Last time in FFVII, Tifa and Barret escaped execution with help from Cait Sith and Yuffie. We finally gained the Highwind airship. The world map is now completely open to us, so it’s time to side quest in earnest.
Aboard the Highwind
Tifa is now your avatar. She seems to move faster than Cloud in the field maps, which is a welcome change. On the deck of the Highwind, you’re asked to go to the bridge to confer with the others. You can speak to Yuffie here, who’s suffering from severe motion sickness (a recurring theme for her in these sequences).
Below deck, there’s a crew member you can talk to. He explains that everyone aboard the airship decided to mutiny thanks to the poor treatment from Heidegger. Apparently Cid is an inspirational figure to them, and he encouraged the mutiny. It was just “a minor act” of employees changing management on their own, and Cid has proven to be as “warm hearted as they thought he would be.” Little bit of ironic humor there. Anyway, he’s teaching them all how to be heroic self-thinkers and doers, and they’re grateful for it. After “chewing the fat” with the crew member, I move on.
The rest of the party is gathered in the cockpit. Here we confer with Red XIII and Cid. Red XIII mentions that while Cloud fell into the Lifestream, he has heard of an island in the south where the lifestream comes up to the surface. Cid agrees to remain the fold, and so we will keep the Highwind for the rest of the game. But before we fly off to find Cloud, let’s do some side quests.
Yuffie’s Side quest: The Pagoda
It’s time to get to Yuffie’s ultimate limit break. We fly over to Wutai and land nearby. I can’t tell you how nice it is to be able to get there almost immediately. The pagoda is the temple on the north west screen of Wutai town, and it consists of five levels. Each level features a fight against a tough creature, representing a different stat in the game (strength, speed, magic, so on). Yuffie must face these enemies alone. There’s a brief exchange between the young ninja and the priest before the combat breaks out.
When I did this the first time, Yuffie routinely got her butt kicked. But if you’re been following along for the last few months, you know I’ve done the prep work. She’s now a bit over level 50, I have almost all of the top tier armor/weapon/accessories, and most of my spells are unlocked. In other words, Yuffie makes mincemeat of these encounters.
The final level, in a plot twist, is held by none other than her dad, Godo. This battle (with boss music and everything) is long but not interesting. Afterward, there’s a long sequence in which Yuffie and papa make up, and Yuffie gets her Wutai jingoism off her chest. More importantly, we receive her ultimate limit break, All-Creation, and Leviathan summon elemental.
Before we leave, Godo stops Yuffie for a private conversation. He reveals he’s as crooked as his progeny. I’ve spoiled everything else in this game for readers, but I won’t spoil this little gem.
Materia, Fort Condor
As always, bover_87’s excellent guide helps me pick up things I definitely missed the first time around. The room in the back of the item shop at Cosmo Canyon contains some goodies and the Full-Cure Materia. That will be useful in the battles to come.
Flying up to the northern continent, we finally can access the Chocobo sage, who’s going to be taking a lot of money in the near-future. In the meantime, we get a fourth enemy skill Materia. (I actually did this before Wutai so I could get Trine on it from Godo).
Speaking of Chocobos, a quick trip back to the Chocobo farm nets us another Chocobo Lure Materia. I couldn’t understand why we get two lures, but you know what, it does increase the wearer’s Luck stat by 1 point. So, why not?
Finally, I head back to Fort Condor for yet another battle. I’m pretty sure this is the last set piece fight I’ll have to do before this mini-game is over. I win it like I did all of the previous encounters, and receive a bunch of Elixirs as my reward.
As Red XIII told us, Cloud is in a small village on a southern island. This is Mideel, which is apparently a retirement community in a jungle. So Florida, basically. There are a lot of crystal weapons here, along with an interesting exchange with a crazed prepper. This woman is in all the shops, running around like a maniac and buying up all the inventory. The world’s about to end soon, you know. Anyway, talking to and feeding her little Chocobo, and subsequently tickling it behind its ear, nets us a Contain Materia. Awesome.
We also find a “beat up key” which we attempt to use on the mysterious door in the weapon shop. It’s actually a dummy door, and telling the shopkeep the truth about breaking the key gets us a super rare Curse Ring accessory. Always tell the truth kids.
After all that, we finally find Cloud in a small medical shack. The doctor informs us that he has severe Mako poisoning, probably as a result of falling into the life stream. He’s never seen a case this bad, and is surprised that he didn’t die from the exposure.
Tifa runs over to him and tries to talk to him, but it’s no use. She decides to remain there, to take care of him and be by his side. In other words, we’ve lost yet another party member.
Huge Materia Quest
Back aboard the Highwind, Barret is in the cockpit. Cait Sith, now a double agent for us instead of Shinra, lets us eavesdrop on a high level management meeting. President Rufus is surprisingly pragmatic here, outlining two objectives: destroying Meteor and stopping WEAPON. To achieve the first goal, the plan is to gather all of the Huge Materia, strap it onto a rocket, and send it straight into the oncoming celestial body. The Huge Materia has already been located in the Corel reactor and Fort Condor.
Naturally, we will oppose this effort. With Cid nominated as the new leader of the group (since he’s the Highwind’s captain), we head off to North Corel. And that’s where we leave off for today.
Tomorrow is the Fantasy Baseball Update, and so far I’m in line for a win. Keep your fingers crossed for me. Afterward, we continue powering through Disc 2. Thanks for reading!