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Carbon Ocelot's Final Fantasy VII Walkthrough

Index
Plot
Intro
Disc 1
Disc 2
Disc 3
 
Side Quests
Chocobo Racing
Level Up
Fort Condor
Gold Saucer
Materia
Beating Weapon
 
Sing Page
Single Page Version
 

 

 

 

Disclaimer

This is a walkthrough of Final Fantasy VII (FF7). As with any walkthrough, this document contains spoilers! It was developed for FFVII English Language Version for Playstation. Some things may not work on other platforms or alternate language versions.I intend to add some tools to help you learn the game system more easily. As of my original writing, this was one of the most complete walkthrough of FFVII on the net. You may to make requests/corrections.

Walkthrough Notes

As I said above, all walkthroughs contain spoilers. What I've tried to do here is set this site up so that you can get the information you need without having to read the whole document. Please see the points below for things you'll want to know about that DON'T involve spoilers. I recommend reading them before even starting the game. Then play each section first, saving at every possible point. When you finish a section, go back to the walkthrough and see if there is anything you missed. I'll include various hints, tips, tricks and cheats I may have noticed along the way.

Points to Remember

(IE: Things I wish someone had told me starting out!)
  • Enter the menu by pressing triangle and use the config menu to set the battle speed to faster, and to set the cursor to memory and the ATB to wait.
  • Examine all walls. Look for the Turtle's Paradise posters from the start; you can't get back to all of them.
  • Concentrate on leveling up characters in the following order: Yuffie, Cloud, Cid, Red XIII, Barret, Tifa, Vincent, Cait Sith, Aeris. If you are leveling up characters, don't include the lower value ones until later on. Also, don't buy expensive weapons / armor / accessories for lower level characters.
  • Don't sell off your master level materia always. You can keep one of each master level materia and transform it into something VERY cool. Keep a spare master or two of everything. I recommend selling off master level all materia. You'll end up with a ton of it, and you don't need more than two or three at most. If you can't decide what to level up - level up an all materia.
  • Attack this game from the standpoint that you DO want to beat it completely. If you decide not to at some point, you can always stop doing the tough stuff. Otherwse, you may miss out on something you really need.
  • See the colors in the text? Those colors correspond to the materia type. I'll be linking this to other materia information as time goes on, but in the mean time it gives you an idea what you can do with it. The available materia types are independant materia, support materia, command materia, magic materia and summon materia.
  • Any time you see an item in a dashed box, you can hover the mouse over it for more information about that item. Hover the mouse over the box in this line for for a second or two to see an example of how it works.

 

Disc 1

Intro - Reactor
We'll start at the very beginning (a very good... yeah, you know...). Create a new game and watch the intro. See the girl with brown hair? You'll want to remember her. When you see the train stop (pretty quickly), you'll be the guy with blonde hair. For all battle scenes here, just use the default attack and don't bother healing up. I'll let you know when to change this strategy. Follow the big black guy and fight the soldiers (hold down the cancel button (X on the PS2 controller) to run). The two red guys that have been knocked down have a Potion . If you use the select button on them (the circle button) you can get them.

When you change screens, talk to the guy on the far left to name your character. I'm going to use all the defaults to make it easier to follow along. When Barret (the big black guy) comes and asks what you are doing, you'll name him and continue through the now open doorway. Head around to the right (you can't go left) and go under the warning sign. There is a door to go through on the far left. You emerge onto a catwalk that divides into a fork going straight and one that heads to the top of the screen.

Head to the top of the screen and then go forward to talk to Barret. Talk to Jessie (red head) to unlock the First two doors, then head right (from the second room) to find a room with a Phoenix Down in it (in a chest). Talk to Jessie again to open the third door and head through. Push the pink triangle at the top of he screen (you're in an elevator). Listen to the lecture and head left when the elevator stops.

Follow the stair case down to the bottom of the tower, and go through the door at the bottom (I didn't see any chests in this room). Talk to Jessie in the next room and hop onto the ladder. Press down and head to the beam at the bottom. A little along the beam is a blue bottle; get it. "Received " Potion "!" Don't bother talking to Jessie any more. She is just FASCINATED with ladders. ;) At the bottom of the stairs head down to the next screen. Head down again and follow the big pipes down.

At the end of the pipes is a ladder, at the bottom of which is a save point. I recommend using it. (You should not have needed to use a Potion by this time, just fyi, but I tend to heal up before using save points. Just a force of habit, I think. Anyway, it looks like there is a doorway here, but there isn't. Just head down and follow the path. A little further on, you'll receive some restore materia. Pick it up, but you can mostly ignore it for now; you'll not be able to use it until later. After Cloud sets the bomb ("Someone set up us the bomb!"), you'll go into boss fight.

Boss Battle: Guard Scorpion.     Hopefully you have been saving your magic until this battle. His turns go:

  • Lock on to a character
  • Attack that character
  • Lock on to a character
  • Attack that character
  • Put his tail up
  • Repeat
Use bolt on this guy, but don't do anything when his tail goes up. Just heal up and wait for the tail to go down, then attack again. Head back and save your game, then go equip the Assault Gun you get from beating that boss. Head up the stairs and talk to Jessie (she got her leg stuck). Head out the same way you got in.

Don't forget, you have to select ladders to get on. Talk to Biggs (not Jessie) to open the doors. I had an easy 5 minutes left when I got out. After a little dialogue, you'll follow Barret up the stairs at the end of the screen. Remember this girl? Talk to her. "Hey Listen..." "Don't see too many flowers..." then follow her. At the bottom left of the next screen is a Potion . Head past that to the next screen down. You'll get to fight a bunch of soldiers, if you want. It's easy XP, IMHO. Eventually, there will be too many of them and Cloud will have to jump to the train. Anyway, after some talk head down to the next car. Talk to Jessie to learn some stuff. When you get bored, try to go up a screen to go to the next section.

Sector 7 Slums
When Barret finishes his speech, talk to the people around there, then head right toward the train grave yard. If you don't want more XP, you can go left and follow the rest of them. You can't get the really cool stuff yet. Anyway, the screen to the left of the train station has a save point at the top. Talk to the guy there to see a preview of the route you'll have to run later. Head left one more screen to the slums town. Talk to the various people around here for an update on what the heck is really going on. There is a guy in the three-level store (level two) who can help you understand VERY thoroughly.

The top floor of that building is functionally a hotel. Essentially, though, everyone is going to tell you to wait until tomorrow. Go talk to Barret then head into the store he's guarding. Talk to Tifa. (Give the flower to her if you want, or you can give it to the little girl, Marlene.) When you've talked to everyone, try to leave the store to force the next scene. When Barret leaves, talk to Tifa. Get a drink and then head down the elevator. Talk to everyone then head back up the elevator. Eventually, Tifa will show up and you'll get a flashback.

Notice the stars? Put two and two together. They aren't in the slums right now, are they? AH! A shooting star! It must come true, right? heh heh. Anyway, you'll get the "sleep track" and it'll be the next day. Head up the elevator and talk to Tifa. I'm going to try to get a date with her, so I'll not make fun of Barret. Now then, talk to Barret to get the materia menu option opened up to you. Go to the weapons guy (the guy who sad he had something juicy to tell you) then talk to the guy right below him (on the other side of the doorway) for an all materia. Get the " Ether " out of the chest, too. Head downstairs and buy 3 iron bangles. Now head across the way to the materia shop and buy a fire materia and another restore materia (if you can afford it, you want to fill everyone's materia slots - heal is cool!), then head toward the house at the top of the screen to learn a little bit of Cloud's past.

If you need more money to buy materia, you can go to the train graveyard and kill stuff off to get more money. Alternately, you can sell an Ether and/or a bunch of potions. The sweeper will give you 27 XP each and 30 gill. 20 fights against one of those will give you a fire materia, ice materia or lightning materia (600 gil). For 750 gil you can get a restore materia. The Mono Drive A will give you 18 XP each and 8 gil each. Guard Hound A will give you 20 XP each and 12 gil each. You also get a bunch of potions and ethers out of this, so it's totally worth it. When you are ready to leave, get on the train. Talk to Tifa and run from car to car. Keep running until you hear Barret talk about jumping out of the train, then talk to Tifa... twice...

Reactor re-visted
There are two options here:

If you want to fight a lot of battles, go down 6 screens and you'll be able to get into a basically never ending set of battles. You'll have to use cure or potions to heal; you'll probably only get an Antidote from these enemies. Frankly, you'll get a better place to level up in a bit.

If you don't want to fight (or if you've finished the fights down from here), go up until you see the lasers blocking the path.A few screens up, you can look inside, then "go down" the hole. Pick up the green bottle ( Ether ) and go right to the ladder, and go down. On the next scene, keep going down.

Hit the platform, and go down the next ladder too. Just left of you is a ladder. Go there and talk to Jessie (there's a Potion in this room). Head left and go down the ladder. There is a Tent and a save point there (conveniently enough), but this is not the time for using the Tent (save, though). The previous scren with Jesse and the Potion is a great place to level up. Since Barret and Cloud have weapons that allow materia to be junctioned together, junction bolt-all on one of them, then run around in the room and use it on the enemies you encounter. What that person's magic is used, do the same with the other and use up their magic. Use Tifa's magic to heal during this time. NOW you can Tent /save on the prior screen.

From there, go up the ladder and through the door, then slide down the tube on the next screen. If you head up all the stairs to get to an elevator that'll take you to a free Ether , but you'll be coming back through here later on anyway, so you don't really need to do it now unless you really need the Ether . Head to the door at the bottom of the stairs. Jump the gap and climb down and across the beam. This should all be familiar. Head toward the reactor.

Take a cut scene, go forward to plant the bomb, and then head back out. Go up all the stairs and through the elevator. Press the main button when everyone raises their hands, and you should be able to go to the next area (heal up, then save at the save point). If you have multiple lightning materia, give one to Tifa. Follow the glowing floor left and up, then follow the catwalk up. You'll see a cut scene and then have to fight a boss. Use bolt on this guy, but be sure to heal up first. Cloud's main limit break works well, so be sure to be almost at limit. ;) Watch the cut scene and eventually you'll have control again.

Meet Aeris
Remember this girl? Equip the titan bangle you just got and any another materia you want. You'll have to talk to her, then talk to her again and find out her name and talk to her a bunch more. Whew! Eventually you'll have to run to the back exit. On the next screen run to the right and up the stairs. When Aeris falls down, tell her to hold on a minute, then run up the little stairway to your left. You'll have to push some barrels down to help her evade the enemies. Depending on where she is, you'll push different barrels. The barrels are on two beams, one toward the bottom of the screen, and one toward the top.

  • Aeris will start out down at the bottom of the stairs. Push the Left Barrel on the Upper Beam.
  • When she then ends up on a stairway to the right, push over the Right Barrel on the Upper Beam.
  • She'll then go up to the next set of stairs. Push over the Right Barrel on the Lower Beam.


