- “The upper world... a city on a plate... It's 'cuz of that &^#$# 'pizza', that people underneath are sufferin'!”
- —Barret Wallace
Midgar was the most technologically advanced location ever constructed on the planet of Gaia. It consists of a large circular structure supported above the ground by eight reactors and a central pillar, with various other supports around the city. On top of the structure lies the city proper, divided into eight sectors, while underneath it on the ground lies a large slum; created by the city's unfortunate and downtrodden. It is mentioned Midgar was once eight individual towns, but as Midgar came into existence their names were forgotten in favor of referring to the different areas as sectors.
Governed as a police state, the city is home to some of the richest and most powerful men and women on the Planet, who run most of the city's affairs from the central Shinra Building which dominates the cityscape. Among these people are the Shinra executives, the de facto world leader, President Shinra, and the figurehead city leader, Mayor Domino.
Construction of the city began in 1976, to provide residence for the Shinra Electric Power Company's growing investment and employment base. The city is shown to be under continuous construction throughout the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII.
Thanks to its eight Mako Reactors, the city's massive power-demands were easily met, but at a cost to the surrounding countryside, which has become a barren wasteland due to the city sapping the surrounding Mako energy. Due to this, the city and its reactors are a prime target for terrorism/rebel groups like AVALANCHE who seek to restore the Planet to its former state and stop Shinra from sapping its life energy.
In Crisis Core, multiple steel girders and the lack of the fortress-like walls around the city perimeter suggest that parts of Midgar are still being constructed at this time. A mail received partway through the game reveals the Shinra Headquarters' completion is scheduled in two years, and the surrounding city in seven.
Midgar serves as the headquarters for Zack Fair and other SOLDIER members. SOLDIER members spend their stand-by time on the 49th floor of the Shinra Building where they can train, manufacture Materia from discovered Mako Stones, or pick up official Shinra equipment. Zack takes orders from Director Lazard Deusericus two floors above.
During their off-time, Shinra employees go out into the city, seeing sights such as LOVELESS Avenue in Sector 8, or visit friends by the rail system to travel down to the slums. The Sector 8 square is a short walk away from the Sector 1 train station, which is directly connected to Sector 5.
Zack meets Aerith in the slums after being knocked off the upper plate and falling into her church. He continues to visit the slums to meet her. Several missions, minigames, and fan clubs for several high ranking SOLDIER members are found in the city as well.
Genesis Rhapsodos sends his army to attack the city and rescue Dr. Hollander. SOLDIER defeats the attack but Hollander is taken by the Genesis Army. When Zack leaves for Nibelheim, the player can no longer return to Midgar other than in brief, linear missions.
Midgar is the the first area visited in Final Fantasy VII and is the location for much of the game's beginning. Cloud Strife, working with AVALANCHE, fights Shinra to protect the Planet. Shinra uses extreme measures to defeat the terrorists by dropping the plate down onto Sector 7. Aeris is kidnapped, and AVALANCHE is forced to attack the Shinra Building to save her. The invasion fails, and all are imprisoned. Sephiroth appears to return from the dead and murders President Shinra, and the party begins to tail him around the world.
Midgar once again becomes part of the plot when the Sister Ray is moved to the city. The Diamond Weapon ascends out of the sea, and moves towards Midgar. Now President, Rufus Shinra orders the cannon fired. It destroys the Weapon, but the monster fires back and the Shinra Building's top floors are destroyed. Professor Hojo takes control of the Sister Ray, and prepares to fire it again to help Sephiroth, who is in the Northern Cave, beneath the North Crater.
Cloud and his team parachute down into Midgar to defeat him. Along the way, they fight the Shinra executives Scarlet and Heidegger, who are controlling a giant robot known as the Proud Clod. They destroy the machine and possibly kill both of the executives inside. Finally, the party makes their way up to the cannon, where they kill Hojo and all of his hideous mutant forms.
The city can be accessed in disc 2 by finding the key in Bone Village, but only the Sector 5 slums and the Wall Market can be explored. Tifa's ultimate weapon, the Premium Heart, can be found inside the "fake" item shop at the Wall Market. As an Easter Egg, Aeris's Ghost can be seen in the Sector 5 Church. The party can also purchase a Sneak Glove from a man in the weapons shop.
