The Gold Saucer (ゴールドソーサー, Gōrudo Sōsā?) is a location in the world of Final Fantasy VII. A towering amusement park built over the ruins of Old Corel, it is a world famous tourist attraction operated by Dio. Cait Sith joins the player's party during their first visit here. The games in the Gold Saucer use GP (Gold Points) as a currency instead of gil, a currency only won in minigames or traded for outside the saucer. The Gold Saucer is divided up into seven attractions, most of which consist of minigames.
The party first arrives at the Gold Saucer after traveling through North Corel where the survivors of Corel have resettled. Barret tells the party he blames himself for the destruction of the old Corel as he supported construction of a Mako Reactor by the Shinra Electric Power Company, who later destroyed the village to keep the secrets of the reactor's construction and Mako's energy potential from rival companies. The party decides to take a break and see the saucer's sights, and split up to explore. Cloud and a party member of the player's choosing enter the Speed Square and meet Dio, who tells them a young man in a black cape came by recently asking about a "Black Materia", and invites them to the Battle Square.
At the Wonder Square they meet Cait Sith, who tells Cloud's fortune three times but fails to produce a result relevant to Cloud's question, the location of Sephiroth. When his third fortune reads "What you pursue will be yours. But you will lose something dear", Cait Sith becomes worried and invites himself to accompany the group to see what it means. At the Battle Square the three see several guards wounded, and a survivor says the assailant had a gun-arm. Cloud and his friends are arrested and thrown into Corel Prison.
Here Barret finds Dyne, the only Corel resident who resisted the reactor's construction and who lost his arm along with Barret in the town's destruction, acquiring a gun-arm of his own. When Barret tells Dyne his daughter Marlene survived Corel's destruction, Dyne challenges Barret to fight, consumed in hatred for the world. Barret defeats Dyne, who entrusts Marlene's care to Barret along with a pendant that belonged to his wife Eleanor, and then leaps into a chasm to his death.
With Dyne dead and the prison without a boss, the group approaches Mr. Coates and shows Dyne's pendant as a sign of his death. Coates introduces them to Ester and tells them they're free to leave if they win a chocobo race in the saucer. Cloud races and wins, winning the group's freedom. Having explained to Ester about Dyne before the race, Cloud then receives a letter from Dio pardoning them and giving them the Buggy as a gesture of good will. They use it to cross the desert and the river beyond. Dio also details his encounter with Sephiroth, telling them he is headed south to Gongaga.
Later in the game, the party returns to the saucer to find the Keystone needed to enter the Temple of the Ancients. They find it on display in the Battle Square as one of Dio's trophies, and he offers it to them if Cloud fights in the Battle Square to entertain him. Cloud prevails and wins the Keystone, but the lift out of the saucer breaks down. The group stays in the inn overnight, and that evening Cloud is approached by a party member for a date.
As they return to the inn they see Cait Sith with the Keystone and chase him through the saucer until Cait Sith reaches a Shinra helicopter and hands the Keystone to Tseng, who flies away. Cait Sith reveals he's a robot controlled by a Shinra executive that's been spying on the group, and is holding Marlene as a hostage in Midgar to ensure the group lets Cait Sith accompany them as they follow Shinra to the Temple of the Ancients.
Gold Saucer is located to the South-East on Gaia's Western continent.
Gold Saucer can only be reached via a free cable car from North Corel. There is a Save Point here, but it requires 5 GP to use (the player can avoid paying the fee with the save point glitch). The entrance fee is 3,000 gil, but a lifetime pass can be bought for 30,000 gil. A man outside the park will exchange 1 GP for 100 Gil, to a maximum of 100 GP for 10,000 gil; he appears rarely (his chance to appear is around 15%) after the player gets the Highwind.
The station is the main hub of locations in the center of Gold Saucer. From here, a map can be viewed that shows the location of each square in relation to the shape of Gold Saucer.
This minigame costs 10 GP to play, and has the player controlling a moving turret which fires at a variety of objects to earn points. Prizes are awarded depending on how many points the player accumulates throughout the run, and the prizes change slightly depending on the point in the game the player is at.
The speed of the game varies in two ways depending on the version. In the PlayStation versions the crosshair moves slower than in the PC versions, meaning it is easier to aim but also takes longer to get the crosshair from one side of the screen to the other. In the PC versions only a small tap of a direction moves roughly an eighty percent of the way across the screen, which is unhelpful when trying to get the cursor somewhere specific. The versions also function at different speeds. The PAL version is slower than the NTSC version, making it far easier. The PC version is fast. The PC versions last 3m23s to the nearest second, while the PAL PlayStation version lasts 4m4s to the nearest second.