Head left until Aeris asks you to wait. Insult her, get told and then head left again. When she points out where her house is you can actually head right and let the kids know it's OK to tend her flowers. Then you can go back left to where the save point is and save, then head left. On the next screen, you can't go left, so head up. There are several houses you can go in here.
  • You can see some bad translation in the tube to the left. "This guy are sick."
  • The next house to the right is a materia shop. If you are missing one of these materia, feel free to pick some up. I usually make sure I have at least two of each kind.
  • The next house over sells a few items. I bought a few tents.
  • In the house on the far right of the area, you can head upstairs to see TURTLES'S PARADISE NEWS NUMBER ONE. For delicious wine with a nice ring to it... Stop on by the Turtle's Paradise" !! The kid sleeping here says "now... no one... will find it... num... the top one... and the bottom one...
  • North from there is a weapon/armor shop, but it's kind of a waist of money. You can get a Mythril Bangle (Possibly called a Mythril Armlet in some games/towns) for them in the next town up.
Head right one screen and save your game. This is Aeris's house. The garden to the right has an Ether and a cover materia in it. Go and get it, then come back and save your game. Now go inside and watch the cut scenes. Head up stairs and go to sleep. When you wake up, you'll have to try and sneak past her. But first, be sure to grab the Potion and Phoenix Down before you leave the guest room. Try to stay as close as possible to the rail while you walk toward the stairs, otherwise you'll step on a squeaky board and have to start over.

Once you enter the slums, head up the ramp, across the bridge, down the ramp and through the tunnel. Walk up the wooden plank, then down the ramp to get to the top of the screen. Suggest you'll take her to sector 7, then take a break (talk to her). Follow the cart when you have control again, and head to the top right of the screen. And the top of the next, too.

Slum Town 'Girl'
Talk to everyone in the town to get more info on what's going on, then buy a Mythril Bangle for everyone, and upgrade everyone's weapons. If you need money, head back towards Aeris's house, and kill things along the way. Sleep at her house to heal up. After you have bought everyone's stuff, sleep at the inn, save your game, and then go to the screen at the bottom right of this town, and talk to everyone.

You'll eventually ask someone about Tifa. He'll tell you Tifa is at Don Corneo's mansion. Head to the top of the town and talk to the guard at Don Corneo's mansion. When Aeris talks about dressing Cloud up like a girl, head to the dress shop (down two screens). They'll tell you to head to the bar (up one screen) and talk to one of the guys all by himself. You want something that's " Soft " and something "that shimmers." Then head back to the dress shop. Talk to the cashier again and then head up a screen to the gym (for those of you who know kanji, it's the one with three "otoko" kanji on it (he he he). You'll get a Wig whether you win or not. If you are going to try for all the optional items, too, be sure to save first.

The guy in the middle of the gym is the one you want to talk to. Press square, x, o over and over (you have to pause the right amount in between pressing them) and you'll get the Wig . If you complete MORE squats than the other guy, you'l get the Blonde Wig . Other wise, you'll get the standard Wig . Go back down one screen, save the game and head into the dress shop again, if you're ready to head out. You can get other stuff around here to make Cloud more feminine, but all that happens is that Corneo chooses you. If you want, you can probably just skip past the "optional" sections below.

Optional: Diamond Tiara
Otherwise, across from the dress shop is a guy laying on a divan in a shop near a stew pot who wants to know what's for sale in the vending machine in the inn. Go sleep at the inn and buy the "one for 200 gil." This will get you a protein drink set that you can trade to the curious guy for the Diamond Tiara .

Optional: Sexy Cologne. Head to the Diner and order Today's Special. If you tell the shop keep "it was alright", ou should get a Coupon. Take that to the Item Store / Pharmacy (oddly, the one next to the large cat statue, and not the one with the large "Item" sign) and trade it for a Digestive . Take THAT to the bar, and give it to the person who's been in the bathroom this whole time. You'll be rewarded with the Sexy Cologne.

Optional: Make up and Lingerie. This part is both optional and PG-13. Talk to the guy just to the right of the sign "south" for the membership card. After you have the card, talk to the guy in the black suit blocking the entrance to the Honey Bee. Head to the upper left room. "Don't make me repeat myself." Talk to the outline of cloud. When you wake up, answer "Huh?" and then talk to the girl in the bee suit a few times to get the Lingerie. After everyone has left, leave the room and go into the room at the top of the screen. You can talk to the lady on the far left and request make up. When you leave that room, you can peek into the rooms on the right. It's a little creepy.

When you are ready to continue, save your game then go back to the dress shop changing room to change. Head up to Don Corneo's place and go up the stairs and to the room on the far left (It's labeled Oshioki.) Grab the Ether here. When the talking is done and the guy comes to get you. Try to go up the stairs and then equip/junction and go up the stairs. Enter Don's room at the top of the screen. If could wasn't picked, you'll be escorted to the next room, you'll do some butt kicking, and then you'll leave the room. (there's a Phoenix Down here) and go down.

Go into Don Corneo's room (if Cloud was picked, you'll start here and not in the room above) and head toward the back. Walk behind his bed and search for a " Hyper ." Watch the cut scene, then you'll head in to the sewers. If you didn't already, equip your group's weapons / armor / materia / etc, then talk to everyone to start a battle with Aps. Fire works well against this enemy, with Bolt being a good second choice. When he's dead (I didn't even bother healing), Go up the stairs on your left (well, bottom, sort of) and get the Potion , then head up the ladder, around the corner, down the other ladder and up the stairs on the other side of the fence. There is a steal materia here which you *really* want! At the top of the screen, "jump down" to the next level. Go to the right of the screen and down the stairs. Go left and up the stairs, the head right and go up the ladder. Now you're in the train graveyard.

Train Graveyard
Save your game, equip steal to Aeris (shes a wimp, plus the Deenglow enemies have an Ether you can steal, the ghosts have a Ghost Hand , and the Eligore have Striking Staff weapons!). This is an OK place to level up, if you don't go past the last point on screen two. Just go through each of the points below, then return to the save point at the start. The price you can sell the ethers for may make that worth it in and of itself.

Screen One:

  1. Go through the nearest train opening and grab the Hi-Potion in the trashcan on the other side of the rubble pile. Return to the save point.
  2. Go up the closest ladder to get a Hi-Potion .
  3. Continue a little further then jump on the crossbeam; head left down the beam.
  4. Grab the Echo Screen from trash can at the top of the screen, then head down and right around the train, passing under the beam you came down.
  5. Get the Potion out of the next car over.
  6. Exit that car on the right and go up the ladder nearest you.
  7. Go slightly up and then head down the ladder just past the rubble.
  8. Go up and into the car on the right to pass around another pile of rubble.
  9. Farther up you'll be able to exit that car on the left, and get a Potion at the top of the screen.
  10. Go up to the next screen.
Screen Two:
  1. Go up and left around the car to your left and get the Potion over there.
  2. Around the train to your left is a trash can you can get an Ether out of.
  3. Straight ahead from where you came onto this screen, head around the train engine and up the ladder to the right for a Hi-Potion on top of the engine there.
  4. Go back down the ladder and into the engine on the tracks below you; you'll automagically move the engine forward a little.
  5. When you hop out, hop back in to back it up for easier access, then head into the engine on the tracks above you; it should also move.
  6. You'll move it over to be close enough to jump to the next car.
  7. You can now climb the ladder to get on the engine, and jump across to the train you just backed up.
  8. Go down that train via the ladder on the left.
  9. You can level up for a while yet, or exit the graveyard to the left when you are positive you want to move on. I recommend going for the Striking Staff , at least.

Fight at the pillar
Unequip all of your materia and any good armor from Aeris, then head left for one more screen. When you have control again, go and save your game just past the fence. Rearrainge your materia and make sure someon has steal - I like to use Tifa. One of the guys here is a store; you can buy stuff if you need to. Head up the stairs and continue all the way up to the top (talking to people along the way). If you like, you can have Tifa steal potions from people; it's not really worth it in my opinion, though. Bolt-all is your friend.

Fight, and then talk to Barret (you probably need to equip him; be sure to press triangle while that message box is up!) Fight Reno. He has nothing to steal. If he uses the "pyramid" attack on your guys, be sure to have one of your other guys attack the character who is trapped (this is how you break the pyramid). Don't forget: Cloud's Blade Beam attack can hit Reno, then diffuse out and break the Pyramid off your other guys. I've found that Ice works pretty good against Reno.

When Reno says, "It's time," the battle will end. Talk to Tifa, then go "talk" to Barret to jump across the wire, then (when you have control again) head down toward Aeris's house - until your party members show up. When you have control again, go BACK toward the playground and get the sense materia on the ground there. Go back down, and head right, then up, then right to Aeris' house; talk to her mother for a bit. When you can move, you have the option (if you didn't get them earlier) to head upstairs and get a Potion and a phoenix down out of the room Cloud stayed in earlier. Try to leave the house to regroup, then make your way toward wall market.

Invading Shinra HQ - Prep
If Don Corneo seleted Cloud, you can get the Phoenix Down from the 2nd floor room now. Random tip: There's a Mahjong set on the table there. Wouldn't it be funny if you could play? If you want, head down the stairs and let Kotch out of the weird rack table. Buy materia and/or weapons if you need, then talk to the guy in the back of the weapons shop. He'll sell you some batteries.

Head up to the entrance to Don's place, when you get there, head one screen to the right. Talk to the kid at the bottom of the wire, then examine it to jump on. Follow the instructions below to get to the top and get all the items along the way...

  1. Climb up until you jump off to the left.
  2. Go down and curve around under the path you were walking.
  3. Place a battery in the yellow box on the lower right of the screen.
  4. Go straight up and hop onto the propeller.
  5. Continue up and right, then walk down the train tracks to the other next yellow box.
  6. Put in a battery and climb up the gate, then up the pipe there.
  7. When the game tells you to jump by pressing OK, continue up to the next screen
  8. Put a battery in the yellow box here to get an Ether .
  9. Return back down the path you came up and return to the place where the game tells you to jump.
  10. Time your jump to occure just as soon as the bar gets closest to you. Cloud will tell you if you are too late or too early.
  11. Jump off the other side and continue up the pipes, climbing and walking until you get the cut scene with the Shinra HQ building.
Choose how you want to get in to the Shinra Building. I chose "sneak in" the first time, then went through the front door the second. If you go through the front door, you can see the Turtle's Paradise No 2 on the board at the back right of the ground floor, though you'll have the opportunity to see it later, should you choose the other path. Save. If you want to go through the side door, head around to the left and sneak in. There's nothing to prevent you from going in on the ground floor, then heading back out and going up the stairs.

If you sneak, you're going to have to run up a BUNCH of stairs. The first 4 sets of screens have no items, but the 5th has an Elixir at the top. You'll go up another 7 or so until you hit the top. Just for fun, try to beat them both to the top. (Think of it as an unofficial mini-game. You have to try and beat them to the top on every floor! That makes the time go a little bit faster.)

In either case, you shoulde either emerge from the stairwell or elevator onto the 59th floor. There will be some guards on the far right of the screen. They were Mighty Grunt enemies for me (so I assume they will be for you). They have 230 HP and you can steal a tranquilizer from them. When you've killed them off, you should get Keycard 60 . Hop into the elevator on the far right and go to floor 60. Talk to your guys in order to start the next cut scene, then you should emerge at...

Invading Shinra HQ - Floor 60 & 61
For the 60th floor, Head left into the room on the far left. You're supposed to be able to walk across the floor to the right without getting seen, but it's hard to time your run just right so that you don't go PAST the pillar you're supposed to stop at. If you are seen 4 times you'll just get into battles. Go up the stairs on the right and leave the room. You can't do anything at any other level, so you might as well exit here (Level 61). Talk to everyone and when you are offered the choices of "where's Aeris" and "......," chose "....." That'll get you the keycard to level 62 (the next level up).

