Last time in FFVII we defeated the Red Dragon and learned what Sephiroth is truly after: the Black Materia.
A Redeeming Sacrifice
Still in the room with the carved relief, the Black Materia is conveniently here. There’s just one problem though, when Cloud attempts to remove it the entire place starts to shake. Aeris communes with the life stream, and learns that the Temple itself is the Black Materia. To prevent just anyone from gaining the power to summon the meteor, the Ancients devised an ingenious trap. You have to solve a series of puzzles to unlock the Materia, but as you do, the Temple shrinks and collapses in on you.
The implications should be obvious, but before we have to draw straws, the traitor Cait Sith volunteers his services. Since he’s just a stuffed doll/robot, he will stay behind and solve the puzzles, and get crushed in the process. We just have to go back and unlock a door for him to join us.
So we backtrack to the Clock puzzle room. The Time Guardian is gone, but the clock is frozen with the two hands pointing from our location (Six) to twelve. Straight forward enough. Running up there, we reach a large room with a locked door. When Cloud approaches it, he notes that it’s very warm. When he turns around to confer with his mates, a large demon morphs out of the wall behind him.
Boss Fight: Demons Gate
So I guess the Red Dragon was just a warm up act. This guy is supposed to be a tough battle, but truthfully he’s no match for my OP party. I gamely cast Big Guard on my party, halving all of his damage, and then spam “Slow” on him with Aeris. After a few tries with Aqualung and Summon spells, which don’t do much damage to it (~400?) I just pummel him with Cloud and Vincent. They do between 6 and 900 damage each, and finally I summon Bahamut and put him away. That’s still a cool animation, all these years later.
After the fight, Cait Sith saunters in. He’s glad at his chance at redemption, but before he sacs himself, Aeris asks him to read their fortunes one last time. He’s very “exited” to do so. It confirms what we’ve known for at least the last 20-40 hours, that Aeris and Cloud are star crossed lovers. With that he hops down into the room with the Black Materia. This is supposed to be a fourth-wall breaking hero monologue, I take it, where he expresses some regret and hopes that we won’t forget him, even if “another Cait Sith shows up.”
Foreshadowing within foreshadowing.
With that, the spy gets us the Black Materia.
Losing A Party Member
In the aftermath of Cait Sith’s sacrifice, there’s a huge crater where the Temple used to be. At the bottom of this hole lies the Black Materia. Vincent keeps watch while Cloud and Aeris descend to the bottom to collect it. At that moment, Sephiroth appears again, and Cloud begins to freak out. He has an out of body experience, where you’re in control of a youthful Cloud, begging and pleading with his older self not to submit to the villain. But to no avail: your avatar hands the Materia over Sephiroth, who gloats and flies off.
Aeris is horrified but attempts to console Cloud. Her reward for doing so is an epic ass whopping. He leaps ontop of her and starts to bash her face in. During all this another Cait Sith shows up (hooray?) and he and Vincent rush down and finally stop Cloud. He passes out.
Who’s the real traitor, right?
There’s a lengthy dream sequence next with Aeris and Sephiroth. The flower girl forgives him for beating her to near death, and tells him she’s going to the protect the planet from Sephiroth. Somehow the evil guy is in our dream too, and he sets up the confrontation.
When we come to, we’re in a small hut with Barret and Tifa. For once I’m on Barret’s side, as he berates Cloud for being a coward and a having a dumb haircut. After Cloud whines about his dilemma, he resolves to join the party and to save Aeris.
So we know where we’re going next: Bone Village, and the Sleeping Forest. The end of Disc One is in sight, and I’m kind of dreading it. Thanks for reading this installment.