merely because it has better materia slots.

Anyway, with Barret in tow, we continue on through the reactor.
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We run into some more encounters making our way through, and here is Cloud’s Bolt spell in action. It does a good chunk of damage at this stage.
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In battle, Barret attacks with his arm-mounted gatling gun.
If a weapon says it is a long range weapon, it can be used with full strength from the back row.
Most of Barret’s weapons are long range, so I put him in the back row to lower the damage he receives from physical attacks.
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We follow Jessie, and we come to this floating question mark, which is the save points for the game. Much like in past games, we can also use Tents and the like to heal our party.
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Moving on, we find the Restore materia, which allows some healing magic. We hold on to it for now.

We get to the place where we are going to set up the bomb to blow up the reactor, and Barret has Cloud do it, but right before he does, Cloud has an odd voice ring out in his mind, saying this isn’t just a reactor… Peculiar.
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Regardless, Cloud set us up the bomb, I mean sets the bomb, and something attacks us!
So the first boss isn’t too bad. Well, for first time players it might be!
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So, his first move is to scan a target, which will let the player know he is going to attack next.
His attacks aren’t that damaging, since this is the first boss.
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I had Cloud spamming Bolt while Barret attacked.
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We also get to try out our Limit Breaks here.
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Cloud’s Braver just does extra damage to one enemy.
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Barret’s Big Shot does the same.

However, during the fight, he goes into a stance with his tail up.

The game has some tricky dialogue here.
If you aren’t careful, like I was when I first played through the game, you might think that attacking it while the tail is up is a good idea, but it’s not.
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Don’t do that, or he will counter with Tail Laser and mess you up.

Bad translation? Just a mistake? Who knows, but do not attack while his tail is up.
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He goes down after another round of Limit Breaks.

Cloud and Barret both level up, and we also get the Assault Gun for Barret.
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We escape the reactor as it begins to blow up, having to help Jessie twice in the process.
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With everyone safe, Barret orders everyone to split up and head to the train, so we do.

On the way, the same girl from the intro stops us and asks us what is going on.
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We tell her to clear out quick, and she does.
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We run through the city, and get trapped by some soldiers, but Cloud pulls a fast one on them and jumps onto the train down below!
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In the train, Barret and the others wonder what happened to Cloud, who then flips into the train from above!
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Barret is slightly pissed.
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On the train, Jessie gives us some information about Midgar, the city we are presently in.

She says that the city has a main pillar, as well as eight other pillars that support the city.

We also learn that Midgar has a large “plate” that supports the upper city, while the city down below is becoming more and more polluted and desolate.

We exit the train and follow Barret and the others to their hideout.
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Speaking to a woman, she tells us that there has been a terrorist attack, and that there was about 1 billion gil worth of damage.

She also mentions how a lot of people were killed. Innocent people… Are we really doing the right thing here?
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We enter this little bar area and we get introduced to Tifa, another character.

Apparently, her and everyone know each other.
Barret comes in and his young daughter greets him, and he calls a meeting.

We take a moment and speak to Tifa, who serves a “hard” drink. How old is Cloud anyway?
She merely mentions that she is glad we made it out in one piece, but mentions how we look a bit tired.

We continue on to Barret and the meeting.
It seems that the explosion was a little more powerful than anticipated, but in any case, it got the job done.
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Barret has some stellar lines here.

Cloud basically is asked to join Avalanche, but he doesn’t care about anything, the planet, Shinra, Soldier, or anything, really.

Barret pops off on him, and Tifa runs in.
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Cloud heads back upstairs and Tifa asks him about the promise they made seven years prior.
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Right before Cloud left his home town to join Soldier, Tifa made him promise, that if she was ever in trouble, Cloud would rescue her.

He is confused at first, but then agrees.
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Barret rushes in, and Cloud gives and says he will help them with their next mission for 3000 gil after Barret pays him his share for the reactor job.

Barret gets pissed, but Tifa talks him down, and Barret agrees on 2000 gil.
We then rest for the night and continue in the morning.

Tifa tells us she is heading with us on the next mission, and Barret says we are heading to the Sector 5 reactor.

We also get a brief tutorial on materia, and we now have access to our materia.
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So, as you can tell, equipping a materia will give you abilities, and offer bonuses and negatives to your stats.

In this case, equipping the Restore materia on Tifa will allow her to cast Cure, as well as increasing her Magic and Max MP.
But it will decrease her Strength and Max HP.

Materia can also “level up,” and get stronger, and offer stronger, more potent abilities, in this case, Cure 2, Regen and Cure 3.

Each one is a level, so once we reach level 2 on this materia, we get Cure 2, level 3, Regen and so forth.

I think if a materia reaches max level, it will split, and spawn a new, level 1 materia of that type.