Invading Shinra HQ - Floor 62
Talk to the mayor and guess his password for a cool item. To guess it, buy the clues from the guy outside his door. Essentially, though, you just try and figure out which file in each of the four rooms doesn't fit. You can see what SHOULD be in there by reading the plates just outside the door. The number at the beginning of the file is the number of letters to count in from the beginning to figure out what the right letter for this file is. If the last number winds up on a space, ignore all spaces for that entry. For example, "5: The sky is blue" would mean "s" is the right letter. When you know the four appropriate letters, you can probably guess the password. Here's another example. For my most recent game, the out of place books were:

2 Mako energy and the rise in life forms
10 New plans for urban planing
16 Modern history of Midgar space program vol. 1
4 Ranks and extended use of Make weaponry

The letters, therefore, are: a, o, m, k. Changing the order here gives me MAKO. At other times, the password has been KING, MAKO, etc. I got an elemental materia out of the deal, too, for getting it right on the first try! You'll get the level 65 key card which lets you access levels 63 an 64 also (hmm).

The room at upper left is the Peace Preservation / Weapon Dev. Research Library. The books inside should be:

  • 2: Plan for new land weapons
  • 10: Materia production and its military uses
  • 1: Breakdown of soldier members by class
  • 14: Heidegger's Shinra peace keeping law
  • 7: Economic report: anti-Shinra activities
  • 4: Ranks and extended use of Make weaponry


The room at the upper right is the Space Dev. Research Library. The books inside should be:
  • 15: Diminishing Make energy and Planet movements
  • 17: Modern history of Midgar space program vol. 2
  • 1: Result of failed space mission "YA-79"
  • 6: Shinra rocket space travel
  • 2: economic report: Space Dev Program
  • 16: Modern history of Midgar space program vol. 1


The room at the lower left is the Urban Dev. Research Library. The books inside should be:
  • 2: Problems with Plate constrution in Midgar
  • 9: Midgar City map: Sectors 5-8
  • 5: Reactor Construction Chart
  • 4: Midgar City map: Sectors 0-4
  • 10: New plans for urban planing
  • 3: An illustrated guide to city planning


The room at the Scientific Research Library. The books inside should be:
  • 2: Mako energy and the rise in life forms
  • 6: Data on experimental animals living near Midgar
  • 14: The Ancients in History
  • 3: File on Dr. Gast, Biologist
  • 8: Final evolutionary stages in land dwelling life
  • 4: Report on high Mako levels in living beings

As a final note, if you're playing the game on an emulator that allows you to save game states, just save one before you guess, the restore if you get it wrong. :) I guessed Mako on the 2nd try on my most recent replay of the game, and it was correct.

Invading Shinra HQ - Floor 64
64 is where the save point is, so I HIGHLY recommend making a beeline for it. I also stole an Ether and a Phoenix Down out of the lockers. ;) I also ran across a megaphone, but Cloud wouldn't take it. This is supposed to be a very subtle hint of something to come, so file it away in the back of your head, for now. Now head back down to room 63.

Invading Shinra HQ - Floor 63
You'll want to get three cool things here. Start out by examining the computer in the room on the lower-right. Watch the video file for the whole story. You'll have to open only three doors to do this, and you want to get all the coupons. I recommend right clicking on that file and downloading to it your desktop, then double click it to run Quicktime. Use the "Double Size" or "Full Screen" option to zoom in. the file is of decent quality that you should be able to see it. You'll watch cloud go through all the doors and get all the stuff. It's easier than me trying to explain it with text here. Go back up to level 64 and save, then head on to level 65.

Invading Shinra HQ - Floor 65
You can't open the chest yet, so head out of the room and look around. Open the bottom chest in the top room on the left, and you'll get the "Midgar Parts." Notice how the thing in the middle looks like a map of Midgar? It is. When you go in there, examine the map near where the cracks is on the upper-left area. A window will pop-up saying "Place the Midgar Parts ?" You'll go clock-wise around the model placing parts from now on. Each time you place the parts one of the other chests will be unlocked. Repeat process. The locations of the pieces are listed below:

  • First piece: Top room on left, bottom chest.
  • Second piec: Bottom room on left, bottom chest.
  • Third piece: Upper room on right. Only chest.
  • Fourth piece: Upper left room, upper chest.
  • Fifth Piece: Lower left room, upper chest.
When all five pieces are in place the chest in the hallway will unlock, and you can get the key card for the next level. Rest and save one floor down (if you want and/or need to) and then head up to floor 66.

Invading Shinra HQ - Floor 66
Talk to everyone on this level for more information, head into the restroom at the top left and climb onto the toilet. Move from one grate to the next, then you'll be able to watch parts of the meeting, Return to the restroom and head toward the stairs. You'll follow Hojo up the stairs and talk about him. You may run across a Moth Slasher in this next area - you can steal a Carbon Bangle from him. If you find a SOLDIER: 3rd enemy, steal a Hardedge from them (this enemy has 250 HP and 40 MP). That gives Cloud two more materia slots and almost double damage (compared to Buster Sword ).

Invading Shinra HQ - Floor 67
Head to the save point at the top of the research facility and get the poison materia from the chest. Take as much of the good materia as you can from Tifa and spread it to the others. When you are asked who should escort Aeris later, chose Tifa - that gives you Red XIII and Barret (both of whom can fight in one of the upcoming battles). If you have the steal materia on Tifa, be sure to reassign it, OK? Go up the elevator beside the save point (save first, if you want). Watch the cut scene and send Tifa away with Aeris. If you have a Carbon Bangle , try equiping the elemental Go back up the stairs onto the car you just left and head over to the left. materia and the poison materia to Barret, and then equip the Star Pendant to Cloud.

Invading Shinra HQ - Meet Red XIII
When you start the next battle, you'll be glad you have the glowing pendant to keep Cloud from getting poisoned. You'll be fighting against three Sample: H0512-opt and one Sample: H0512. None of these enemies have anything to steal, so just go after them. Do not use Poison on these enemies, as it heals the up. Attack the guy in the back (Sample: H0512) - he'll reanimate the other guys, and when he's dead they all disappear. He has 1000 HP and 120 MP, and it takes a lot of MP to bring the H0512-opt enemies back. If you can kill off all four enemies, you'll get more gil/xp. I really didn't find much use for anti-poison medication; I kept getting poisoned again quickly and my guys had enough hit points to spare.

When you choose your party, be sure to use the opportunity to remove all materia from everyone before swapping people in/out. Also, equip the Talisman you just found. I chose Tifa, Cloud and Red XIII because they were the highest levels. When you have control, be sure to go in to the experiment chamber and get the enemy skill materia. Head back down the elevator and save your game. Go back up and head to the lower right of the room. There are two potions on the catwalk. Talk to the guy just along the catwalk to get the 68th floor key card. When he flees, follow him. Pick up two more potions on the way out. Head downstairs to the 66th floor and get in the elevator.

Invading Shinra HQ - Battles
When you end up in jail, "wonder how Barret is doing", then Red XIII then Aeris. Eventually you'll get sleepy-time music and then you'll be back on. Go outside and look at the guard, then go get Tifa. OK. How come they put some of your guys together, even though they had 3 extra empty cells? Oh yeah, I forgot: stupid suspension of disbelief. Anyway, go back to the guard and get the key. Now go talk to Barret by the guard, and then you can materia up Aeris (who should be in your party now).

Go talk to Red XIII by the Jenova area, then head up and save your game, then go up the specimen elevator right next to it. Follow the blood trail. It'll go up the stairs and into the lobby where you should be able to find a save point. Save and keep following the trail; you can level up here, or if you want, just wander around. When you get to the president's office, you'll see some cut scenes, then you'll again have control.

Talk to everyone, then head out the door at the top of the screen. When you get the opportunity to un-junction Cloud and Tifa's materia, do it, then head to the elevator (bottom of the screen). Make sure to junction the bolt magic (lightning materia) to Red XIII and Aeris (Barret has ranged atack, but do NOT junction poison and elemental damage for him). If you have more than one lightning materia, you might want to use a connected slot on barret's weapon and junction that with the elemental materia to maximize his damage. You have two back-to-back battles here, and a little bit of prep work will make this a lot Go back up the stairs onto the car you just left and head over to the left. easier. For the first one, you cannot use physical attacks (or steal), so use magic and/or ranged attacks (barret's gun, for example). He has 1600 HP and is weak against lightning.

The 2nd battle is against an enemy with 1000 HP and the same lightning weakness (plus wind, but you probably cannot do wind damage at this time). He can put your guys to sleep, though. If it's not Aeris that gets put to sleep, I recommend having her attack the sleeping character. It's not like she does real damage. ;) When you beat both enemies, you'll be back in control of Cloud.

Use the square button to take the materia from everyone else and then use the triangle button to enter the menu. Be sure to use the Star Pendant to keep the poison off of him, then junction the restore materia to him (and all the other cool stuff you might want). Don't bother with steal materia or enemy skill materia (he has nothing and uses nothing). You also don't need to bother with sense (I'll tell you HP) or Cover (Duh?). On the other hand, the steal materia allows you to get Dex +2, so that could be useful. In any event, you'll want to use this opportunity to use potions and ethers if you need so that you're ready to go.

Dark Nation has 140 HP, 80 MP, and no elemental weakness. Rufus has 500 HP, unlimited MP, and no obvious elemental weakness. Maintain your health with cure, but take out Dark Nation before healing. Kill off the beast first (Dark Nation), then cure, and then Cast bio on Rufus (many times). You'll get a Guard Source from defeating the beast which you'll miss out on if you kill Rufus first (they'll both run away.) Once you beat him, head right to get back into the building and then go back down to the lobby.

Save, and then meet up with Tifa. When you have control again, you'll be Aeris. You might want to junction here, but I didn't get attacked, so I don't know that you absolutely need to. If you've already seen the Turtle's Paradise poster here, just leave the building. Otherwise, go up the stairs until you get to the floor with a green door at the top right of the screen. Go in and talk to the people by the car, as well as the lady at the desk. You can buy stuff here; lord only knows why.

Head back down, and this time look at the wall on that floor at the top right; there are two posters, one is a Shinra plug, the other is Turtle's Paradise Newsletter No 2. Now you can leave. Watch the cool cut scene, and see Tifa steal a truck with the Harley Davidson logo on it. heh heh heh. Now you have a mini game to play. You just have to kill people that are trying to kill you.

Biking out of Town
Prep: You MUST take the opporunity to Junction here. Form your party using the 'x' button (I used Cloud, Tifa, and Red XIII). You'll be back attacked in a few minues, so form your party accordingly (read: backwards; Cloud in the back row). Don't bother stealing; he has nothing. Don't junction Poison elemental to your attack - he's immune. He has 2600 HP and 120 MP. Like all machines, he's weak against Lightning. Use bolt magic (lightning materia) and either junction elemental materia with fire materia to your defense or junction it to lightning materia on a weapon.

Strategy on the bike ride: Read the directions. Yeah. It's that simple. This is totally not hard, but you'll be fighting a nasty boss at the end, so make sure you are ready for a battle. You should get another Star Pendant (anti-poison) when that battle is finished. When you again have control, you'll be outside the city. Talk to everyone, then try to leave. Rearraing your party, make sure you're no longer setup for "back attack" fights, junction up, and then head north toward Kalm.

