Zirconiade (ジルコニアエイド, Jirukoniaeido?) is the final boss of Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-. A so-called "Ultimate Summon" also called the "World Burner", Zirconiade's summon Materia is so powerful, it needs four support Materia to be fully summoned into the world, which were hidden around the planet long ago.
Fuhito, AVALANCHE's demented scientist and former apprentice to Bugenhagen, seeks the support Materia and plans to summon Zirconiade to eradicate all life on the planet, returning all the world's spiritual energy to the Lifestream so the planet could heal from the influence of the Shinra Electric Power Company.
At some unspecified point prior to Before Crisis, Professor Hojo, desiring to test the applications for grafting Materia onto human flesh, implanted Zirconiade's Materia into the hand of Felicia, a young girl that had been taken from the ruins of Kalm, which had then recently been bombed by Veld and the Turks. Though the procedure was successful, Zirconiade could not be called because its Materia was still fragmented, so Hojo misjudged Felicia a failure unable to use the Materia and ordered her disposed of.
Felicia survived and wandered the planet with no memories, and was eventually taken in by AVALANCHE and made their leader, taking the name Elfé. Though the implantation of Zirconiade granted Elfé enhanced physical abilities, it drained her life force in an effort to gather the energy to manifest itself.
Several years later, Fuhito and AVALANCHE begin seeking the four support Materia needed to use Zirconiade's Materia. Veld, dismissed from his position due to being suspected of treason, discovers Elfé is Felicia and believes that if the Zirconiade Materia is united with the support Materia, the Materia embedded in Elfé will stop draining her life. Shears, Elfé's second-in-command, is betrayed by Fuhito, and works with Veld to find the Materia as well, wanting to protect Elfé. Eventually, discovering Veld and Elfé's pasts and rejecting their orders to assassinate Veld, the Turks defect from Shinra, working with Veld and Shears to find the support Materia before Fuhito.
In Corel, Shears finds the first support Materia in the town's Mako reactor when the Turks arrive to protect the town from AVALANCHE. The reactor collapsing, Shears entrusts the Materia to the player's Turk as they flee the reactor. The second support Materia is found in Gongaga's reactor with the aid of Reeve and Cait Sith. The third support Materia is found in Shinra Manor with the aid of Vincent Valentine. The final Materia is located at Corel Prison, and is seized by the Turks, but in the process Veld is captured by Scarlet, Fuhito having kidnapped Rufus Shinra who was secretly aiding the Turks, and President Shinra plans to exchange Veld for Rufus.
The Turks head to Midgar to rescue Veld, and Fuhito and AVALANCHE invade the city to track down the Turks and seize the support Materia. Using Elena as a hostage, AVALANCHE claims the support Materia the Turks hold while the Materia given to Shears for safekeeping is taken by Fuhito. On the highways out of Midgar, the Turks find Fuhito and AVALANCHE summoning Zirconiade, the summoning incomplete because Zirconiade needs more energy. As the player Turk and Fuhito fight, the five Materia pieces react to each other, the Materia in Elfé removing itself from her body and the five Materia shards fusing into one. Fuhito seizes it and rushes to the site of Zirconiade's summoning to complete the summon.
The Turks pursue Fuhito into Midgar as he attempts to get to the site of Zirconiade's appearance. Fuhito inserts the complete Zirconiade Materia into his own body and offers himself as a sacrifice to complete the summon. Fuhito is transformed by Zirconiade's power, but is defeated by the player's Turk, Shears intercepting a lethal attack on them attempted with Fuhito's last strength. Though Fuhito is killed, Zirconiade manifests and the Turks head to find it, battling monsters spawned by Zirconiade that invade Midgar. Transported into a pocket dimension, the Turks work together and successfully destroy Zirconiade by unleashing a Limit Break, saving the planet.
Though Zirconiade is destroyed by the Turks, it is discovered that its summoning had an unexpected side-effect. Sensing a dangerous threat to it, the planet reacted to Zirconiade's summoning by releasing a Weapon, Jade Weapon, to destroy it. With Zirconiade instead destroyed by the Turks, Jade Weapon begins hunting the Turks, judging them too powerful to be left unchecked.
- Main article: Zirconiade (Boss)
Zirconiade is fought as the final boss of the game.
Zirconiade's name is likely derived from Zirconium, a metallic silver-white element found in various compounds and uses.
- The final battle with Zirconiade features the Turks taking turns battling it before finally finishing it off. This concept is reused for the final battle of Final Fantasy Type-0, where the members of Class Zero work together one-by-one to defeat the l'Cie Arbitor. Both games were directed by Hajime Tabata.