At the end of Final Fantasy VII, despite Cloud and his party's best attempts to stop the cataclysm, Meteor falls directly over the city. Reeve had prepared for the disaster by moving the entire population of the upper plate into the slums. Nevertheless the intense tornado-like storms generated by the gravity between the Meteor and the Planet tear much of the city to pieces. Aeris's Holy spell fails to stop the falling rock and only with the Lifestream's intervention is Holy able to destroy Meteor and save what remains of the city and its citizens. Midgar is only thirty-one years old by the time it is destroyed.
After Meteorfall, Midgar is nothing but a sad ruin, uninhabitable despite attempts to rebuild. The Mako leaks created by the reactors that once kept the city running now make living in the ruins impossible. Midgar stands as a crumbling monument to its former glory and to the folly of man's abuse of the Planet, as well as a tribute to the sacrifices made to save the Planet two years before. Most of the citizens have moved to the areas directly around the former capital, constructing a new city called Edge.
Cloud, living in Edge with Tifa, Marlene Wallace and Denzel, leaves Tifa to live in the Sector 5 Church, suffering from Geostigma in solitude. Tifa and Marlene come to investigate Cloud's whereabouts, but one of the remnants of Sephiroth, Loz, attacks them. Tifa and Loz fight through the church, and Tifa seems to have the upper hand, but thanks to Loz's super-speed, he wins the battle.
Later on, once Loz and his brother Yazoo have been defeated, only Kadaj remains. He grabs the remains of his "Mother", Jenova, and escapes into Midgar. Cloud chases him on his motorcycle, and they find themselves once again at Aerith's church. Thanks to the purified spring beneath the flowers, Cloud's Geostigma is healed. Kadaj flees, and fuses with Jenova to become Sephiroth.
Cloud and Sephiroth fight through the city. Their battle rains further destruction on the ruined city, and a large chunk of the Shinra Building collapses. Cloud eventually defeats Sephiroth and afterwards, healing rain sent by Aerith falls from the sky, curing the world of Geostigma.
- Main article: Battle of Midgar
Midgar is home to a battle in Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-. This time, it is between the forces of Deepground and the World Regenesis Organization, the latter of which launches a two-pronged attack from land and air to protect the Planet. The secretive Reactor 0 acts as Deepground's base of operations.
Vincent Valentine must infiltrate the Shinra Building's remains to enter Reactor 0 from its only entrance, the President's secret elevator, and also goes through the Train Graveyard. Eventually, Deepground manages to summon the ultimate Weapon, Omega. Vincent Valentine, using the power of Chaos, is able to defeat it before the world is drained of all life.
During the ending of Dirge of Cerberus, water can be seen near the outskirts, and a small amount of vegetation, such as grass and flowers, can be observed growing in the once lifeless desert.
Five hundred years after the end of Final Fantasy VII, Red XIII and his cubs are seen running on the cliffs. They overlook the ruins of Midgar, now overgrown with vegetation. Part of the Midgar area is covered by a shallow sea. Edge appears to be overtaken by the natural world, as well. Whether or not mankind is still alive at this point is never revealed. However, children's laughter can be heard as the screen fades out, and some smoke can be seen rising out of the ruins.
This scene is shown at the end of Final Fantasy VII and was remade with more advanced visuals for Advent Children.
Described as a "technological pizza", the city is divided up into nine sectors; Sectors 1 through 8 all refer to the eight districts of the city, with Sector 0 being the central district which holds the main headquarters of Shinra. Each Sector has a Mako Reactor.
Access to the ground-level slums can only be achieved either via the city's train system or via hidden paths threaded throughout the city's sewer system. An additional secret city, only known as Deepground, is located below both Midgar and the Slums, only accessible via the Sector 0 reactor.
- Sector 0
- Main article: Sector 0
The Shinra Headquarters dominates the Midgar skyline from Sector 0. Mayor Domino works in the building's upper floors. Although supposedly in control of the city, he is little more than a librarian; President Shinra himself rules the city from the top floor, with executive Reeve Tuesti in charge of the city's urban development.