Kalm
Optional: Level up and great materia. You can level up a little bit here, and get some great materia to boot. Instead of heading directly to Kalm, you can detour past the next few sections to the Mythril mines. You can also (if you are REALLY good) go after the Midgar Golem. This level 26 enemy has 4000 HP, 348 HP, and a nasty disposition. If you can learn Beta from it, though, it's unbelievably powerful - especially this early in the game. Don't bother trying to steal from it, though. Bio to poison him, then joint junction fire and elemental type materia to the defense of whoever has the enemy skill materia. Half way through the battle, he'll stand up. He'll counter by knocking someone out of the battle. The next time he counter-attacks with beta and you'll learn it; let bio kill him off and just concentrate on curing to stay alive. If you're not powerful enough to earn this skill, head into the caves there and level up a bit. With patience, skill and a little luck, you should be able to earn this by level 20 (I did it with Cloud at Lvl 20). You'll get 250 XP and 25 AP.

Kalm is North and slightly East from Midgar. You can steal Hi-Potions from the devil rider enemies and an Ether from the kalm fang and prowler enemies. When you get to the town, look around and talk to everyone. (Don't go to the inn immediately.) The first house has a hidden Ether under the stairs. There's also a chest upstairs you can't get into. The next one has a dog hidden under the stairs and a chest upstairs you can't get into. There's an Ether in the upstairs wardrobe (closet), though.

In the next house, there's someone whining about a guy in a dark cloak with a sword. Sound familiar? Anyway, there's a spiral staircase to the left of him. Go up it and get the " Peacemaker " out of the chest. Head back down the spiral staircase, and then up the regular staircase. There's a Guard Source here in one of the cabinets. After raiding the houses, you can go shopping. There are a couple new materia here (earth materia and heal materia, I think), so be sure to check them out.

The weapon store also has some upgraded weapons, though you may want to check if they give you more slots than what you currently have. You can see how many slots are available on your character's current weapons (even if they're not in your current party) by going to the materia menu, and then clicking on the Arrange option, then Exchange. The house on the far right of town has an Ether hidden under the stairs. Now head to the inn and go up the stairs to talk to your friends.

Flashback!
You'll next have control as Cloud in the town he grew up in. His memories are a bit spotty, though. For fun, head over to Tifa's house (almost the farthest right) and head upstairs. You can find some, eh, interesting items there. Play the piano "Just a little" for a clue you'll need to remember for later. Here are the notes: DO RE MI TI LA DO RE MI SO FA DO RE DO. Now say "Yeah, I jammed," followed by "I forgot" to see the instructions. Play: x, Square, Tri, R1+Tri, R1+Square, X, Square, Tri, R1+x, O, x, Square, x. If you do it right, he should say you, "Managed to play well." Read the letter on the desk, if you want, but don't search her dresser. Head to the inn.

As far as I know, you can't get any items or anything else here. Let me know if you know of anything else. Feel free to go around and talk to everyone. Go to the inn and talk to "Zangan" by the door. He's Tifa's teacher. Go upstairs and talk to Sephiroth twice and then say you should sleep. When you wake up, head to the top of the screen and talk to Sephiroth. You'll have a picture taken then you'll head toward the reactor.

When you have control again, talk to Tifa and follow her. When the bridge gives out, you'll have an opportunity to take Sephiroth's materia using the standard materia menu. He doesn't let you, but it's fun to try. ;) Check out the accessory he's got equiped; I *want* a Touph Ring ! Don't worry - you can steal one from someone at the Gelnika crash site later. Anyway, head up to the caves. Head up using either of the paths. When you have control again, go up the stairway into the reactor. Walk along the pipes to a plank, and jump to the chain. Go down the chain, along the pipe and into the doorway. Go up the stairs and talk to Sephiroth. Examine the thing Sephiroth was looking at to close the valve.

Go talk to him again. And again. When you have a chance, ask Cloud to finish the story, and you'll head to the Shinra mansion. Once inside, you'll see lots of exits. Go up the stairs and head right. Go down toward the guard and go into the room past him. Examine the big column at the far right back of the room. Go down the stairs and continue all the way down the hall. When he finishes talking, exit the room to see the next scene. After you wake up, go back down stairs (head right across the hallway) and go to the room where you saw Sephiroth. Head to the top of the screen and go down the hallway.

When he finishes talking, head out of the mansion and look around. You'll help out by running from house to house. Go look at your house, then you'll end up at the reactor. Do the same thing, head to the core. Go talk to Tifa (on the stairs) then head up to where Sephiroth went. Hey... Who repaired the reactor already? Where's the weird mako-people-creep that broke out last time, too? Odd. Anyway, go upstairs and have a seizure, then you're back in Kalm.

My First Chocobo
When you get back control, head back upstairs and open the cabinet on the far left of the screen. Open it, like, five times. You'll end up with a Megalixir for your troubles. When you leave, you'll get the PHS thing. Now you can swap party members at save points and on the world map. Talk to everyone for lots of help. Buy the Cannon Ball , but don't worry about the Mythril Claw . If you haven't already, you'll steal a Grand Glove in the Mythril mines in a few moments. Your clues have told you to head east. You're actually going to the Mythril mine down south east, but you need a chocobo to get there.

Follow the river/mountains/ocean above you and head east until you see a bright green patch. Go to the southern end of the patch to the chocobo farm. Talk to the one closest to the fence. It will say "Wark." Repeat "Wark" to it. You'll be treated to a dance! Oh yeah. And you get the Choco-Mog materia - it's pretty useful in the mines. Talk to the old guy in the left building, then head to the right building to talk to "Choco Billy." He'll tell you that they're out of chocobos but you can buy a chocobo lure for 2000 gil, and get some greens to feed it (to keep it from running away at first glance).

I recommend having 2500 to spend when you come here, otherwise you can't buy what you need. Get at least 5 Gyshal greens and a lure. You'll likely use them. Set your battle speed to slow and your ATB to wait. Walk around where there are chocobo tracks and you'll eventually get a chocobo that shows up. Throw him a green right away, then kill the monsters with him. If he finishes the greens before you finish the monsters, throw him another. Be careful beating up the monsters. If you set two characters to attack, and the first one kills the target, the 2nd will randomly chose a new target - sometimes the chocobo! Once you catch one, head to the mine at the south end of the area, and cross the sand. When you see a cut scene, head to the top of the screen.

The Mythril Caves
Set your battle speeds back to something you can live with. Junction at least one fire materia with all materia as well as the Choco-Mog materia; you can un-junction the chocobo lure materia. Use Choco/Mog and fire-all when you have to fight lots of enemies. If you picked up the enemy skill Mantra Magic, you'll love how it helps you at this stage. Don't bother trying to steal from the Castanets or Crawlers; they have nothing. On the other hand, you can steal a Grand Glove from a Madouge and an Ether from an Ark Dragon. You can also learn the enemy skill "Flame thrower" from the Ark Dragon.

When you enter the cave, head right. Go up the path and grab the Ether on your way up. The chest at the top contains a Tent . On your way back down, climb the vines on the left side of the screen. Walk a little way and pick up the long range materia. One strategy is to junction this to whoever you have as a healer in the back row of the party. I like to junction both cover materia and long range materia to Cloud, and then put him in the back row. He'll still jump in front of others to take damage for them, but because he's in the back row, he takes less damage than normal. Go back the way you came, and this time head left and down from the entrance to the caves.

When the path splits, take the lower right path for a few feet. Open the chest for a Mind Source . Remember to always use the sources on Cloud as soon as you get them. This keeps his attributes high. Go back to the cross roads, and to the left of the entrance. You'll meet a very Rude (heh heh) person. Listen to the Turks for a while. When they're done talking you'll notice there are three exits: up left and right. Go up and through the doorway. (Don't climb the vines just yet). When you get through the door open the chest for an Elixir , and go to the end of the path for a Hi-Potion (it's at the top right of the screen). Leave that room and go climb the vines on the left and leave the caves. Read both the next two sections...

Fort Condor
Just south of the exit from the caves is the "Fort Condor" level. Talk to the guy and volunteer to help, then head inside and up the rope; you must have at least 5000 gil to help; if you need money, go get Yuffie (see below). There is an item shop and a materia (fire, ice, lightning, restore) shop here. Stock up, talk to everyone on this screen and rest/save. Go to the very top and talk to the man looking out the large window. Sometimes the game didn't let me begin any battles yet and I'm STILL not sure why. Anyway, you can check out the Fort Condor section (I got a Magic Comb after this battle, which nets Red XIII 3 (count 'em, 3) DOUBLE slots. When you're ready, head to Junon (North and west). Pick up Yuffie (below) if you haven't already.

Yuffie:
READ THIS WHOLE THING FIRST!!! Wander around in the forests. If you run across the Capparwire enemies, use the mantra magic enemy skill to take them all out. If you run across a group of Formula enemies, be sure to steal a Boomerang for Yuffie. Look for an enemy called "Mystery Ninja" and beat her. When you beat her, be careful; don't go to the save point or leave the screen. To get her to join, talk to her and say all the right things. Her statements will be in red, the correct responses in blue:
"... One more time, let's go one more time!"
Not interested

Talk to her again.
"You're pretty scared of me, huh!?"
......petrified

Talk to her again.
"I'm really gonna leave! REALLY!"
Wait a second!

"You want me to go with you?"
......That's right

"All right! I'll go with you!"
......Let's hurry on
Note that she "planned" the whole thing. Yuffie joins the group with a throw materia. For fun, I used Beta on her one time and beat her in one shot. ;) You should get 240 XP and 40 AP for this battle.

Lower Junon:

When you first get to Junon, head around the first house and down the steps behind it. Watch for a second, then you'll get sucked into a battle with Bottomswell - on the back row, of course. It has 2500 HP and 100 MP. It's weak against wind (choco-mog battle, anyone?) If you hit him with Bio, you can poison him. It's good for fun and profit. ;) Fire and bolt are also useful against him. You can't reach unless you have the long-range materia junctioned, but he has nothing to steal. If you have Cloud's Climhazzard be sure to use it. Same with enemy skills like Beta and Mantra Magic. Just use magic, summons and limit breaks.

You'll get a Power Wrist for this battle. You'll do CPR on the girl. Press square and watch the bar go up. It'll go up 9 "breaths" to get to the top. Do this 5 or so times. When it gets close to the top, press square again to exhale. After a few times she'll breath on her own. It took 5 for me. When you get it, head to the top of the stairs, and go up the double staircase of the middle house in town. Talk to the guy at the top of the stairs. This is where Priscilla is; you'll come back here soon.

In the mean time, visit the weapon shop next door if you need a Mythril Bangle or two, but that's pretty much all they sell. Probably not worth it for your guys at this time. Go to the house near the entrance to town and talk to the person at the door, then rest for a while. Turn down the volume because this music is going to get real old, real quick. Head outside and talk to everyone. Then go upstairs and talk to Priscilla. When she runs off (after giving you Shiva materia), follow her down the stairs to the beach.

Watch the video to see where to jump from (where to blow the whistle). I recommend right clicking on that file and downloading to it your desktop, then double click it to run Quicktime. Use the "Double Size" or "Full Screen" option to zoom in. the file is of decent quality that you should be able to see it. You'll see a "miss" jump first, then you'll see where you are to jump from to get up to the beam. When you get to the top of the ladder, go toward the bottom of the screen, and head left and down on the next screen.

Upper Junon:
There is a huge section of the floor that is an elevator. Press the yellow boxy thing to make it go down. Head to the bottom of the screen. Talk to the guy in the red uniform when you enter the building. You'll enter the room at the top of the screen. Go to the open locker and change into the Shinra uniform. Watch what's going on, and then try to figure it out.

Save your game before following them (just outside the locker room is a save point). Follow them and then, watch a cut scene and then follow them again. You'll head outside. Try to be as good as possible in the next few areas, as you'll get extra cool stuff. Just to the right and down of the save point is an elevator. You can't go down it yet (well, you can but you can't get off, so what's the point?) but you should know where it is.