Other differences between versions lie in the targets. In the original Japanese version the player could target the Zeppelin's propeller. This is not possible in the PlayStation versions, but was made possible again in the PC versions. There is a water wheel which appears on a boat in all versions that can be shot for a stream of points, however, the original Japanese version the point-limit did not have a cap, where it is 285 in all future versions.
Prizes are earned at 3,000 points and above. Notably, none of the below 5,000 point prizes actually do anything in the game. If the player has not yet earned the item for getting more than 5,000 points and they achieve a score 5000 points or greater, then they will get that prize. The player can earn both the Umbrella and the Flayer, and getting the Umbrella before obtaining the Highwind does not mean the player cannot then earn the Flayer after. Selling the weapons earned will not allow the player to earn them again.
|3,000+||1/35 Soldier (1/3)|
Super Sweeper (1/3)
Masamune Blade (1/3)
|5,000+||Umbrella (before Highwind, only once)|
Flayer (after Highwind, only once)
*targets at the very end yield more points.
**in the desert area, it is possible to hit the yellow boulder on the canyon wall.
***shortly before the falling stars, there is a red water wheel on the boat; holding fire while moving away from it can cause a few hundred points to accumulate; in the original Japanese version the water wheel could give infinite amount of points, but this is fixed for all other versions.
*****before the very last turn at the end, it is possible to shoot one light on the bottom left just under the railway itself. This light can be guaranteed if the player aims in either the bottom-left or bottom-right of the screen.
- Main article: Battle Square
The Battle Square has one of the more useful minigames in the entirety of the theme park. In exchange for 10 GP the receptionist will allow one of the three characters to fight in the Battle Arena. The character has to fight through eight consecutive battles with steadily harder groups of monsters. After each turn the player turns a slot and receives one of the handicaps that are on the reels (though equipment, such as Ribbons, can prevent these effects). For each fight won, the player receives BP (Battle Points). These can be exchanged for prizes at the counter.
The chocobo races take place on the Chocobo Square. There are two tracks; short one, and long one, but they both have the same prizes. Both courses take place on the same track, only for the short course a part of the track is blocked off. There are six chocobos in a race. The player can take part on the races by either betting for the chocobos who place first and second, or by riding a chocobo and going for the win.
When leaving Corel Prison, Cloud must win a chocobo race on a chocobo Ester provides him. After the player obtains the buggy they can then bet on chocobos on the track to win GP and items.
Later in the game when the player can rent stables at the Chocobo Farm (after acquiring the Highwind) the player can bring their own chocobos to race. There are four ranks: C, B, A, and S, and each rank has stronger opponents. The player will go up a rank each time they win three races in their current rank until reaching S rank. Racing is a vital part of chocobo breeding; chocobos who have reached a higher rank in the races have better odds of producing special-colored offspring. Green chocobos can run through the "space" section of the short course on normal speed, where chocobos are usually slowed down, but blue chocobos don't have any advantages, even if the long course has a slowing water section. Black and gold chocobos are unaffected by both terrains and regular yellow chocobos, as well as all normal AI controlled opponents, are slowed in both parts.
Upon winning the race the player wins an item, which they can take or exchange for GP. The items available in higher ranks include Megalixirs, rare Materia, Hero Drinks, and some equipment which can only be acquired via racing, like the Cat's Bell accessory. This is the best place to quickly earn GP, provided the player's chocobo is fast enough.
The player might encounter the famous chocobo jockey Joe and his black chocobo Teioh, and race against them on the track. Teioh's stats are always determined by the player's chocobo, and are always higher, meaning Teioh is capable of having stats higher than those capped for the player; his speed will always be the player's speed +10%, and his stamina will always be the player's stamina +25%. Teioh never appears if the player only bets on a race. Because Teioh is a black chocobo, it is never slowed by the space/water sections of the courses. As soon as the race starts Joe will teleport behind the player and will keep tailing the player's chocobo until sprinting in the final part.
If the player wins ten times in a row in S Rank they will receive all of the special items (the items symbolized by the circles on the prize menu) from the S class races: Sprint Shoes, Precious Watch, Cat's Bell, Chocobracelet and Counter Attack Materia.
If Tifa or Cid are in the party, there is a 50% chance they will ask to race instead of Cloud. This doesn't affect anything apart from the racer's appearance. If both are in the party Tifa will always be the one asking.
The chocobo will run the race on its own even in manual control, the most the player can do is steer and adjust the speed. Chocobos with poor intelligence will be difficult to steer.
In every race the player has a chance of winning one of three possible prizes. The common item has 7 out of the 15 tiles (~46.6%), the uncommon item 5 out of 15 tiles (~33.3%), and the rare item only 3 out of 15 (20%).
