Last time in FFVII we were right at Rocket Town, having traversed Mt. Nibel.
Fort Condor Trip and Back
Thanks to bover_87’s guide, I’m know that I have to go all the way back to Fort Condor before speaking to “the Captain.” With that in mind, I visited a few houses, got some items, and met with Shera, really a tragic figure in the story. I bought a few pricey accessories (earring and another power wrist) and picked up the Yoshiyuki from an old man. With all that done I made the long journey back to Fort Condor. The trip wasn’t as bad as it could have been, I admit. Once at the Fort, I commanded a successful battle, losing only 4 units, and received 5 potions (yay?). I then started the long journey back to the plot thread.
That little side trip out of the way, at Rocket Town the party finds its next vehicle, the Tiny Bronco. It’s a cool little plane, reminiscent of a real Osprey. At Shera’s behest we go speak to “the Captain” who is in the tilting rocket north of the town. Oh, I should mention that Rocket Town derives its name for this prominent landmark. The Shinra space program built this town. This rocket, named Shinra-26, was supposed to be what took man into space, and the captain was to be the first guy to do it. We meet him now, this game’s Cid.
Cid is a foul-mouthed eccentric. He’s excited though, because Rufus is in town and he anticipates the new president Shinra will restart the space program. Cid refuses to let us “borrow” the Tiny Bronco though. Very well.
Back at Cid’s house, the long-suffering Shera relates the backstory to us. During launch day, she “caused” the last launch to fail, because of her slowness. She performed her final safety checks too slowly. Cid canceled the launch at the last second (literally) to save her from incineration. Ever since she’s served as his submissive woman without complaint. Cid returns and promptly berates her (and us) and demands she serve tea. I remember back in the day one of my buddies thought this whole sequence was hilarious. It is still kind of amusing.
After a series of conversations and some more berating, Palmer of the Shinra Corp enters the room. Cid insults the man’s weight several times, and leaves to speak with Rufus. Palmer doesn’t recognize us initially, but he does ask Shera to put lard in his tea. Ok…
Outside, Cid is beside himself as Rufus tells him that he’s not in Rocket Town to restart the space program, rather he wants to take the Tiny Bronco as part of his pursuit of Sephiroth. After this scene, we head back inside and Shera tells us that Palmer is out back, preparing to hijack the plane. Cue the boss fight music.
Boss Fight: Palmer
After all that grinding, Cloud is level 41, and Aeris and Tifa are at level 39 and 37, respectively. The fat man takes a shot at Aeris with his Mako gun (Ice2) but unfortunately for him Cloud is at his limit break. I used Meteorain on Palmer, and that was it. In an amusing bit of slapstick, Palmer ducks the propellers of the rotating plane (ala Raiders of the Lost Ark), mocks us and waddles away – only to be hit by a truck.
Yeah I know. It’s ridiculous. But I can still appreciate the Saturday morning cartoon zaniness of it all.
The party mounts the Tiny Bronco and it takes off on its own. Apparently on autopilot, the plane circles around the rocketship back to Cid, who’s still accosted by the Shinra men. The cantankerous guy leaps up to the plane for the dramatic escape, but one of the SOLDIER’s manages to put a round through the Tiny Bronco’s tail. We crash in the sea, and Cid is inconsolable. He lets us have the now unflyable (but apparently seaworthy?) plane, and then joins the crew. He insults all of us too, for good measure.
Now I’m starting to remember why I didn’t care for this dude.
A Brief Side Quest
Now that we can coast along the shallow water areas of the world map and travel rivers, I take the Tiny Bronco inland down a river and head back to the Gold Saucer area. There’s a small shack here, in which an Arms Dealer resides. If you recall way back when, we spoke to the old man in the cave near the Mythril Mine. Well, the Arms Dealer happens to need mythril to make weapons, so in exchange for letting him have this key item, he gives us a choice. We can take the contents in the big chest, or the little chest. The big chest contains some armor, but the little chest contains the Great Gospel, which is Aeris’ ultimate limit break. I choose the latter. This is the first time I’ve ever gotten Aeris to this point, so I’m happy to try it out.
The Saucer and the Temple
The friendly Arms Dealer also gives us some plot information. There’s a keystone that’s important to the fabled temple of the ancients. I believe that’s where we’re heading next. Unfortunately for us, the dealer had the keystone, but he sold it already to somebody else. When pressed for an answer, he tells us the buyer’s identity: our old friend Dio, owner of the Gold Saucer.
Next Up, we’ll visit the arcade again and maybe take the Tiny Bronco a spin, before heading toward the Ancients’ area of the world.