When you first step outside, you'll get to see a cool cut scene. When he says, "Get over here" you'd better go over where he is. Follow the other guys through the "short cut" and follow his instructions. Walk to the back of the pack, then run up to the line and press circle when he counts. Try not to let much time pass when it happens. If you can time it right you can get good gifts. I got a Grenade , 6x Potion , 6x Ether . I think I remember getting gil before, though, so you might wanna keep trying.

Once you finish that, watch a cut scene. You'll be drilled, but you can pretty easily master this. Trust me, it's worth it to master it. It's relatively easy and you get cool stuff out of it. Save if you liked the results, and head out the same door they did. Again. This time, though, feel free to stop into all the shops and talk to everyone. Shop one is materia, where you can get both the revive materia and the seal materia. By this time I had 27 ethers, so I sold 17 to get enough money to also buy the best weapons for all my guys (at the weapon shop in the alley where you took a short cut earlier).

On the ground in the third shop (in the bottom floor) is an enemy skill materia. The second floor has a Mind Source on the floor and a 1/35th Soldier . There is a Luck Source just through the door. The next floor up has a Guard Source (You are using these, right?) and a Power Source . Head toward the other end of the street to do some more shopping.

Above the Inn, there's a materia shop selling fire materia, ice materia, lightning materia, earth materia and poison materia. You can get Silver Glasses (darkness protection) and a Headband (sleep protection) from the shop above that one. The second to last shop has a Speed Source , and upstairs there is another 1/35th Soldier . Our final shop has cheap weapons. now go back and save (the nearest save point is at the junon inn, a few doors down), then go all the way back to the end of the walkway.

When you get there, you'll have to do the drill stuff like you practiced. It's NOT the same one you rehearsed, so just follow along and try not to screw up too bad. Don't forget, use X at the end for the special ending. When the president's mood is 80ish, you'll get an HP plus materia. If the president's mood is 100+ you can get a cool weapon for Cloud out of this. He was at 210 for mine, so I got a Force stealer ! It's only got three slots, but they grow at DOUBLE normal rate. Of course, you'll be able to buy one in the town of North Corel in the not to distant future. Anyway, put any three materia you really wanna level up in here. If you didn't get it, and you want it, you can always go back to that save from 30 seconds ago, right? Anywho, let's board the ship when the president is done yakking. Don't worry about your friends; they made it aboard.

The Ship:

Arrrgh matey! Time to pillage the ship. When you get control back, open the chest on the lower left corner of the screen for an Ether . Just up a little ways is Yuffie getting seasick. There's an all materia behind her that you CANNOT get to yet. Just be patient. Now question everyone and head up the stairs.

If you tell the guy at the top right that "somethings missing," you can get access to a store; it's just potions and phoenix downs, though. Question everyone above deck too. There's a guy blocking the way forward saying, "Oh man, we're almost to Costa del Sol." After talking to him, head downstairs and then talk to Aeris.

Head back there and he should be gone now. Go talk to Barret (the weird guy looking in the windows) and after a while you'll have control again. When you do, run to the center of the ship and meet up with your friends. Chose a group (I picked Cloud, Red XIII, and Yuffie; in a few minutes, Yuffie will get a double weapon - so that gives me THREE double weapons for these battles), equip your new weapons and materia, then go save. As far as materia goes on these levels, I give steal materia to Red XIII and Yuffie, and junction seal materia with all materia so I can put entire groups of enemies to sleep. That's super helpful when trying to steal things.

If you run into a Marine, you can steal a Shinra Beta . You really do want a whole set. :) The floating enemies have relatively easily stealable Ethers. Head downstairs and pick up the all materia that Yuffie was blocking before. Now go through the doorway and up the ladder to your immediate left. Go all the way around the catwalk and get a " Wind Slash " from the box; junction to Yuffie for double growth. Before moving on, heal/ Ether up, if you need. Feel free to un-junction your seal and steal materia before talking to the guy toward the front of the boat. You'll probably want to cure-all, though. The enemy you'll be fighting won't have anything to steal and is immune to sleep. You can talk to people if you want, but they don't say a lot; just go to the guy at the front of the ship. When Jenova-BIRTH shows up, start getting ready to do some whomping.

Don't bother trying to steal (has nothing), sleep (immune) or whatever. Just maximize smackage. Jenova Birth is level 25 and has 4000 HP and 110 MP, and no weaknesses I could see. I used Shiva, Choco-Mog, and a lot of smacking. Oh, and a few cure-alls. Again, if you can land a climhazzard at this time, you'll be loving life! Also, if you managed to get the enemy skill Beta earlier, you can do some serious damage with that - especially if that character uses the Talisman to get Spirit +10. You'll get a White Cape for this battle. Just behind Cloud is the Ifrit materia when you are done with the major fight. Don't forget to get it. (I'm using the double setting on Cloud's weapon to earn double AP on all three of my summons from here on).

Costa Del Sol:
Talk to the Dock workers and then head to the lower right of the screen. Go up the stairs. Watch the cut scenes then you'll get control back. Go through the doorway right across from where you enter town. In the basement is a Power Source , Motor Drive and Fire Ring . Gead down to the beach and talk to hojo, but stop by the materia shop in the center of town and buy a revive materia from Yuffie, if you don't already have several. You can also buy a Soft or 20 here (for the first time in the game).

Path to North Corel :
Leave Costa Del Sol, and head south, then east, then north (along the path through the mountains.) At the end of the path is a cave; rest and/or save, then go into the cave. You'll appear on a mountain path; head straight ahead. Talk to the guy lying on the ground then head further on down the road. I don't think there is anything to get here, except that you can steal one or more Diamond Pin from a bagnadrana (I didn't equip it; my Magic Comb was gaining double AP), and a Turbo Ether from the Search Crowns.

You might be able to learn the Seed Shot enemy skill, but I couldn't (even after 5 hits). Eventually you'll get to a big reactor thing. Head to the bottom of the screen. On the next screen you'll follow the tracks to the bottom right, and you can save at the following screen. SAVE! You'll have to do some weird mini-game stuff here, and you'll want to be prepared to come back to this point.

  1. When you leave the save point, head right; Cloud will jump the first break in the tracks.
  2. Take the high road to your right, and when you see the "press o to jump" menu option, don't. Hold the left arrow down, and press circle a bunch (If you have a turbo button on your controller, you're loving life!).
  3. You get the Wizard Staff this way. Press circle when Cloud is just dangling there, and then climb up the pole to get the staff.
  4. Climb all the way back up, and head right to get the treasure box ( W Machine Gun ).
  5. Go back left, and this time take the low road to the right. When you begin falling, press RIGHT and hold down the circle. (You may want to save in between falling-jumping.)
  6. You'll get your third Star Pendant .
  7. Continue right, and cut back left when you can take the upper road.
  8. You'll get a Turbo Ether and then you'll start to fall. Press the circle to not fall (There's nothing down here) or just climb back up when you've fallen.
  9. You can get a transform materia a bit farther on to the left (gives you "mini" magic).
  10. Head back right, and take the low road heading right.
  11. Talk to your friends, then make sure Tifa is in your party (if you want to date her later on) then head back left
  12. On the next screen take the upper right road. Go across the bridge, and follow the path around until you can enter the shack and "do it" there. That will let you lower the bridge.
  13. Follow the road down to the bottom of the screen, and try to climb the ledge on the right when you hear the birds chirping. Tifa sees the birds and thinks they are cute. Leave them alone - that makes Tifa's like Cloud attribute go up, I guess. If you don't wanna date her, I guess you can just take the treasure and fight a battle to get a bunch of phoenix downs.
  14. Go back to where you met your friends and you can now cross the bridge.
A little further down the path is a left and a right fork. Go left first and curve around to the right. You'll end up in the cave inhabited by an old miner. Keep talking to him until he repeats himself, then take his stuff. He's got a Power Source , a Mind Source , and a Tent . You just need to remember he has a bulldozer. Leave and go take the right fork in the road. On the next screen, you'll be on a rope bridge. Run toward the bottom of the screen to enter the town of North Corel so you can watch Barret get smacked around a little bit. heh heh.

North Corel:
Talk to everyone, and then see if there's anything you want to buy. Be sure to leave at LEAST 3,000 gil so you can get into the Gold Saucer. If you want to buy a lifetime pass there (and level up a bit down here) you'll need 30,000 gil. I think it's worth it to level up as I will be doing LOTS of chocobo racing the future; YMMV. Head out using the right-most exit of the town. Use Ifrit on the enemies there for quick kill and lots of AP/gil.

If you can, junction All-Fire2 and use that on these enemies. Otherwise, swap the Ifrit materia between people, use PHS to swap everyone in, and, when you are totally out of magic, return to the inn in this town to heal up. Swap in your other characters using the PCS, or you'll end up with some characters 5 levels higher than others, if you aren't careful. When you have enough money (or have just had enough of the fighting) head back into town and go out the exit to the left. Go and talk to Barrett and listen to him whine about the sob story with his town. When he's finished, get on the tram.

Gold Saucer:

Watch the cool cut scene (unless your playstation cannot handle it, in which case you really need to borrow a PS portable from a friend (thanks Sharon!!!). OK. When you have control again talk to the guy at the front entrance (below the welcome sign). I bought the life time pass, mainly because I'm planning on doing a LOT of racing, etc later on. This way, I can come and go as I please. If Barret is in your party, unjunction all his materia, equipment, and accessories remove them.

Anyway, listen to his lecture, then head inside. Barret goes to the Wonder Squares, you can go where ever you want. I picked up Tifa (you can talk to everyone to decide to take them with you). Be sure to only take one person with you; that way you can get Cait Sith later on. I left Aeris and Red XIII with Yuffie, then went to the different places. I headed to Chocobo Squares, and saw the Shinra soldiers. Talk to everyone to learn more about chocobo racing.

There are 6 chocobos in each race and you can pick up to three chocobos to win. Pick three you think likely to win, but you have to guess who will come in first AND second. It's hard to figure out which ones will win - unless you've got an emulator [Emulator side note: each time you tell the receptionist that you want to be, the system will randomly roll up a race. Once the chocobos have been chosen, you have the opportunity to bet. If you create an emulator save, pick a random ticket, and start, you can return to the emulator save if you lose and chose the correct ticket. The outcome should be same, including prize allocation.]

Head to Wonder Square and pick up Cait Sith (He comes with manipulate materia and transform materia), then talk to people and head into the arcade. When you are finished playing, head to the Round Square and talk to the poor people who wanna be left alone. Heh heh. Anyway, leave the Round and head to the Ghost Square.

Head into the hotel there and be sure to read the poster on the wall on your left. It's Turtle's Paradise Number THREE!!! Go through the doorway and "examine" the counter; you'll be greeted by Mister Hangman. You can buy a bunch of things here, including ethers, if you need them. If you've managed to score 5 gp, you can save at the save point out front, but there really isn't any reason to waste your GP at this point.

Head to the "Speed Square" and talk to everyone. Dio will tell you about Sephiroth, then ask you to come by "Battle Arena" later. I recommend you finish doing everything else you want first; you'll be stuck once you go there. :)

After a few scenes you'll have control again. Be sure to junction Cait Sith before any battles. Just up and to the right is a ladder leading down to an empty chest. You can safely avoid it for now. Head down one screen by going through the gate. Talk to everyone and then head to the shack at the right of the screen. This will trigger some cut scenes to give you a bit more info about what's going on with Barret.