In the PlayStation version of Final Fantasy VII, items with a GP value of 200 or more are always rare items. This differs from the PC version, which has a different set of rare items and item appearances by class. The GP value for each individual item is the same in both versions, however.
|Potion||5||C||B, A, S|
|Phoenix Down||10||C, B, A, S||C, B, A, S|
|Hyper||10||C, B||C, B, A|
|Tranquilizer||10||C, B||C, B, A|
|Hi-Potion||15||C, B, A||C, B|
|Hero Drink||15||B, A, S||B*, A, S*|
|Antarctic Wind||20||C, B, A||B, A, S*|
|Bolt Plume||20||C, B, A, S||A, S*|
|Fire Fang||20||C, B, A||C, B, A|
|Ether||30||C, B, A||A, S*|
|Ice Crystal||50||B*, A, S||C, B, A|
|Fire Veil||50||A, S||N/A*|
|Swift Bolt||50||A, S||B, S|
|Turbo Ether||150||B, S||C, B|
|Elixir||200||B, A, S||S|
|Counter Attack*||300||A, S||A, S|
|Enemy Away||300||B*, A, S||A, S*|
|Megalixir||300||S||C, B, A, S*|
|Sneak Attack||300||A, S||A, S*|
|Cat's Bell||500||A, S||A, S*|
|Sprint Shoes||500||A, S||A, S|
Ghost Square serves as an inn that costs 5 GP a night, and it has an item shop that uses gil. Cloud can date either Aeris, Tifa, Yuffie, or Barret here, Cloud's date picking him up on the date night. Turtle's Paradise flyer #3 is also found in the hotel.
There is nothing to do here during regular visits to Gold Saucer, but during the storyline Cloud will take his date to watch a play. Since they are the 100th couple that night they are chosen to take part on the stage (unless it's with Barret, in which case the play is skipped entirely). Depending upon the player's choices for Cloud's lines, the play can either go well or be ruined.
In the play, Princess Rosa (the date) is kidnapped by the Evil Dragon King Valvados. The hero Alfred (Cloud) is found by a Knight, who has him speak to the King. The King in turn tells Alfred to speak to someone who can help him, and a Wizard appears. The player can speak to either the Wizard or the Knight. If they speak to the Wizard, they can ask for Valvados's weakness, or "the Princess' measurements". If the player speaks to the Knight, they can ask for help defeating Valvados, or help defeating the King. Then, Valvados carries the date onto the stage, and demands Cloud name his enemy - the player can either name the Knight, the King, or Valvados.
If the player goes along with the play, Cloud kisses his date's hand and the power of their love defeats Valvados. If the player names the King as their enemy, the date becomes outraged and attacks Cloud and then the dragon. If Cloud kisses the dragon Valvados is revealed to be a princess afflicted by a curse, and the player can even choose to kiss the King.
During date night, Cloud and his date share a moment on the gondola ride. Cloud can also ride the gondola at any other time with any other party member for the price of 10 GP.
- Main article: Wonder Square
This is the place where the party originally meets Cait Sith. He is posing as a fortune teller and gives Cloud a fortune foretelling doom to something he cherishes. The party can play various minigames at Wonder Square to win GP, and also exchange GP into items.
|Trouble with the audio sample?|
The music that plays here is simply called "Gold Saucer" (ゴールドソーサー, Gōrudo Sōsā?). A piano arrangement of the theme is included on the Piano Collections: Final Fantasy VII album. "Cait Sith's Theme" plays on the Wonder Square when he is first met. The track "Racing Chocobos - Place Your Bets" plays on the Chocobo Square. The track "Hurry Up!" plays during battles on the Battle Square and the track "Debut" during the play at the Event Square.
The "Interrupted by Fireworks" plays during Cloud's date on the gondola ride, unless the date is Barret, in which case "Barret's Theme" plays instead.
The Gold Saucer is present in this crossover between Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy as a stage.
- The ghosts playing chess in the Ghost Square appear to be playing a game of chess where the pieces are the summons from the game.
- Back when Final Fantasy VII was in development Square had staff who had free time between projects and some new staff as well doubling as training; Square had them make things that needed specialized programs. The roller coaster and submarine minigames playable at Gold Saucer were such projects.
- Quite fittingly, the Gold Saucer has seven areas of attraction. Final Fantasy VII makes other allusions to the number seven, as well.
- Serendipity in Final Fantasy XIII-2 is reminiscent of the Gold Saucer. The game's director, Motomu Toriyama, has confirmed that the resemblance to the Gold Saucer is intentional, including the fact that the camera view is set at a distance rather than following the characters closely.
- ↑ Weekly Famitsu Issue no. 1224 Yoshinori Kitase Interview translated by TheLifestream.net
- ↑ The Complete Official Guide to FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 (Piggyback Interactive), p312