- "Welcome!! Even unpopular dweebs like you may meet their destiny here!!"
- —Man outside Honey Bee Inn
Honey Bee Inn (蜜蜂の館, Mitsubachi no Yakata?) is an optional and unrevisitable location within the Midgar slums in Final Fantasy VII. Honey Bee Inn is located in the Wall Market on Sector 6 of the slums. Cloud Strife and Aeris Gainsborough come to Wall Market to try and find a way to save Tifa Lockhart from Don Corneo.
Honey Bee Inn can be entered after first visiting Don's mansion at the north of Wall Market, and then talking to a man near the entrance to Honey Bee Inn who gives the player the Membership Card key item. The area is famous for having hoards of dummied data left in the game coding.
Honey Bee Inn is a brothel where the girls wear bee outfits. Admittance is allowed only for members. Visitors may choose between four rooms, each with a different theme. In the game, two of the rooms are occupied and the player can choose between two rooms. At the back of the brothel there is a dressing room for the girls, where visitors are not normally allowed access, but the player can visit it if they wish.
The player can visit the Honey Bee Inn as part of Cloud's crossdressing plan in his attempt to pass as a woman to be given admittance to Don Corneo's mansion, in order to save Tifa. By visiting either of the two rooms in the Honey Bee Inn the player receives a key item, which likely was originally intended to affect Cloud's chances of being picked as the "bride for the night" for Corneo, but the items received this way do nothing. The player can still receive a girl's lingerie by visiting the top left room, or a bikini brief visiting the bottom left one. The other two rooms the player can't enter, but they can peep in through the keyhole.
After visiting a room the player can get make-up put on them by a girl in the dressing rooms. If the player talks enough times to the girl on the far left, they will get an option to ask the girl to apply make-up on Cloud. The success of the make-up work is random and the only clue to how good a make-up work the player got is the sound effect that plays when the girl does it. The sound of wind blowing gives the best result, increasing Cloud's chances of being picked by Don Corneo the most, but this is also the rarest outcome. Other outcomes are a simple bleep sound (the worst result) and a sound like being cured (the second best option). Dummied text unearthed from the game suggests that the player would have originally been able to choose which kind of make-up they want to have.
After the events, the player can never visit the Honey Bee Inn again. After dressing as a girl the player can no longer go in, and after the events in Don Corneo's mansion the Honey Bee Inn owners no longer let the player enter, deeming Cloud "too weird" of having heard of his crossdressing habits. If the player visits the Honey Bee Inn after the Meteor has been summoned, the place has been taken over by Shinra.
Honey Bee Inn is known for having a lot of dummied out content, some of which only exists in the original Japanese release, and has since been removed completely. A hacked scene unearthing an event with Palmer shows that the Honey Bee Inn used to have a whole reception area with pictures of girls on the walls.
The music unique to the Palmer scene is not used anywhere else in the game. The tune was previously unearthed from the game's PC version, but by then it was unknown for what scene it was intended for. In the scene itself much of the dialogue reads as gibberish, as the game displays the wrong kanji. In the scene Palmer has been visiting the Honey Bee Inn, claiming to be there for "marketing purposes". This backfires on him as one of the Honey Bee ladies implies Palmer is a regular.
Honey Bee Inn has other unused areas found buried in the original Japanese version's game data than just the unused reception room. Originally the inn would have featured two floors, with a lobby and a waiting room and a room for employees. Hordes of unused text can also be found related to the location, but the text is displayed incorrectly making it read like gibberish, due to changes to the game's writing system applied later toward the game's completion. Due to fan efforts some of the unused text has been able to be restored.
In the original Honey Bee Inn design the player's Membership Card would have been checked at the reception desk, but because this area was removed from the game's final version, the Membership Card is checked at the entrance to the building in the game's retail version. There is also text found in the game data indicating the player would have been able to tell about their "experiences" in the inn, with Aeris asking how it went, giving player different options to answer. Johnny may also be found among the people outside the inn. In the removed dialogue he appears jealous of Cloud because he spent the night before at Aeris's house and hung out with her on the playground.
The original reception room design includes TV screens with different girls displayed on rotation. The text on the image on the left advertises "courses" of either 30 or 150 minutes in length and with slogans like "chat with a beautiful woman", "welcome to my nest" and "how about some honey?" The lobby also has a sign on the wall that forbids entry for other brothel owners, scouts and minors, and warns that poaching hostesses leads to a 100,000 gil fine.
In the reception room the player would have been able to converse with NPCs while waiting for their turn. This is where the player would have had the scene with Palmer, and a person who appears to be none other than the Shinra Manager is there as well, who recognizes Palmer.
In the waiting room the player would have been able to converse with NPCs. The room had a TV screen that displays different locations from Final Fantasy VII: the Sector 5 Church, Cosmo Canyon, Gold Saucer, Junon Underwater Reactor submarine dock, Rocket Town and the Shinra Manor in Nibelheim. Interestingly, the Cosmo Canyon scene shown on the TV is not the finalized version of the location, but an earlier version which could be found on a page from the game's manual in the first Japanese release.
The "Kwedge" found in the waiting room is implied to be Wedge's younger brother. The guy waiting for Tifa to come back can give Cloud the "Mystery panties" key item, a famously dummied key item of whose origins players could only guess. Disturbingly enough, it is implied these are actually Tifa's underpants the guy has stolen from Seventh Heaven, however, given that the panties' origin is "mysterious" and that they are said to have a "childish design", this leads one to question who they really do belong to. Getting the Mystery panties would have given the player affection points toward Tifa and Cloud saying they may come in handy for his disguise.
