Hamfruitcake here with the 1st page of her second walkthrough, Final Fantasy VII. Allons-y!
Ex-Soldier with a rather large bladeEdit
We are greeted with a scene featuring a very pretty (we'll assume) young lady and a basket of flowers about to cross the road. She's not a the main character though. After the title card blazes across your screen a train will pull up with a couple of rag tag characters kicking the maroon dressed guards. A black guy will shout at the blonde newcomer; that's you by the way. Pick 2 Potions from the first Soldier and follow the big guy by holding onto the and using the directional pad. I say the directional pad because all those later generation gamers out there will be under the impression that those analogue sticks on their controllers are used to move around. Wrong, this is old style and using the analogue sticks will be of no use to you, not now, not ever in this game. So get to used it.
Head forward and you will be promptly engaged in battle with two soldiers. If by any chance you die at this point it's probably best to go lie down in a dark room and think about taking up a new hobby. You should just be hitting the to confirm that you wish you blonde compadre to attack the masked goons. If things do get horrifically complicated your character comes with a few Potions in his pocket to throw so don't hesitate to do so by selecting them from the items option on your menu.
Moving onwards! Exit the screen to the bottom left and run find your 'gang' in the next screen. Biggs, the one on the left will be in awe of your previous credentials and you will get a chance to name yourself. Go with whatever feels right at the time I'd say. It doesn't make a difference to the gameplay if you change the name to something pointless, humorous or dull but let's just say for now that he's called Cloud. If you were hoping for a nice blonde guy with a charming personality you've picked the wrong game as Cloud immediately snaps at the talkative Biggs.
Cloud. The main character, the one whom we get to watch this game unfold with. One of the only characters you categorically can never bench, get rid of or just ignore. He is the most powerful attacker in the game and he is your friend. Just get past his jackass exterior to find a tortured and seriously messed up delusional wannabe beneath. Fair to say we see flashes of a personality shine through here and there, unlike in the rest of the compilation, but it's all hidden deep within those irritating pauses or for dramatic effect ... Not that he is the worst culprit for this but he does give birth to a bad habit.
Cloud's Limit Breaks are the quickest to learn and are also the most effective. You'll thank your lucky stars when he's around to end any boss battles with a powerful limit. He's overall an effective warrior best kept in the front line and this is all good because you're stuck with him.
Black guy reappears and decides he doesn't trust you, thus giving you the perfect opportunity to name him. The Mr T hairstyle might sway people to change his name to something more exciting but he'll always be Barret for me. He then proceeds to give you advice that I've already doled out: hitting to run. But hey, it's because Barret, much like me, knows the score.
Barret, the loving foster father, the straight talker, the planet saviour, human machine gun, and the mouth of a gutter. What is seriously not to love about this man? Barret has a lot of emotion welling up inside of him, he loves the planet, he loves his daughter, he loves to curse, but he also has a great hatred of Shinra which causes him to hop madly from foot to foot much like Donkey Kong and shoot his gun arm wildly. It's very easy to either be irritated by him or love him for his overtly comical attitude to everything. It's all loud and robust and that's all Barret would ever want to be.
Barret is handy to have in your team in the back row due to his long range gun arm. This means he can hit enemies from a distance with the same damage but also takes half from most attacks aimed at him. Unfortunately some of his arm attachments are not long range so look out for that when weighing the option of more powerful weapon and changing his battle stance. His Limits are effective and Mind Blow is one of the only attacks in game to reduce the MP of an enemy so he can be useful when facing magic reliant enemies. He is usually in my core team largely because I'm a sucker for the originals and my general appreciation of him. But of course I'm not going to tell you that he's a dead cert.
Follow the path to the right then up to the exit at the top left of the screen. You'll be facing random encounters as you go and as I've previously mentioned, throwing a Potion is completely understandable. Being an idiot and dying is not. Head up the bridge following the majority of your gang, Wedge, the fat one will stand on guard to the left so ignore him and move on. Barret becomes irritated at Cloud's obvious attitude problem and then proceeds to merge with him... I don't get this aspect of the game. Every time you have someone on your team they seem to just meld into you and that's that. Totally normal! Anyhoo talk to Biggs for him to let you into the next room. From now on Barret will be assisting you in any battles you may come across.
Speak to Jessie to open the next door. Follow her then talk to her again to head into the lift. She'll tell you push the button on the right because, I don't know why, she seems too lazy to do it herself. As we travel to the reactor Barret will take this opportunity to appeal to Cloud's sensitive side which instead just results in a shrug from our blonde hero and further angers Barrets. Leave the lift and follow Jessie downstairs through the door at the bottom. Jessie will then proceed to teach you how to use a ladder. I'm not going to insult your intelligence by repeating what she has said, I am sure, as you can read this, you can understand what she's getting at.
Follow her down and pick up the Potion before heading to the next ladder. Run along the pipe to the next ladder and you'll find your first save point. Heal up your characters with Potions and such and Save before heading along the bridge.
Blowing up the ReactorEdit
Head along the bridge and pick up the Restore Materia before approaching the wheel-y thing that apparently is the reactor. Barret will insist Cloud rigs the bomb for some bizarre reason but a voice will claim that it's not just a reactor... The alarms begin to sound and here comes our first boss box!
|Boss Battle : Guard Scorpion|
First boss battle! Exciting no? I know, it's not that big a deal, bit of a bust really... but let's get this over with!