Anyway, Tifa informs us that someone in a weapon shop has something for us, so we head there.

In the beginner’s hall, we get the All materia, which allows paired magic spells to hit all enemies.
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In Cloud’s case, since his weapon has a linked slot, he can put the Bolt spell in one, and the All materia in the other one, which allows him to cast Bolt to hit all enemies in battle!

You can only do this a certain number of times in battle, which will go up as you level up the All materia.
We also get an Ether, which restores some MP.

Moving on, we check out the actual weapon shop to see what he has for sale.
We buy some Iron Bangles for everyone, as well as heading to the item shop to pick up some Antidotes as well.

The item shop also sells Ice, Fire, Bolt and Restore materia, but we don’t pick any of those up yet.

We board the train, and Barret tells us that our fake ID’s won’t work anymore, so they have to jump off at an earlier point to not get caught.
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But then there is a surprise scan of the car, and we have to hoof it before the train-car we are on gets shut down!

We run through the train, and eventually jump off, and continue on our way to the reactor in Sector 5.
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The enemies here are still incredibly easy, and with Cloud’s Bolt-All spell, they go down in one round, usually.

Here, we also get a chance to see Tifa’s Limit Break.
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A slot-like mini-game appears, and depending on what you get on the reels, the stronger the attack is, if I recall correctly.
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She then proceeds to clobber the enemy.

One thing you might have noticed with the earlier screenshot, when your limit gauge is full, it replaces the Attack command, so you have to use your limit before you can attack again.

You can still use magic or other commands, so it isn’t that big of a deal, just a bit annoying at times.

As we get close to the reactor, Cloud buckles over in pain, and has an odd flashback, or perhaps a memory of what looks like young Tifa looking over her dead father.

The group wonders what is going on, but Cloud just tells them to forget it.
We set the bomb up and head out.
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As we make our way out, we are stopped by a bunch of soldiers.
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Then, the president of Shinra makes an appearance!
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He mentions Sephiroth again.
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He then jumps on his helicopter as he summons a robot to fight us!
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The Air Buster went down really quick, no trouble. He can counter attack, but they didn’t hurt that bad.

I had Cloud use his Braver, and it did over 600 damage to him.
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After the fight, the robot explodes, taking apart the bridge, and causing Cloud to tumble off!
He grabs on, barely, and Barret says they have to go, since the reactor is about to blow up.

Tifa tries to help, but Barret says there is nothing they can do.
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The reactor then explodes, causing Cloud to lose his grip and fall!
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We then wake up with the flower girl over us!

She says we are in the church in the sector 5 slums. She says the roof and the flower bed broke our fall.

We appear to be okay, and she talks to us a bit.

She mentions that flowers grow here, despite vegetation almost never growing in Midgar.
She also mentions a “useless” materia that was her mother’s.
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She introduces herself as Aeris.

She asks Cloud to be her bodyguard, to which he replies he will, for a price.
She then says she will go out with him once, as payment.
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Then, a man comes into the church with Shinra guards!

The man, named Reno, calls Aeris “sis,” but Aeris runs off and we follow her.

They end up catching up to us, and they fire at Aeris, knocking her down!

They also called her “the ancient.” I wonder what that means?

We end up running around, while she comes back to us.
We then make our escape.

She mentions that this isn’t the first time they have chased after her.
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Cloud says they are the Turks and that they scout for potential candidates for Soldier.

Aeris asks if Cloud was ever in Soldier, and he says yes.
She says she knew because of his eyes having a strange glow.
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Cloud mentions that is a side-effect of being infused with Mako.

Aeris finally joins our party and we then make our way to her house.

In town, we buy a few things, like a few Titan Bangles, a Fire Materia, as well as a Tent.

Outside of Aeris’ home, we pick up an Ether and the Cover materia, which let’s us protect
allies when they are attacked.

We speak to Aeris’ mother, who thanks us for helping her daughter.

Cloud mentions he wants to head back to Tifa’s bar in sector 7, and Aeris says she will show him the way through sector 6.

Her mother asks them to at least go in the morning, since it is late, and so we do, except as
Aeris goes upstairs, she asks Cloud to leave in the middle of the night without telling Aeris.

We quietly sneak out and make our way to sector 7.
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When we arrive to leave to sector 6, Aeris is waiting for us!

She insists on leading the way, so she comes with us.
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The enemies in this area can actually deal damage to us, and we see Aeris’ Limit Break, Healing Wind. It is essentially a decent heal on the entire party. Pretty nice.
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We actually get a game over after a side attack!

No more messing around, then.
We pass through and find ourselves in a playground of sorts.

Aeris and Cloud have a chat, and Aeris mentions that an old ex boyfriend of hers was also first class rank in soldier.