In the area where Cloud is asked to pick a room, there exists an unused scene where a "ghost" version of Cloud holding a Buster Sword would step out of him and he would have another one of his moments where the screen momentarily turns red and a high-pitched sound effect is heard, similar to what Cloud has in the Mako Reactor before setting the bomb near the beginning of the game. This seems to be triggered by a scene where the girl asks Cloud whether this is his first time and the player was given option to either confirm it or say that they don't remember; picking the not remember option triggers the "ghost" scene.
There is also a dummied message to be found in the game that breaks the fourth wall that translates to: We apologize, but the following contains material unsuitable for the general public. This line occurs by peeking into either of the two occupied rooms, meaning the player may have never meant to even be able to see a glimpse of these rooms. Cloud goes "...Wooo... ow!!" when he peeks into a room, which does not fit the context of the final game as well as when it appears together with the fourth-wall-breaking message.
More unused text includes a scene where Cloud asks the girl who is asking him to choose a room for her underwear. He has the option to choose between a number of amusing ways to ask for them, including "Please lend me your panties for a dangerous mission", "I need a present for my girlfriend. Give me your panties...", "I need something to remember you by. Give me your panties...", or "I'm a pervert. I want to smell your panties..." At the end of the scene the girl figures that Cloud is into crossdressing and gives her the panties promising to keep this a secret between the two of them. In the final game the Lingerie key item is obtained by visiting the top left room and a girl gives them as an "apology" after Cloud has passed out due to another nightmare flashback.
In the retail version of Final Fantasy VII the player can choose between two rooms to have two different scenes; one where Cloud collapses due to his subconsciousness emerging and asking what is he doing in a place like the Honey Bee Inn, and another where Cloud has to bathe with a number of men in a small bathtub. Unused text from the game indicates that there would have been a third scene, that is a combination of the other two scenes. The girl Cloud goes to a room with would want to bathe with him and ask him to undress, leading Cloud to try and remember when he last had a bath, and how he "likes to keep his hair natural". The girl and Cloud would have gone into the bath together, but Cloud would then have passed out and been in danger of drowning, a scene that would have led to voices talking in Cloud's head, as seen in the final game.
Finally, the Honey Bee Inn had a dummied employees' room. There would have been a TV in the room displaying areas from the game, same as in the waiting room, but a screen from the Da Chao Statue in Wutai is added to the roster. If Cloud were to talk to the NPCs in the room, they would have told him the area is off-limits to customers, and then talked about Midgar and how they can no longer see the sky and how he has been thinking of what stars look like.
Honey Bee Inn has more dummied content than most areas in Final Fantasy VII, and it seems the area's layout was changed numerous times.
A translation from page 569 of the Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega says this:
- Kazushige Nojima: What I remember is the Honey Bee Inn, Toriyama (Motomu Toriyama) was in charge of the Honey Bee Inn's events, but at first what took place there was more extreme, and everyone was saying "That's going too far".
- Yoshinori Kitase: Was it really that bad?
- Nojima: Yeah... for example, Palmer would emerge from the inn saying "Well, that was refreshing!" *laughing*
- Kitase: Toriyama was always making weird, tricky little events like that that kept getting edited. For instance, there was once a scene on the station platform where Biggs, Wedge, and Jessie from AVALANCHE would face each other and try to combine into one.
- Kitase: When an event begins in Final Fantasy VII, the other two party members separate themselves from Cloud's avatar. Once the event finishes, the party recombines and Cloud is alone once more. It's just the way the game's set up, but Toriyama parodied that. The three members of AVALANCHE were like "Let's do that too!" and do their best to combine together, but they just ended up running into each other and muttering "I guess we still don't have enough practice." *laughing*
|Trouble with the audio sample?|
"Honeybee Inn" (蜜蜂の館, Mitsubachi no Kan?) plays in Honey Bee Inn as background music. If Cloud chooses the top left room and the voices start talking in his head, the "Who... Are You?" (お前は…誰だ, Omae wa... Dare da?) plays.
Honey Bee Inn seems to derive some elements from a Japanese "love hotel", which is a type of short-stay hotel operated primarily for the purpose of allowing couples privacy for sexual activities. The dummied content also referenced hostess bars and soaplands, the latter being notorious in the real world as a way to get around Japanese anti-prostitution laws.
Love hotels can usually be identified using symbols such as hearts and the offer of a room rate for a "rest". Love hotel architecture is sometimes garish, with buildings shaped things like castles, boats or UFOs and lit with neon lighting. In Final Fantasy VII the location has a "bee" theme, together with flashy lights on the outside of the building.
- A miniature Cait Sith can be seen in the far right in the Lovers' Room. Its significance is unknown, however it is implied by the members of the room that it is Reeve's parents staying there.
- When the Sector 7 plate is dropped onto Sector 7, an FMV depicts this from inside a room where there is a reporter on TV. This room can be identified as the employees' room of the Honey Bee Inn, a room dummied from the final version of the game. There is only a slight different to the dummied field, and that is the top-half of the wall behind the TV does not have the same texture.
- The "play" going on in the Queen's Room draws parallels to the actual storyline of the game, and is the first time in the game where the Promised Land is mentioned.
- A legend has been passed on through generations....
- .....the sought after Promised Land....
- ....One with Blue Eyes....
- .....and a Great White Sword on his back.....
- .... Will not lead to the Promised Land.....
- The girls in the Queen's Room can be eavesdropped talking about President Shinra and how his wife has found out about him visiting the Honey Bee Inn.
- The dialogue in the scene where Cloud first enters Honey Bee Inn in the original English PlayStation version has an odd translation error where both Aeris and Cloud just say "so that's how you fool them" before Cloud goes inside. This has been fixed in the PC version, where Cloud explains to Aeris that he is only going in to get some help for his disguise, something Aeris doesn't seem to entirely believe.