Final Fantasy 7 Part 3 – The Black Materia

Check out the last part here.

Let’s explore the Gold Saucer!

Oh never mind, it costs 3000 gil each time you enter, or a one time fee of 30,000 gil.
Guess I am grinding money!

I think that was an oversight to put a bunch of new shops right before you are required to go to a place where you have to pay quite a sum of cash to get in.

Then again, I have been running from most battles, since I don’t want to over level.
Anyway, we get the money and head back.

In the Gold Saucer, we meet up with a fortune teller named Cait Sith, who tells us our fortune about Sephiroth.

At first, the fortunes are generic, but then, he tells us we will get what we want, but we will lose something dear to us.

With that, Cait Sith is so excited to find out what will happen, he forcefully joins us!

We walk around, and find a dead guard!
We find a massacre, but the bodies are filled with bullet holes.

Someone is barely alive, and tells us that a man with a gun on his arm did this?
Barret!?

We then get caught, and hauled off somewhere.
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When we come to, Cait Sith explains where we are.
He says this place is surrounded by quicksand, and that it is nearly impossible to get out, hence the fact they made it into a prison.

We find Barret, but he won’t talk to us, and he runs off.

What sucks, since I chose Aeris to accompany me, she didn’t have anything on her, and now since I am forced to have Aeris and Cait Sith, I am short some equipment and materia, with no option to change.

We head to a house to the south, and everyone finally gets together, and Barret explains what happened.

Basically, he was trying to rescue his friend Dyne, and he got his arm nearly shot off, which is why he got his artificial arm.
It was later when he wanted revenge that he got the gun implanted.

He says only one other person got the surgery he did, Dyne, for his left arm after the accident.

So, we make a party of Cloud and Barret, who you have to take, and I choose Cait Sith.

I also take this moment to remove all of Aeris’ and Red’s equipment and materia before heading out.
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We check around for Dyne, and eventually find him.

However, it appears he has lost it, and attacks Barret.
He blames Barret for everything that happened years ago.
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Barret tries to reason with him, but he isn’t listening, and Barret goes solo against Dyne.
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Honestly, there was nothing that really happened in this fight. We traded blows, I used a Hi-Potion, we continued trading blows, and we won.
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He even missed his final attack.
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After that, Dyne gives Barret Marlene’s necklace, which belonged to his wife, and throws himself off of the cliff.

After that, we speak to the man in charge of the prison, who tells us the only way to get out of here is to win a chocobo race in the Gold Saucer.
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We get a manager, and we quickly win a chocobo race.

Chocobo races are pretty simple, you hit a button to speed up or speed down your chocobo, as well as being able to gain a quick burst of speed, but the catch is your chocobo has a stamina meter that drains depending on how fast you are going, so careful management of your stamina is crucial.

Anyway, we win our freedom, and we also get a buggy, which will allow us to go over deserts and rivers!

We run around and finish up a few things and head out.
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We find a busted building of sorts, and the Turks are waiting for us!
Elena runs off to inform Tseng, while we fight Reno and Rude.
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They go down pretty quick, especially with Cloud’s newly learned Bolt 2 spell.
When one of them is defeated, they both retreat.
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We also find an enemy that can turn us into tiny frogs. As Frogs, we can only use our weakened attack or item, but boy are we cute!

After the fight, we find a broken-down reactor, and suddenly Scarlet and Tseng appear!
We quickly hide and eavesdrop on them.

It seems Scarlet is looking for a huge materia for some kind of weapon.

After they leave, we find the Titan summon materia!

We get back on the road and find ourselves at Cosmo Canyon.
When we arrive, Red says he is home, and everyone calls him Nanaki.

I suppose that is his real name.
We explore the town a bit before finding Red, or Nanaki.
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He says that his tribe were protectors of this place, and that his mission is to protect the canyon.
He runs off after his grandpa and we continue on.
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When we find them, we get some information about Red, such as how he is 48 years old, but since his race is so long-lived, he is more like a teenager in human years.