Then, we see Tifa on the back of some odd cart, and we give chase after her!

We find ourselves in a lively city, where our search for Tifa continues.

Outside of a restaurant, we are told that the eatery is having a pharmacy coupon give-away if we try their food, so we do and get one.

We then head back to the pharmacy, and exchange the coupon for some digestive medicine.

Heading further into the market, we find a woman in a bathroom with some stomach issues, so we give her our newly acquired medicine, which helps her.

As thanks, she gives us the “sexy cologne.”

We find a place called the Honey Bee Inn, which I guess is a brothel?

We speak to a man outside who tells us that Tifa is the new girl, but she is at Don Corneo’s mansion for an interview. He is looking for a potential bride.
We swing by his mansion, but they won’t let us in, women only.

Aeris tries to go in, but Cloud stops her.

He wonders how he can get in there without a commotion when Aeris has an idea.
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Yep. Sounds like a plan, let’s do it!

We head by the dress shop and pick out something to wear.

Unfortunately, the man who makes the clothes is out getting drunk, so we head to the bar to talk to him.

Aeris convinces him that Cloud just wants to try on a dress once and he agrees, seeing is as an interesting opportunity.

We tell him we want a dress that feels soft and that shimmers.
We go to try on the dress, but Aeris mentions how Cloud needs a wig.

The man who made the dress tells him to go to the gym, that there are a lot of people like Cloud.

Cloud, confused, asks Aeris what she talked to the man about, but Aeris just laughs it off.
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So, we end up in a squatting contest for the wig, which we easily win.
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I quickly stop outside to grind some money, and Cloud reaches level 11 as well as learning his next Level 1 Limit Break, Cross Slash!
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There are four levels to most Limit Breaks, and you can set which ones you want to use.

Level 1’s are the weakest, but charge the fastest, and Level 4 are the most powerful, but take the longest to charge. 2 and 3 are in-between.
I believe that is how it works, anyway.

When you choose a limit break level, you can choose between any of the limit breaks at the chosen level.
Pretty neat. If I recall correctly, some Limit Breaks you have to find.

All characters only have one level 4 limit. Minus one, but we will get to that.

Another thing, to learn Limit Breaks, you have to actually use them enough times, or get enough kills.

For example, Cloud used his Braver Limit Break enough times to learn Cross Slash.
Once he kills enough enemies, he will learn the next one, and so on and so forth.

It is more in-depth than that, but just do some research if you really want to know the ins-and-outs.
Essentially, to learn more Limit Breaks, use your Limit Breaks, and kill stuff.
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We head around town and grab a few more things, and finally change.
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Aeris picks out a little number of her own and we head to the mansion to hopefully rescue Tifa.
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We eventually find Tifa in the basement of the mansion… Which is a torture chamber?
This is nuts!

Tifa explains that they found out that Don had some information, and Tifa had to find out what it was, so she infiltrated the place, but now she can’t get out.

She says that tonight, the Don always picks three girls, and then one of them to be his bride, I guess?

Aeris says if all three of them get picked, then they all can stay together.
As we are talking, someone comes and tells us that Don is ready, so we head up.

We find Don, who looks us over to see which one he… Wants.
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He then chooses Cloud!

We head back to his private abode…
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Oh my…
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OH MY!!!

Before anything else can happen, Tifa and Aeris bust in, thank goodness.
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We basically tell him if he doesn’t talk, we will… Uh… Remove his… Member. If you catch my drift.
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He tells us that Shinra hired him to find Barret, so that they can track down the Avalanche HQ.

He tells us that they are planning on destroying the supports that is holding up the plate above sector 7, sending it down on the slums and crushing everything in sector 7!

We go to leave, but he stops us for a moment, and sends us down a trap door!

We get a scene change, and we get a view of Shinra.
There, the man that Don Corneo mentioned is here, along with the president and a man named Reeve.
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It appears Reeve is the only one not keen on the mass murder of innocent civilians.
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They discuss some plans, and when they all leave, the president mentions how they are going to destroy the supports holding up sector 7 and blame it on Avalanche!
Then send in Shinra to “help.”
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Back to Cloud and the others, we are dropped off in a sewer type area, and we are then attacked by a beast!
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This thing only had one attack, Sewer Tsunami, which did some decent damage to everyone, and I do mean everyone, himself included.
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I had everyone attack, and had Aeris use her Healing Wind when everyone got low.
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He eventually killed himself with his Sewer Tsunami. Go figure.

Moving on, we find a new materia, the Steal materia! That should come in handy!
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When it works, that is.

We make our way out to some sort of train yard, where we try to find a means to escape.

Join me next time for when we try to find our way back.

Can we stop Shinra from destroying sector 7?

Stay tuned!

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