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The Northern Cave (大空洞, Daikūdō?, lit. "Great Cavity") is the final dungeon of Final Fantasy VII. It is situated at the bottom of the North Crater that takes up much of the Northern Continent. The inside is a large cave system where the game's most powerful monsters reside. Sephiroth waits at the cave's bottom, at the Planet's Core (星の体内, Hoshi no Tainai?) as the game's final boss.
Later, when Sephiroth was defeated by Cloud Strife at the Nibelheim Mako Reactor during the Nibelheim Incident, he traveled through the Lifestream to the Northern Cave to recuperate. Controlling Jenova and making her use his form, he leads the Sephiroth Clones to the crater along with Cloud and his party for the Reunion. They bring the Black Materia, which is used to summon Meteor. The Weapons awaken, sensing the cataclysm, and rampage across the world. Sephiroth seals the crater's entry with a massive force-field, and begins to remake his body to prepare for his ascension into a God.
With their very existence threatened, Shinra uses the Sister Ray cannon to destroy the Diamond Weapon and blast through Sephiroth's shield. With the defense down, Cloud Strife and his party storm deep into the Northern Cave to defeat Sephiroth and release the trapped Holy. After Sephiroth's defeat, Holy is released in a massive burst. The party escapes on the Highwind before they are caught in the uproar of magical energy.
Though Sephiroth and Jenova are defeated, Jenova's remains still remained inside the Northern Cave. The Turks manage to steal them before the Remnants of Sephiroth can get a hold of them to resurrect their master, but Elena and Tseng are captured during the ensuing battle and are eventually rescued by Vincent Valentine.
The Northern Cave has significantly more items than any other location in the game.
- Save Crystal - see Save Crystal Glitch.
- Guard Source x2
- Power Source x2
- HP Absorb Materia
- Elixir x3
- Magic Source
- Mind Source x2
- Megalixir x2
- Hero Drink
- Magic Source
- Remedy x2
- Vaccine x2
- Shield Materia
- Imperial Guard
- Hero Drink
- W-Magic Materia
- Counter Materia
- Luck Source
- Turbo Ether x2
- Mega All Materia
- Speed Source
- X-Potion x2
- Magic Counter Materia
- Tetra Elemental
Item Duplication TrickEdit
The items received from party members at the bottom depend on which way the player sends the characters when splitting up. This can be used to get a third Mystile armor from Tifa.
At the Northern Cave at the point where the party is split down the two paths the player should send Tifa down the right path, and tell Cloud to go left. When Cloud's path divides, the player should choose the lower path. When going down at the bottom where all the paths combine, the player must not walk toward the stairway that leads further down. This would cause the other party members to appear, which causes all chests to be registered as "open" and the third Mystile will be missed. Instead of going down, the player should go back up the cave by taking the entrance to the lower path up to where the left and right paths split, then go down the right path and grab the second Mystile.
The player can now go all the way down to the end again and walk toward the path leading down causing the other party members to appear. When talking to Tifa she should give a third Mystile (though in the PlayStation version the player will appear to have received 'Mythril,' which is a Key Item. A Mystile will still be added to the player's inventory).
It is possible to duplicate all of the items found on the paths the player sends the party members to that Cloud won't go himself. If one sends more party members than there are items on the pathway, the remaining party members will hold Megalixirs.
List of all the items that can be duplicated this way:
- Send an ally right:
- Vincent: Megalixir
- Yuffie: Megalixir
- Red XIII: Mind Source
- Tifa: Mystile
- Barret: Guard Source
- Cait Sith: Elixir
- Cid: Speed Source
- Send an ally left:
- Vincent: Mega All Materia or Magic Source
- Yuffie: Counter Materia or Vaccine
- Red XIII: Shield Materia or Speed Source
- Tifa: Turbo Ether or Hero Drink
- Barret: Remedy or Vaccine
- Cait Sith: X-Potion or Remedy
- Cid: Imperial Guard or Elixir
- Send an ally left at first, then up:
- Vincent: Magic Source
- Yuffie: Counter Materia
- Red XIII: Shield Materia
- Tifa: Hero Drink
- Barret: Vaccine
- Cait Sith: Remedy
- Cid: Imperial Guard
- Send an ally left at first, then down:
- Vincent: Mega All Materia
- Yuffie: Vaccine
- Red XIII: Speed Source
- Tifa: Turbo Ether
- Barret: Remedy
- Cait Sith: X-Potion
- Cid: Elixir
If in any junction where the party splits up, the player sends Yuffie alone in any way, once the party gathers up at the bottom, Yuffie will not give the items she found to the player, and instead lie she found nothing. At this point, any characters sent alongside Yuffie come up and remind her, and she grudgingly gives the items to Cloud, but if Yuffie was sent alone she will keep the items.