Anyway, his grandpa, Bugen, has a machine, a holographic 3D device that will allow us to view the planets and the solar system.
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He goes on to explain Spirit Energy, and the Lifestream.

To make it simple, everything has spirit energy, and when it dies, it gets recycled to new life on the planet.
When all of the energy fuses together, it’s called the Lifestream.

Mako reactors suck up this energy, so the planet can’t recuperate itself, and without spirit energy, the planet will die.
After that, we meet up with everyone, and Bugen tells Red to come with us and invites Cloud as well.

He says it is dangerous, so we get to form a party of Cloud, Red, and I choose Cait Sith.
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We descend down into the cave and explore.
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In the cave, we find these spider webs that hold the Stinger enemies!
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These things hit hard. They have a lot of health as well.

We can steal Ethers from them, which is good, since we need after fighting it.

You also have to fight this thing multiple times!
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Moving on, we come to this thing on the wall that attacks us!
This thing comes with two Soul Flames, which can cast Fire 2.

The boss itself has some weak attacks, but nothing that was that bad.
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Thankfully, the Soul Flames kept casting Fire 2 on Cait Sith, who was equipped with the Fire Ring, so they dealt 0 damage.

He could also Debarrier your characters, which works much like Dispel in the earlier games.
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We get him and we are treated to a cutscene of Bugen showing Red his father, who was guarding this place from the Gi a long time ago.

Red blamed his father for leaving him and his mother, but what he didn’t know was he was fighting to protect the village with his life, until the Gi’s poison arrows turned him to stone.

Eventually, we go to leave, and Red joins us, saying he has to help the planet.
Anyway, we leave and continue on.

We find ourselves at Nibelheim, the place that was burned down years ago, but it isn’t!
Speaking to the people, Cloud doesn’t recognize them, and they say that the fire never happened.
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In addition, there are creepy, black-hooded people walking around.

We head to the mansion to see what we can find.

As we traverse the manor, we find small clues, which gives us these odd numbers.

Eventually, we find a safe, so we open try to open it with the numbers we have found.
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We open it after a few tries and out pops a red materia along with a key, but then we are attacked!
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Lost Number was hard. He hit extremely hard, two-shotting everyone, and one-shotting Aeris, who I had in the front row, but I didn’t know he was going to hit this hard!

Aeris summoned Chocobo on the first turn, and caused Stop, giving us ample time to buff and wail on him!
If we hadn’t stopped him, I doubt we would have won.

After she summoned Chocobo, I started to use Bio, and it caused Poison. This would later win me the fight, thankfully.
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As the fight went on, and he started moving again, he switched forms to this purple form.
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This was when he started hitting for over 700 damage.
Aeris went down a few times in the fight, even Cloud, after he took a hit for Yuffie, saving her life.

We barely managed to get everyone on their feet when he died to poison… Phew!

Anyway, we pick up the Odin materia and the key to the basement.
We rest up, save, and head back in.

We head to the basement and find a coffin, with someone inside!
We begin talking, even though this person really wants nothing to do with us, and we start to talk about Sephiroth, and that peaks his interest.

He asks us if we know a Lucrecia, but we don’t. It appears he had feelings for Lucrecia.
He eventually mentions how Lucrecia was Sephiroth’s mother?

Cloud says he thought Jenova was, and this man, who introduces himself as Vincent, says that it is partially true?

Apparently Lucrecia was also part of the expermient that created Sephiroth.
We go to leave, and he follows us and says he wants to go with us, just in case we meet up with Hojo.
Cloud says probably, and Vincent joins!

We continue on, and we find Sephiroth!
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He tells us that a Reunion is happening, and Jenova will become a calamity of the skies.
Cloud is confused, and Sephiroth says he going north, past Mount Nibel, and to follow him if we wish to know.

He then throws a materia at us.
He flies off, and the materia is the Destruct materia!
It allows us to cast DeBarrier, DeSpell and eventually Death.

We quickly make our way to Mount Nibel and chase after Sephiroth.
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As we explore the mountain, we get a few items and materia, but we also run into Dragons!

These things hit hard. Their physical attack rivals that of Lost Number.