- Sector 1
- Main article: Sector 1
- Sector 4
- Main article: Sector 4
- Sector 5
- Main article: Sector 5
- Sector 6
- Main article: Sector 6
Construction of the Sector 6 plate was never finished.
- Sector 7
- Main article: Sector 7
- Midgar Slums
- Main article: Midgar Slums
A large slum that developed underneath the elevated city, the Midgar Slums are a warren of desperation and underhand/criminal activity.
- Midgar Wasteland
- Main article: Midgar Wasteland
A wasteland that surrounds the city and slums of Midgar, the Midgar Wasteland is the result of Shinra's siphoning of the area's Mako energy, sapping the Planet of its life energy.
Creation and DevelopmentEdit
In the earliest ideas for the game, Final Fantasy VII was to take place in the real-world New York City. From the original idea, the fictional city of Midgar was born.
According to the Ultimania Omega, in an early draft of the script, Midgar was built by a group of "cultured" people wishing to escape the world below, which was rapidly running out of Mako energy. This early version of the script described Midgar as "a misshapen city built in the sky, covered in iron plates and the stench of sewage".
Midgar is present as a room for preset characters of the game's Multiplayer Mode Online Lobby.
Midgar returns in the FMS for "Main Theme of Final Fantasy VII", and BMS for "Let The Battles Begin!", "Fight On", and "Encounter". Two other versions of Midgar appear in the BMS for the Advent Children versions of "J-E-N-O-V-A" and "One-Winged Angel", respectively.
Non-Final Fantasy AppearancesEdit
Midgar is present in this Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy crossover as a map.
Midgar returns as a stage for this crossover between Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy.
Midgar's name derives from Midgard. Midgard is one of the nine plains, or worlds, in old Norse mythology. Midgard is considered cut-off from the other realms by a great sea and an endless desert, and was crafted from the slain body of Ymir, king of the jötunn (frost giants) whose body sustains the city's inhabitants. Midgard translates to "middle world" or "middle earth", reflecting its status as world that is both literal and figuratively in the middle of the eight realms. During the world-ending battle, Ragnarok, Midgard will be destroyed and a new world will emerge.
These parallels are present in Final Fantasy VII. Midgar being surrounded by a desert wasteland and the city is powered by Mako drained from the Planet. The centrality of the mythological Midgard is reflected both in the Shinra Headquarters surrounded by the eight sectors, and Midgar serving as Shinra's base of power from which they monopolize the world's resources. In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children where Edge is built out of Midgar's ruins after it is destroyed during Meteorfall, alluding to Midgard's destruction during Ragnarok.
- A giant Midgar model was shown at the Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete press screening party in the Sony Building in Tokyo. It is similar to the model of Midgar found on Floor 65 of Shinra Headquarters in Final Fantasy VII. It even features an incomplete Sector 6 plate, which was still under construction during the events of Final Fantasy VII.
- Midgar is often seen only at night. Gameplay in Final Fantasy VII, Before Crisis, and Crisis Core all keep the city in the dark while the player is above the plate. It is only when they are in the slums that sunlight can be seen trickling through the metal structure. Also, the Midgar area of the Final Fantasy VII World Map is always in night time.
- Neo Midgar is President Shinra's vision to build a new Midgar in the legendary Promised Land, and make it an improved model based upon the present design. After Shinra is destroyed and the Promised Land is proven to be nothing like the company imagined, Neo Midgar is never built.
- In preparation for the city's extension, highways were constructed on the upper layer to provide easy access from the city center to the city edge.
- One of the rooms from the Online Lobby in Dissidia Final Fantasy is named Midgar.
- Shinra's darkest secrets lurk miles underground with an entire hidden city home to their Deepground program.
- The city runs on Midgar Standard Time, the only known time zone in the series.
- Midgar's structural design resembles the original concept of the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, as envisioned by Walt Disney.
- The Raid on Midgar Glitch allows one to skip the entire return to Midgar on disc 2.