After some cut scenes you'll be able to leave. The cab of the truck down there is a place where you can sleep, if you've used all of the magic, or whatever. I recommend Ifrit for these battles, too. Quick and painless. You'll probably want to not use Barret for these battles - save his magic/etc for later. Head into the trailer of the truck and talk to Mr. Coats, then leave and go around the pipes to the other building on the right (if you need a Potion , Phoenix Down or Tent - that's all they have for sale.)

Just above that (to the right of the billboard) is another empty chest. Save your game and head up one screen (you may need to go up and to the right a lot). Talk to the guy who first welcomed you to the town (he may not talk much), then head up and right. (There are two exits to this screen, don't go through the gate!) At the top screen, head right a bunch of screens.

A little advice about the enemies here: You can steal a Phoenix Down from the 2-Faced (spinning enemies), and you can steal an X-Potion from the Bandit enemies (be careful, though - they'll mug you and both do damage AND steal something - you'll have to kill them before they run away to recover your stuff). Use ice attack or summon Shiva if you are accosted by a land worm (you can steal a Turbo Ether from him, though).

You can steal a Platinum Bangle from a death claw. The Bullmotor enemies use "mantra magic," so your other enemy skill materia can learn that; you can also steal an X-Potion from them. At the "dump" screen, junction Ifrit to Barret and be sure you don't have things like "cover" equiped. Head to the upper right of the screen. You'll talk to Dyne and eventually get into a fight.

If you happened to pick up Beta earlier, then you'll find this to be a rather simple battle. If not, it's still not too terribly tough. Just shoot him, unless you have a summon, then use that. I found Ifrit plus a few limit breaks worked well. ;) Don't bother stealing, he hasn't got anything. You should get a Silver Armlet . You'll get control at the top of the Gold Saucer, and you'll have to win a Chocobo race to get your team out. When Ester leaves you alone, pick up the red colored Ramuh materia in the far right stall.

Head toward the bottom right after the announcement, and Ester will show up with everything set. The important thing to remember is to use L1+2 and R1+2 and (about half the time) circle. Circle will let you run like heck, and L1+R1+L2+R2 will make your stamina go up (Yeah, it's an undocumented "feature" for ya). Use about half your stamina at the beginning of the race, then use circle again when you get to the place where the logs surroud the track.

Buggy, Mythril , Gold Saucer:
As soon as you choose three people, you'll be in the buggy. I like to drive around in the sand area until I encounter a Harpy. You can learn the enemy skill Aqua-Lung from him. You can also steal a Striking Staff . If you go south across the water and look along the beach, you can manipulate a Beach Plug and have it cast Big Guard on your team, so you can learn it. Next, pilot that buggy north to Costa Del Sol across the river and up the right side of the coast. Don't get out before entering the town.

When you get in, go up the stairs to your immediate right and across the entrance, back toward the cargo ship. Talk to the guy at the pier, pay 100 gil and hop on by heading left. The ship will carry you and the buggy back to Junon. Just leave the ship boarding screen and talk to the guy in the white sailor uniform who will hook you up with a free "to outside the city" air taxi.

Now you are back in the buggy. There are a couple or three things you may want to do. Feel free to hit up fort condor for a free inn; don't forget to participate in a battle, if you are so inclined; I got a Peace Ring for my trouble. Also, I think this is a good time to get the enemy skill Beta, if your guys are powerful enough. I already had this enemy skill for one character, but I was able to get it for the other one, too. Just head through the Mythril Mine toward the chocobo farm and fight the Midgar Zolom in the sandy area (while you have your enemy skill materia equiped, of course :D ).

Don't bother trying to steal from the Zolom. Bio(2) works wonders, as does ice(2), bolt(3) and sleepel. Use cure(2) to keep your guys alive until he uses Beta, then kill him off quickly. He has 4000 HP and 348 MP. Use sense to see exactly how many HP he has at any given time. I've always been able to get both my Enemy Skills Materia stocked with Beta at this time. It makes some of the upcoming battles pitifuly easy. For example, I was doing 3000+ damage to all the enemies in the Mythril Mines here. FYI: YOu cannot start any chocobo-related quests at this time.

For the cave, head south from the town toward Fort Condor, but turn east and north to cross the river. Follow the river east and a little north to get to the cave where an old guy is sleeping. Exit your vehicle and go inside to hear him sleeping. Talk to him and he'll mumble something in his sleep. Either something about the number of battles you've fought, the number of times you've escaped from battles or something about materia. You want him to talk about battles. If the last two digits are even and match, he'll give you a Bolt Ring . If they are odd and match, you'll get a Mythril . You'll have to leave and come back to get him to say something different.

When you've got them both, head back into the buggy and drive it into Junon. You can bribe the guard at the elevator by talking to him. Head back the way you came. You can stop and poke around some of the places you couldn't get to before - but I couldn't find any cool item, or anything. Just climb back into the transport and you'll automatically head out. (Alternatively, you can simply use the square button to summon the dolphin down by the water; he can take you to the ship).

You may also hit up the golden saucer at this time. By now, you've probably got at least a shot of winning 8 battles in the battle arena. The main problem is getting enough GP to succeed. You have to either bet on Chocobos or play games in the Wonder Land Arcade. Check out the Gold Saucer section for more information on this. You can probably get a pre-emptive materia and/or a speed plus materia by this point.

Gonga Reactor/Village:
Head back to the desert where you first got the buggy. Right as you go over the river to the south you'll see a destroyed reactor in front of you. Since you can't trade out your Mythril just yet, let's skip the hut. Go to the forest outside it and exit the buggy. Save your game, then head through the forest on foot.

When you get there, you'll watch some more cut scenes and then fight the turks. Don't bother trying to steal; they don't have anything. Sleep, on the other hand, works surprisingly well. :) Put them both to sleep, then attack Reno until he flees, then go after Rude. I was lucky enough to have my pre-emptive materia kick in, and I got two betas and an ifrit summon in before they could lift a finger.

I got a Fairy Tale and an X-Potion for this battle. After the battle, head up the right most screen, then forward one screen. After the cut scene, walk up to the pile of rubble where Scarlet was looking and "Reach for it" to get the Titan materia. Head down two screens and take the left fork this time. At the fork a little way up, go left along the path far enough to pick up the death blow materia on the ground, then take the right path into town.

Talk to the people in the graveyard, then head to the house on the bottom right of the clearing. When Tifa splits, head out after her. Go into the next house up if you want to buy items. The next one up has materia/accessories (first time to buy mystify materia and time materia) on the bottom floor, and - if you climb the pole - a weapons shop; you'll probably want to skip these weapons and save your gill for the NEXT town - much bettter weapons.

You can also listen to everyone's stories along the way to find out what happened here. The leftmost of the two houses at the top of the clearing functions as a hotel and has an X-Potion in it. The rightmost upper house has a White M-Phone in it. Head toward Tifa to learn more about stuff. Stay at the inn if you need to, leave the town by heading down and taking the left fork this time.

Save your game. You can head back into the reactor if you need to level up / get more money, but I recommend waiting until you have the morph materia. If you haven't done so already, once you leave town, use your manipulate materia on a Beach Plug and have it cast "Big Guard" on your guys so you can learn this very cool enemy skill!

Cosmo Canyon:
When you leave, hop back into the buggy and head east to the little house in the middle of nowhere. You can't do anything here, but it's good to know where it is. Now go west and follow the southern coast until you come to a river you can cross. Go across and head north into the mountains. Wind up around the mountains until you come to a village.

Hop out of the buggy and enter the village. After Red XIII splits, head up and talk to the guy under the sign. Make sure to say you aren't familiar with the place so you can watch Barett go "woooooo." Anyway, there are two ladders and a set of stairs here. Go up the rightmost ladder. See the rope across the entry? You can't go through that area, but you can buy general items here.

Leave that store, head down the ladder and enter the shop at the bottom of the ladder to your left. The door at the far end of this room leads you to Nanaki's room. You can't do anything there just yet. Upstairs from the bar is the inn. You probably don't need to stay there just now, but off to the right of the door leading into the rooms is a Turtle's Paradise No. 5 sign. Be sure to read it. Go in the door to the left of the sign, and talk up to the 'fridge looking thing at the far left. You can get an Elixir if you examine it. Head back outside.

You can't do anything at the top of the ladder on your left, so go up the stairs to your far left. At the top of the first flight of stairs, Red XIII (Nanaki) is waiting on the landing. Talk for a moment, then follow your group into the cave. Save your game, then read Turtle Paradise Newsletter Number 4 just to the left of the weapons shop (where you can buy more of those Silver Armlets).

The weapons here are all two connected pairs. Since I use the "double" weapons, I'm skipping these for now. At the top of the stairs just beside that, you can go up or right. Go up and talk to barret. Leave and head left. Go up two flights of stairs and into the cave. The shop on the lower left has materia (HP plus materia and MP plus materia for 8000 gil, mystify materia for 6000 gil, and transform materia for 5000 gil.)

The shop on the lower right doesn't appear to have anything, though if you come here with Cait Sith in your party you can watch him ask about dinner. XD. Head up the ladder and through the door. Talk to Red XIII then talk to the old man. You can run and get your friends by heading all the way down to the bar at the very bottom of the village (or stop off in the room where Barrett is). I picked up Tifa and Barret, rested at the inn to restore HP/MP, and headed back up to the top of the mountain.

Head through the door on the right, and talk to Bugenhagen. Talk to him again about Nanaki thinking his father is a coward, then leave the room and head out to the bottom of the mountain. On the way down talk to all the elders you can find. I found the one that is talking to Barret and the one in the bar.

After that, head to the candle (the big bon fire). Talk to everyone: Yuffie, Cait Sith, Barret, Tifa, Aeris and Red XIII. Choose a party (I prefer to use Aeris / Cait Sith, as they'll get 4x Double-slot weapons in this section), equip any new weapons and armor, and of course your materia, then head back up the stairs at the far left (the path is still blocked in the room at the top of the ladder to the far right). Make sure to save in the first cave, and then head up the mountain. Talk to Bugenhagen, then head through the door on your right when you are ready.

You'll be wandering around the caves down here. A few things to note: There are lots of crevices in here you can walk into. Go inside them and break open the rocks to fight monsters. Ramuh works REALLY well against these enemies. Use Shiva on the snake monsters here. If you run across a Sneaky Step, you can learn the enemy skill Death Sentence from them. Be sure both your materia are equiped.

  1. Head down the ladders and ropes, then go through the doorway on the right.
  2. One of these small-cave-looking doorways (pass the first, head up and open the north-most one) hides a rock that opens the path north; go through it.
  3. Head up and WALK left (you'll hit some spikes and lose a bunch of HP if you run through the slick spot).
  4. Go down and get the added effect materia at the end of the trail, then come back up to the slick spot and WALK around to the right.
  5. Go up and around to get to the box at the bottom of the screen ( Black M-Phone ) and then back up and right to get to the box in the center of the screen for an Ether . (I used a lot of these here!)
  6. Go back down under the trail, and up the stairs on your left.
  7. Now go up to the left.
  8. Notice how the caves at the top of this form a footprint? The far left and right toes are connected (useless). The center is a dead end (also useless). The 2nd from the left goes to to the web on the left, and the 2nd to right one to the right web.
  9. Head through the 2nd from the right, then through the siderweb at the top. If you can steal, go for it - these spider enemies have ethers (if you don't have a Turbo Ether , use these ethers). Otherwise, Ice and Bio attacks work great against this guy. Be careful of the Sing Bomb attack - it looks like it drains half your HP.
  10. When you've finished him off, the box north of there contains an X-Potion (Don't use it!!! Save it; trust me!!!). When you've got it, back-track through to the area south of the caves.
  11. Now go through the 2nd from left cave. After beating the spider at the web, head left and curve down and right to get the Fairy Ring out of the box on this screen (if you get to a dead-end, you went to far down and not enough right). This will protect against both posion AND darkness.
  12. Head back up, and this time go to the third spiderweb (you don't have to go to where the "toes" are this time). Again, steal if you can, then ice/bio, etc.
  13. When the battle is over, head up, then left and down to get to the final box for a Turbo Ether .
  14. Go straight to the top of the screen and get ready for a semi-nasty battle.