I managed to take one down, and steal an awesome Gold Armlet from it, but it was made harder due to the fact that I used Vincent’s Limit Break, which changes him into an uncontrollable Galian Beast.

He used an attack called Beast Flare, which deals about 800 fire damage… Which the Dragon absorbs, so Vincent really was helping the dragon pretty much the entire fight.
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We grab a few more things, and find this thing just chilling out by the save point.
I use a Tent, since I was really hurting after running from so many dragons.
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We fight the Materia Keeper, who wasn’t that bad.
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With Big Guard up, his damage was lessened dramatically, plus, with Cover, Cloud was tanking hits for everyone, while he healed himself if needed.
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Vincent and Aeris were on damage duty, Vincent with Aqualung and Aeris with her summons.
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We take him out and grab the Counter materia! Nice.

We head to a small town, called Rocket Town, aptly named due to the huge un-launched Shinra rocket that is nearby.

We hear that president Rufus is scheduled to make an appearance here today to give approval of a space program of sorts.
We are told to head to the rocket to speak with the “Captain.”

We find a man, who introduces himself as Cid and he talks about how he was going to be the first man in space, but Shera, his assistant, messed up the launch, so the mission was cancelled.

Then, he says Shinra found out about Mako, and they gave up on space exploration.
He consoles himself while we head back to town.

While there, Shera tells us a bit of what happened.
There were some problems with the oxygen tanks, so Shera had to stay and fix them, but the launch was about to happen, if she were to stay in there, she would be killed.
Unfortunately, she was too late, and Cid had to abort the mission.

Shera is now living a life of servitude for Cid, I guess.
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A little aggressive there, are we, Cid?

Palmer then comes in, and says the president is outside, and Cid rushes to greet him.
We walk outside, and we see Cid being denied the space program, but Rufus says he needs the Tiny Bronco, Cid’s airplane.

Shera ushers us back in and says that Palmer is about to take the Tiny Bronco.
When we find Palmer, we fight him.
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Honestly, he spent 90% of the fight Stopped because of a lucky Chocobo, so he barely did anything while he just wailed on him.

When the fight ends, he nearly gets decapitated by the Tiny Bronco, which as begun moving on it’s own, then he runs off, only to be hit by a passing truck. RIP Palmer.
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We hop on the Tiny Bronco, and fly off, but not before picking up Cid.

The tail of the Tiny Bronco gets hit, and we go down into the shallow waters outside of town.

Cid says the Tiny Bronco won’t fly anymore, but Cloud suggests using it as a boat.
Cid then asks what we are doing, and we tell him that we are going after Sephiroth and Shinra.
Cid then asks to join us, and we all agree.

Before we set out, Cid and Cloud talk about the Temple of the Ancients, so let’s head there next.
We arrive, but it appears we can’t enter it. No clue, nothing, Cloud just shrugs.

Anyway, let’s head to the Gold Saucer.
We head to Dio’s Trophy room and find the Keystone, which we will need to enter the Temple of the Ancients.
Anyway, Dio says he will let us borrow it if we go through the battle room, so we do.
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We fight a few battles.
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How the battle room works is you have to solo fight some monsters, and every time you beat them, you move onto the next round, but with a detriment that is determined by these slots.

My first one was half MP, then I got poison, which meant for the third round I would have half MP and poison.

Anyway, we finish up a few battles, and Dio gives us the Keystone.
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We go to leave, but one of the workers says the tram out of the saucer is out, so we are stuck until they repair it.

Cait Sith comes up and tells us we can stay at the ghost hotel for a while.

Afterwords, there is another recap by Cloud and everyone heads to bed.

During the night, Aeris comes up and we go on a “date.”
During this part, nothing really happens, other than Aeris talking to Cloud in cryptic, vague statements that make no sense yet.