Nothing much to worry about here. It's clearly a robot so logic dictates the Bolt spell that's stocked away in your magic arsenal will be of use to you. If you haven't checked the magic option yet in your command menu now is the time. Barret doesn't have any magic options so concentrate on attacking with him and perhaps throwing a Potion, just to keep your HP at it's optimal level.
When this guy has his tail raised he will counter with a powerful Tail Laser so it's best not to attack at this point. It doesn't take long for it's tail to lower, just be patient. When it does just pummel it with your magic, physical attacks and any Limit Breaks you get.
First Boss and you completely annihilated it. This can only bode well for future battles.
The alarms continue on blaring and you will have a time ticking down 10 minutes. Don't panic, you'll get out in more than enough time. Run back to the previous screen, save your game, heal up and climb all the way back up the ladders. When you see Jessie don't ignore her, go talk to her otherwise you'll have to go get her later for door opening and other such mischief. It's a pain forgetting about her as I did many times when I first played the game. Back up the stairs and through the door into the lift again. You'll find the team after exiting the lift, go down to the bottom right of the screen to find a chest with a Phoenix Down in. Talk to Jessie back at the top of the screen and she'll unlock the door for you; Biggs will open the next door. The team will escape just as the reactor blows up. By the size of it they shouldn't have gotten away so easy but never mind. Jessie rigs yet another explosive and the team leaps out of the reactor, Wedge being particularly over dramatic about the fire invisibly burning him.
Follow the gang up stairs to find your way to the rendezvous point. A Flower girl if you engage with her will ask to sell you a flower for 1 gil, thank her and be on your way. In the next screen in the bottom left is a Potion. Exit at the bottom and screen and you will come across a bunch of soldiers. Taking them on without Barret seems a stupid idea so keep choosing the Later option and Cloud will make a nifty escape on the roof of an oncoming train in one of the games best FMVs. Joking, they are all rubbish.
Avalanche will be pondering the mysteries of the universe ignoring a banging noise from outside until Cloud hops into the train. On his CV he wrote in any special talents, I like to make an entrance, this is one of the points that proves my theory. The team head down the train and Jessie awkwardly flirts with Cloud before following them. Barret makes a scene, as always upon entering the carriage. If you try to get any further a guard will tell you to stop being a nuisance. Talk to Jessie and she'll give you the schematics of the train system. It's all very thrilling stuff.
Talk to Barret again to initiate more talk and he will rather creatively compare Midgar's plates to a pizza. It's a good image, well I think so. Follow the gang off the train to the slums and Barret will chase everyone out of the bar with his gun arm. If anything, it's good to keep him around to empty any bar for this reason alone. The townspeople don't seem overly pleased but go talk to him and then head straight on in.
Here we will meet Marlene who is a pink blobbet of affection for Barret and Tifa, a source of affection for Cloud.
Tifa is my favourite character in this game. You'd be forgiven for assuming it was actually Barret but it isn't. I find Tifa a much more realised and interesting person overall. I could spend hours boring you about how it's so human to have so little faith in yourself that you even doubt your own feelings and memories and just accept things as they are without question just to survive. But seriously... I'd bore you. She is a very well written character in my eyes hence my slight favouritism with her. Plus, I do undoubtedly believe her and Cloud belong together completely. And no I'm not a shipper, I just think they are good together.
Attack wise Tifa is a dependable physical brawler and quite adept mage. She is best kept in the front line to optimise her strength and her use of magic is best kept secondary to her physical power. Her Limit, if you can get it right is gradually more and more powerful slots which stack up as you go. Much more difficult to master than Wakka and ten times more effective. A limit from Tifa and the battle is yours. A very dependable and useful person to take into battle. But I would show a little bit of bias considering I have a personal like for her.
These boxes are all so drab and boring... I want some more colour damnit!
You can give Tifa or Marlene the flower you bought to raise the affection levels of Tifa and Barret respectively if you are interested in getting either for the date. Barret will then greet his daughter and take her down to the hideout via a handy pinball machine. You can talk to Tifa and she'll make you a drink at this point if you wish to increase her affection level. Downstairs Barret will be practising his strength on a punchbag and will ask Cloud if any of his old chums were at the reactor today, then, he'll get angry and hurl Biggs across the room... He has a problem I do believe.
Cloud continues to be the all around nice guy demanding his money and declaring that he doesn't care about the planet or anything. Tifa tries to appeal to his sensitive side recalling their childhood together. A nice little memory ensues. Aren't Cloud's baby feet huge? Massive! Cloud continues to be pessimistic afterwards and then Barret appears in his usual style, climbing up the drainpipe. He gives Cloud 1500 gil for his services and Cloud demands more for his next mission. Barret compromises at 2000 gil, Marlene's tuition fees are going down the drain at this rate, what with all the money he spent on explosives too!
In the morning Barret and Tifa will be waiting for you upstairs. There will be the option to get a small tutorial on Materia for Barret's sake, read through if it's your first time or you're uncertain, or haven't read my front page. The team will then leave Marlene in charge of the bar and be on their merry way. Totally reasonable to expect a four year old to look after a bar. Anyways... See you on the next page!