When you are ready, head forward to the wicked looking face. Gi Nattak is pretty easy to defeat. If you can cast "life," then just cast it at him and BOOM. He's dead. If you can't cast Life, well, remember that X-Potion you just got? Throw it at him (make sure not to hit the soul fire things in front of him, though) You should get a Wizer Staff for your trouble. Pick up the green gravity materia on your way, and follow them all out the back door. After a cut scene, you'll have control again. Pick a party and try to leave. When Red XIII joins your party again, you can actually leave.

Nibelheim:
Head north and slightly east to get to the river, cross over and head to the town a little farther north. Save before you go in, and enter Nibelheim. Head to the house on the far right. Go upstairs and talk to the black-cape thing for a Luck Source . Go to the next house up and talk to the black things for a Turbo Ether , then head up the stairs.

Talk to the guys up here for a Platinum Fist . Play on the piano: Cross, Square, Tiangle, L1+Tiangle, L1+Square, cross, square, triangle, L1+cross, circle, cross, square, cross. You'll get Tifa's stash of 1 Gil, but you are setting up for something else later, too. Talk to the dark robed guy in the general store for an Elixir . Exit that store and talk to the guys outside the mansion for a Mind Source .

Head into the mansion. A note on some of the enemies you'll find here. It's best to rest at the Inn before starting this section, and during it if you drop below 1/2 your total MP. For the enemies here, you'll want to use summons on groups, and standard attacks if you see some weird thing swinging on a rope. DON'T use beta on the pumpkins. If they make your guy confused, s/he will cast it on the party and you'll be totally dead. (This happend to me on the way OUT of this area, after having not saved for a few hours; talk about annoying.) If you run across the Jersey enemies, they're EITHER immune to magic OR physical damage, depending on the direction the balance is tilting. You can learn the enemy skill ???? from them.

Anyway, Go left into the small room on the lower left corner of the foyer. You'll see a small yellow square. You'll get some hints for acquiring Vincent here. Read the other letters. Move the dial on the safe carefully, but quickly. You have 20 seconds. You can not go past the numbers while turning. The 4 hints for the numbers are..."

Dial 1: The lid of the box with the most oxygen.
Dial 2: Behind the Ivory's short of tea and ray.
Dial 3: The creek in the floor near the chair on the second floor... then to the left five steps, up nine steps, left two steps and up six steps.
Dial 4: Right 97 (This option is hidden.)

If at any point in this process you are just getting worked, feel free to go and stay at the inn for a little while to heal up. Leave the little room there, and go immediately left toward the room with the piano. Head above and to the right of it and examine. "Something is written on the floor." (2) Left 10.

Now out the top right door. Go across the hall to the two rooms on the other side. Open the box in the upper room for a Twin Viper. To get to the lower room, head back out to the foyer, and through the doorway into the room on the right (not the one on the same screen as the foyer). Go around to the far right and head into the room to get the Silver M-Phone . Now go back out an up the stairs, then go left. You'll come to a room with a box containing an Enemy Launcher .

Examine it again. "Something is written on the back of the lid." (1) Right 36. Go across the hallway and slightly down the top hall. Keep pressing the examine button as you walk down the hall. "Something is written on the floor" (3) Right 59. Now go to the end of the hallway and open the box in the next room over for a " Magic Source ." Go back across the way and this time enter the small room at the top of the screen where the safe is.

Cloud will tell you he has a bad feeling about this, but you can open the safe anyway if you are prepared. Make sure you have restore materia - all materia junctioned to a few people, and also time materia - all materia. So you should "open the safe" and you have to go in the order below. THERE IS NO ROOM FOR ANY KIND OF ERROR! You'll need to press the right arrow until you get to 36, then press select to set it. If you go past the number, you'll have to try again. After that, hold left until you get to to (it's OK if you hold until you're close, then tap a few times to get to the actual number.) Press select on 10, then hold right until you get to 59, press select, and then hold RIGHT (yes, again), until you git to 97. Got it? Here's an easier layout of the numbers, since you don't really have time to read a paragraph like this while the timer is running. :)

  1. Right 36.
  2. Left 10.
  3. Right 59.
  4. Right 97.

Lost Number:

You are now going to battle "Lost Number." This guy is kinda tough. Don't bother stealing. This enemy is level 35. He starts the battle with 7000 HP and 300 MP. According to "sense," he does not show any known weakness. Haste all, enemy skill big guard your party and lay down some serious smack. At some point in the battle, he'll glow red, which means he's no longer massively vulnerable. Restore-all when you need to, but it's best to time either that or white wind to happen between when big guard wears off and when you set it again, as the magic barrier will limit the effectiveness of your healing magic. Don't bother using gravity. If you call choco mog, this a possibility this enemy will get hit with stop and become unable to attack you for a time. Which is nice. :) Anyway, wail on him with physical attacks. Enemy Skill Beta can do over 800 points of damage, too (well, until he turns red. After that it's probably only going to do 250 or so).

I you've got a leveled up choco mog, repeated use of it to cause stop can be an effective way to defeat him. He was pretty easy to beat when I fought him this way. You'll get a " Cosmo Memory " when you beat him, and there's an Odin materia on the ground by the safe (you are putting these summon materia in your double slots, right?). Look in the safe after all this, and you'll get "Key to the Basement."

Head right to the room with the entrance down to the basement. Go around the winding staircase to the bottom, and go toward the bottom of the screen. Go down the hallway toward the bottom of the screen. The very top left corner of the next screen has a door in it leading to Vincent's chamber. Go in and examine the bottom edge of the coffin in the middle of the room.

When you have the opportunity, "Talk about Sephiroth." When he tells you to leave, talk to him again (examine the coffin again). Ask him "Who are you?" and name him. After a little more talk, leave and head into the room on the right. Walk to the right and examine stuff here. Something about a fingernail scratch and getting out. Whatever. Head down the hallway at the top of the screen.

Sephiroth will throw something at you, then leave. Pick it up (destruct materia). Continue down the hall and read some more. You may learn something. ;) Go ahead and leave the mansion now. You should get a surprise as you leave; Vincent will join your party. Stay at the inn, then head out the back end of town.

Mount Nibel:
When you go out the back end of town, you'll be able to save on the world map. I suggest you do it. Head north to the cave at the end of the path. Wind around this path; if you've got an ice materia that can cast ice 3, be sure to junction that to an all materia on your fastest character. You'll wind along the path to the right, and it will end up toward the top right of the screen.

At the first turn off (heading farther up) you can send Cloud off to go around the bend toward the chest at the top of that ledge. You'll go up, all the way around behind the spine-covered mountain, and up to the ledge for the " Rune Blade ." (Cloud finally gets 4x Double slots.) Head back down and continue left. You'll jump down then go up a little ledge. A little after that is a path to let you head back behind the next spine covered mountain. There are two branches a bit further along - the top one goes nowhere, so take the lower one.

You will then switch back and forth up to the top to get the Plus Barrette (4x Double for Nanaki). Head back down to the trail and cross the bridge to the left. At the end of the bridge is a cave. Inside this (at the top level) are 5 chutes, a few ladders, and some stairs. I feel like a kid again. :) You can steal a Gold Armlet from an aptly named Dragon enemies, but don't use fire magic on those guys. I like collecting a full set of Gold Armlets here, but if you don't need the connected slots, you may want to skip that. Note that they provide almost 30% more armor, though, so it might be worth it anyway. You can learn the enemy skill flame thrower from them, fwiw. If you run across a twin brain enemy you'll be able to steal an Ether , but they can also hit your guys with a status ailment that effectively stops them for one round.

  1. Before going into the chutes, you may want to go down the stairs, then left, then down the ladder, and examine the ladder at the bottom of the lower platform. This will kick down the ladder.
  2. Head to the very bottom and save - you can use a Tent here if you need too.
  3. Retrace your steps to the top of the pipes area. The chutes are numbered 1 - 5 from right to left. 1, 3, and 5 are useless.
  4. Go down chute 2 and you'll be on a little ledge with a Powersoul on it. Get the Powersoul and jump off (you'll jump just to the left of the nasty beast).
  5. Head back up to the top ledge and go down 4 this time. Open the box for another all materia.
  6. Jump off that ledge to the right, save, then go after the Materia Keeper - that nasty looking beast in the lower right of the screen.

Tent and save your game and junction any/all enemy skills materia before fighting the nasty beast (Materia Keeper). You'll have to examine to fight. He has nothing to steal and gravity attacks don't appear to work. I couldn't use the choco-mog attack to keep him stopped, so I just used ice-based attacks, aqualung, and limit breaks (meteor rain is VERY cool) to kill him off. You'll want to avoid fire, beta, ifrit, flame thrower, etc - he absorbs flame attacks. Remember to wait until he casts trine so you can learn it; trine is awesome! You get a Jem Ring and counter attack materia from killing him. Go back and Tent /save, then head out the bottom right of the screen (past the materia keeper). If you want, though, this is a great place to level up. Trine costs only 20 MP, but can do almost 1000 dmg to all opponants!

Save when you've beat him, then head out the middle-lower exit. Outside, you'll jump off again, and head into the nearest cave. Go up the right side of the screen, then double back to get to the little cave on the left hand side. Go in that and curve around to the left to get the Elixir in the box in the center of this screen. Go back to the top of the screen and go up.

There's an elemental materia on the ground next to the mako fountain. Pick it up, then continue on. On the next screen, head right. You'll go around and up again, then turn left and get the Sniper CR from the chest. Go back right and down to the exit on the far right lower corner. When you find yourself outside, head left and wind your way up the mountain. When you get to the top, don't go into the reactor (there's nothing for you to do there.).

Head around the right side and into the door at the top right of the screen. If you didn't follow the directions above to drop the ladder and get chutes 2 and 4, do it now. Cross the little ramp and examine the ladder at the lower portion of the screen to kick it down, if you didn't do it earlier. Now climb up the ladder and go up the stairs at the top to get to the top of all the chutes again. Take chute four this time. Open the box at the bottom to get an all materia.

OPTIONAL: Now that my party can actually afford it, I like to head back to Cosmo Canyon at this time and make sure all my guys have HP plus materia and MP plus materia. Since I'm fighting with Cloud, Tifa, and Red XIII, I also have four weapons that can take can apply double AP to 4 materia. I equip two summons, an HP plus materia, and an MP plus materia to each weapon. It really doesn't take long for those plus 10%s to become plus 20%s if you are doubling them.

When you're ready to move on, leave via the exit which was being guarded by the materia keeper you fought a few minutes ago (down and right from the save point). When you are outside the cave here, head around right to show up on the world map again. Head south and west until you can turn north. When you can, go north and back a bit east to Rocket Town.