Graveyard - Hatchery and SpineEdit
Water Area (Second Screen)Edit
The final descent comprises of two screens containing 15 platforms. On each platform the player has a 29.7% chance of entering a battle. There are three possible enemies to fight and each have a different chance of being fought.
- Jenova∙SYNTHESIS (Boss)
- Sephiroth (Boss)
The Northern Cave appears as the representative arena for Final Fantasy VII in Dissidia, under the name Planet's Core (星の体内, Hoshi no Tainai?, lit. "Inside the Planet"). It is here that Cloud battles and defeats Sephiroth once again at the climax of his part of the storyline.
Shortly after that, Terra also enters the Planet's Core to look for her ally, the Onion Knight, and Cloud battles her when she loses control of her Esper powers to help calm her down. The Warrior of Light fights Sephiroth at the Planet's Core to rescue Firion, and Cecil faces off against Exdeath to defend Golbez.
The arena consists of a large circular platform at the bottom of the arena, with floating rocks and square pillars in the air surrounding it, forming a rough path spiraling to the top of the arena. Tendrils of the Lifestream connect the platforms and can be slid on using Quickmove. Powerful attacks can destroy the platforms and pillars if a character is knocked into them. In the arena's Ω form, after a period of time has passed during a battle the arena shakes and the platforms and pillars float upwards, reminiscent of what happens after the battle with Jenova∙SYNTHESIS.
Eventually the stage calms down, after which the stone platforms are gone, there are more floating pillars, and more strands of Lifestream have appeared on the stage. EX Cores will teleport if the platform they are on is destroyed, and the Bravery pool will continually rise.
The Materia is the battlegen item obtained through stage destruction in this area.
The Planet's Core returns in this prequel to Dissidia. Sephiroth confronts Tifa in this area.
The Northern Cave's official background theme is "The Great Northern Cave," a track found in Final Fantasy VII's original soundtrack. It contains a leitmotif from "Aerith's Theme," which is fitting, considering that the party is making their journey through the cave to free the Holy spell Aerith summoned, but is being blocked by Sephiroth. It also fits in that they are essentially heading down to defeat Sephiroth and avenge her murder.
- In Dissidia, if either character uses their EX Burst during the time when the screen flashes as the platforms stop rising in the stage's Ω version, the background for the EX Burst will be much brighter than normal.
- In the 2012 PC re-release of Final Fantasy VII, in one area in Northern Cave, las2_1, (referred to as "Inside Northern Cave" in the menu) there is an easter egg. If the player uses the save crystal in this area the area's name in the menu changes to "Secret Cow Level". This is a reference to an easter egg from Diablo II.
- An area of the Northern Cave exists that is another version of the area where the party gathers with Shinra and where the Weapon's eye is seen through the crystal. It cannot be accessed during gameplay and the area itself can be accessed only via the Debug Room. As the scene is still used during an FMV, the screen was probably intended only as an anchor for the character models; because the area hasn't been coded with paths for the player character to walk on, it was probably never intended to be accessed during normal gameplay. Curiously, the background music for the area when accessed from the Debug Room is "Aeris's Theme" which would have been intended to play in the background of the original Japanese exiting of the crater FMV. Because of this and the numerous oddities in the finalized scene of Aeris's death, some fans have suggested that Aeris was originally meant to die in the Northern Crater rather than the Forgotten Capital.
- The area of the Northern Cave visited on the first storyline visit to the Northern Cave after the Whirlwind Maze in Part 2 was programmed to have random encounters, but they cannot be accessed as the player never controls a character here and the encounters are disabled. Among the encounters are two Tonberry encounters, who can otherwise only be battled at the Battle Square, and a battle against a Killbin and two Gremlin enemies, two enemies never otherwise fought together.
- In the PC version of Final Fantasy VII, a bug exists in this area when playing on Windows XP. When the FMV showing the Weapons' rising takes place, the game will crash when the Weapons climb out of the crater. The crash could be avoided by playing this section of the game in quarter screen mode, but this will not always work.