Anyway, as we are heading back, we spot Cait Sith, who has the Keystone!
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We chase after him for a bit and he gives it to the Turks!
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Cloud and Aeris are extremely upset, obviously, and Cait is just acting like nothing happened.
He tells us to just continue on our journey, but Cloud and Aeris can’t, for obvious reasons.
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He also mentions how his real body is at Shinra, and that he is controlling a stuffed doll of sorts.
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He then reveals he has Marlene hostage!
With no other choice, we have to do what he says.
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Then, he finally tells us where to go, and what the Keystone is for.

We have to make a party that includes Cloud and Aeris, and I choose Red to go along for the ride, and we head to the Temple of the Ancients, finally.
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We arrive at the temple and Tseng is there, severely wounded!
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He says that Sephiroth isn’t searching for the Promised Land, that he and the president were wrong.

He moves over and gives us the Keystone, and tells us to use it.

We do, and find ourselves in an odd, confusing maze.
We traverse through the maze a bit, and we find an odd pool, and Aeris says she can hear it.
She says it is going to show us something…
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It shows us Tseng, and then Sephiroth appears and attacks Tseng!

After that little scene, we continue on and eventually find Sephiroth, who is spouting nonsense we can’t comprehend.
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He tells us that he is merging with the planet.

Aeris asks him how, and he tells us that when the planet is injured, spirit energy is formed to healed the injury.

He says he intends to injure the planet to such a degree, that the very life of the planet is at stake, causing an extreme amount of spirit energy to be gathered.
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He intends to use that spirit energy to craft himself into a god, using Meteor.

We then have a little scene where Clouds flips out for a second, but then comes back to normal.
Aeris acts like nothing happened, and hints to Red to not say anything.
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After a moment, there is a rumbling, and we fight the Red Dragon!
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This thing could hit really hard, but we could hit even harder, with Aqualung, Bio 2, and Cloud on healing duty, he went down pretty fast.

After the fight, we grab the Bahamut summon materia!
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We  also find out from the spirits that the whole temple is the Black Materia used for Meteor.

Aeris tells us that every time a puzzle is solved in the temple, the temple gets smaller and smaller until it is regular materia sized, but anyone inside who solves the puzzle gets crushed!
Cloud debates on how to get it out.
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Just then, we get a call from Cait Sith, who tells us he heard the story, and says he will sacrifice himself, since his actual body is still in Midgar.

Left with no other option, we agree and go to meet him at the exit.
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When we go to the exit, the door is locked, but then this thing comes out of the wall and attacks!
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The Demon wall hits like a truck, with a ton of health to boot.
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He also has ridiciulously high magic defense, so only Bahamut can pierce through.

I had everyone in the back row for this fight, with Red on Big Guard support.
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I also used Aeris’ level 4 Limit Break that I did some grinding for, Great Gospel.

It is a full recovery, HP, MP, status, and makes the party completely immune to all attacks for a short time.
Yeah, she is now a bad-ass.
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Thanks to that, the damage was kept down to a minimum, and we get a victory.
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Cait Sith arrives after the fight, and begins to solve the temple puzzle while we escape.
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Shortly after, the temple disappears into the Black Materia, which we nab.

Just then, Sephiroth appears, and sends Cloud into haywire mode again!
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He forces Cloud to give him the Black Materia, and fades away.
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Cloud is extremely confused and agitated, not remembering what just transpired and begins to literally beat the crap out of Aeris for some reason.

Cait #2 shows up, and Red has to knock Cloud out to get him to stop.

We then see Aeris, who tells Cloud in a dream-like sequence, that only she can stop Sephiroth, since she is an ancient.
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She gives us a final goodbye and runs off to stop Sephiroth on her own.
Sephiroth himself appears briefly and tells us that we need to stop her, but then we are woken up by Barret and Tifa!

They tell us what we already knew, that Aeris is gone.
They tell us to head out to find her, but Cloud refuses.

After what he just did, he doesn’t trust himself around Sephiroth again.
Which is totally a valid feeling after what he did.

Barret and Tifa tell him, they are all with him, and if it happens, Barret himself will personally knock him over the head.
With some more reassurance, Cloud agrees to search for Aeris.

Well… That was crazy!

What is wrong with Cloud? What is Aeris planning? Can she really stop Sephiroth?

Stay tuned!

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