Rocket Town:
When you leave the caves, you will encounter some new enemies. Steal Remedies from the Velcher Task (mini-dragon looking guys) in the plains ares and use trine on the battery cap enemies (steal Dazers from these guys) in the forests (for serious XP/AP - if you run across 6 of them, you'll get 192 AP which doubles to nearly 400 in your doubled weapon slots!) Do that 25 times and you'll have 10,000 AP - enough to make all your 10% HP deals become 20%!!! Of course, you're probably at least 50% of the way there by now, since you had to buy them in Cosmo Canyon.

In fact, if you bought them before you even got to Neibelheim, you've probably leveled them by now. When you get to rocket town, go straight ahead and talk to the guy in front of one of the stores. Talk a few times until he looks at the rocket with you. He'll give you the Yoshiyuki .

Go buy a Gold Armlet or two from the shop (if you didn't steal enough of them from the Dragons on Mount Nibel; I stole five while wondering around the area). Talk to the people around here, and you find out really quickly that you need to be talking to the captain. Stop by the item shop to get more time materia as well as exit materia and barrier materia.

There's a Power Source in the house on the far right of town. Once you've been to most of the town, head to the building at the far end of town (before you get to the rocket, though). There's a Drill Arm here. Once you get it, head out the back door to watch Cloud appear to be impressed by something "This is cool." heh heh.

When Shera asked if she could help me, Red XIII (Who I originally named "Nanaki" introducted himself thusly: "Nanaki: 'Nanaki, otherwise known as Nanaki.'" I found it funny. Anyway, after she tells you to talk to the captain, you should go to the rocket area at the top of the screen and climb the ramp to get over the wires, then climb the ladder and scale the ladder. Once inside, talk to (and name) Cid. Ask about the rocket, then Rufus then the Tiny Bronco. You'll have to leave and come back in after talking about the outer space program, though.

Once you've finished talking to Cid in the Rocket, and have taken care of all the loose ends you want to for a while, head to Cid's house (the one with the tiny bronco). When the cut scenes are finished, head out front. Eventually, Shera will call you back in and tell you to head out back. Go out and talk to Palmer. He has nothing to steal.

He doesn't take much to kill off; trine works REALLY well - 800-900 a pop. Beta, on the other hand, does 1200+, so I like that even more. I think he's easier than any of the other main characters to kill off. 4-5x Beta and the battle's over. ^.^ You'll get an Edincoat when the battle is over. And yeah, you gotta love that exit scene. :D

Optional: Lots you can do. If you really want to go back and get anything you've missed, this is a good time to do it. I used this oppotunity to go and get all the Enemy Skills for both my enemy skills materia, as well as get another speed plus materia and the Championship Belt from the golden saucer (actually, if you visit the little house south east of golden saucer and listen to him talk about Dio, you can even unlock Omnislash in the Battle Arena as well as dramatically reduce prices on various things). At this point cloud was at level 44 and my other characters were are 36, 36, 37, 38, 41, 41, and 42. Also, you can actually get to Bone Village from here and pick up the Kjata materia and a Rune Armlet (4x Doubles), Diamond Bangle or 9. FWIW, the Edincoat makes the Golden Saucer side quests a bit easier.

Wutai Quests:
You'll end up in control of the Tiny Bronco afterwords. You'll end up on water near a spot where you can land. Go ahead and do so. You can fight an Adamantaimai here and manipulate it to learn Death Force (makes you immune to death!). You can also steal an Adaman Bangle . Head up to the top of the cliffs. At the top of the cliff, Yuffie should show up.

Some or all of your materia gets stolen; you'll get pulled into a fight with Shinra (you can steal an 8" cannon from these Attack Squad troops). Beat them up as best as you can without magic or anything. You should still be able to defeat them pretty easily. Junction up whatever materia you've got left (be sure to arrange to see what's available.

Head north across two bridges, and turn south, wrapping around to the east and then north again later on. Farther north, you'll come to and cross another bridge, then follow the land north a bit longer. Eventually you'll come to the town of Wutai. When you first come in, you'll see Yuffiie get excited and run away. Follow her.

Go across the bridges and follow the river to the left. When you get to a big pagoda, head into the house on the right, first. Go into the room to the left and examine the leftmost wall. You'll open a secret passage you can go down to find a Magic Shuriken . Exit the room and go right. Enter the room on the right side.

There's another hidden door at the bottom of the screen. Go all the way right for a " Hairpin ." The next room up has Godo. You can talk to him, but he doesn't say much. Keep talking. And talking. Etc. Eventually Yuffie will show up and then run away. Go out and head back into town.

Enter the first building you come to (by the save point) and talk to the lady by the box. Next, head across one bridge and enter the Turtle's Paradise. Talk to the Turks here. Go back across the same bridge and open the box in the next house over. When Yuffie steals it, run back down over the bridge and the next two as well.

Enter the house by the entrance to the city. Look at the silk screen in the right corner of the house. Talk to the guy there (heh heh) and leave. Head back toward the Turtle's Paradise (now you know where it is!) and examine the big shaky pot out front. Your team will split up and you'll be at the pot.

Press circle a lot to punch it, and you'll catch it. Watch the Shinra folks come barging into town. When you get control again, follow Yuffie downstairs. Go PAST the doorway she goes into and read the Turtle's Paradise notice on the wall past it. Unfortunately, you can't do anything with this just yet, but you can go talk to her. Press the switch on the wall twice. (Once to trap them, once to set them free).

Now leave her house and go to the Turtle's Paradise. You've seen all the posters now, so talk to the bar keep (you read the sign out front, right?). (Get Power Source , Guard Source , Magic Source , Mind Source , Speed Source , Luck Source and Megalixir ).

Head across the bridge to the save point and save, then go left along the river path. When you get to the pagoda area, you can go through the blocking gate on your left. Head up the stairs and ring the gong to reveal the hidden door. Go through it. When Corneo bolts out of the room, open the right chest for a Swift Bolt (how appropriate) and the left one for an Elixir .

Head up the stairs and you'll have to fight some Shinra Soldiers. NOTE: You can use this opportunity to max out your characters' limit gauges. If anyone gets a limit break, don't let them do anything else. Make them defend. I know it sounds weird, but you want to save them for the NEXT battle. ON the other hand, you will be fighting some random encounter battles in the next few minutes, so you can wait and charge your limit breaks then. If you opt to do THAT be sure you buy some Fire Veils on your way to the mountain - these cast Fire 3 on all opponants. Quick tip, though, don't use them on the Foulander enemies (they absorb fire damage).

On your way out, get some rest. Talk to the turks, then head to the save point. Save and then go into the store you just passed. Buy some Fire Veils and/or some Swift Bolts. Head around to the far mountain path. Go up the mountain and take the left path. Talk to Rude, then head back to take the right path. That path will split right and straight. Follow the right one first, talk to Reno, then go back and take the straight one. It will wrap around. You'll come to an up/down T formation. Go up and talk to Rude (you can follow him into the cave for a Dragoon Lance ), then leave the cave.

A little prep at this point goes a long way. The enemy you're going to be fighting doesn't give many AP, so don't worry about using your weapons and armor with high-growth. Instead, concentrate on getting powerful attacks. I give cloud the Yoshiyuki and an adaman bangle, plus something to prevent poison. I use Red XIII with a Hairpin and an Adaman Bangle with Restore and Revive magic. For Tifa, I use the power soul and a Diamond Bangle . Even though there's nothing to steal from this upcoming fight, I like to equip my steal materia because it provides a +2 boost to dex. I also like to run around this area just outside the cave for a little bit in order to get a character or two a limit break. This last time through it was Tifa and Cloud, which killed him off in a single round.

When you are ready to jump into the big fight, head south (down) from the cave; the fight will trigger automatically after a brief series of cut scenes. Since you probably don't have any all materia left, I hope you have lots of X-Potions stocked from prior battles (unless you equiped for offensive strength like I suggested above). Don't bother trying to steal from Rapps. He has nothing to steal (but 6000 HP and 300 MP). Use the X-Potions to heal and hope you have limit breaks show up. Have Vincent go beast and have Cloud throw swift bolts and attack. A good Tifa Limit Break is priceless here, too.

Eventually you'll end up outside of Wutai with all your materia intact - but totally in the wrong places. Re-equip everything, then take care of a few enemy skill learning items. In the green area just north of Wutai, you should be able to run across a Razor Weed enemy. Manipulate it, and have it cast Magic Hammer on each of your characters that are wearing an enemy skill materia. This skill lets you steal 100 MP from your enemies! You can also get adamantain bangles and the death source enemy skill if you didn't learn it earlier (by manipulating/stealing from an Adamantaimai near the water.

Go back into town, and head straight (almost) ahead to the furthest house you can get to without crossing a bridge. There'll be lots of cats inside. Go up the stairs at the back (you may have to examine the stairs; you couldn't go up these stairs before) and get the HP absorb materia. Go across the first bridge and you can now buy weapons here. Leave the city and head back to the Tiny Bronco, unless you want to try the side quest below. If you do, and you don't have enough money and/or levels, you can always level up south of the village along the brown areas.

WUTAI 5 LEVEL PAGODA SIDE QUEST: You can now start the 5 level pagoda side quest. Go to the save point and swap in Yuffie. Materia her up as powerful as you can (see below) then save the game and head to the 5 level pagoda. You'll have to fight a lot of people. The trick is knowing how to do this right.

Equip and Junction. I equiped the Razor Ring (which you can buy here in Wutai) and the Edincoat . In the Razor Ring , I used the following materia: Connected Junction of time materia and added effect materia. restore materia, counter attack materia, long range materia. In the Edincoat , I equiped enemy skill materia, death blow materia, sense materia, MP plus materia, and 3x HP plus materia. Place Yuffie in the back row (because of the long range materia). Set your battle speed to slowest. If you've used the materia I suggested above, and if you have the enemy skills I've recommended getting already, the first 3 or 4 battles shouldn't be too tough. For battle number 5, be sure to have x-potions, elixirs, swift bolts and Dazers .

General advice: Rest and Save between each battle. When each battle starts, use the enemy skill big guard on Yuffie, then cast sense if you want/need it, and then follow the pattern listed below. Given that you're countering, eventually you'll slow or stop your enemy. If that happens, use death blow - it will always connect if they are stunned! You can exit the building to rest and save between these as well. I equipped the Peace Ring accessory to ensure I wouldn't be Saddnessed, Fury'd or Berserked. For the last battle, be sure to have 12x Swift Bolt .

Gorkii (Gorky): Level 30 / HP: 3000 / MP: 150 / Weak against Wind / Nothing to Steal. Big Guard, (Sense if you want/need it) then go after him with Magic Hammer to clear out his MP. If he casts reflect, Just be sure not to cast any magic at him. Alternate Beta and Cure 2.

Shake: Level 32 / HP: 4000 / MP: 180 / Nothing to steal. Big Guard, (Sense if you want/need it) then alternate Beta, Cure 2, Magic Hammer. He can still use Rage bomber even if his MP is all used up.

Chekhov: Level 34 / HP: 5000 / MP: 210 / Nothing to steal. Big Guard, (Sense if you want/need it) then alternate Beta, Cure 2 (if you need it), Big Guard (if you need it) Magic Hammer. Chekhov counters using the skill Stare Down. You might get stopped for a little while - don't worry; it wears off. When Chekhov's skill power is used up, you need no longer fear the crippling Stare Down counter.

Staniv: Level 36 / HP: 6000 / MP: 240 / Nothing to steal. Again, Big Guard, (Sense if you want/need it). Alternate Beta, Cure 2 (if you need it), Big Guard (if you need it), Magic Hammer (if you need it).

Godo: Level 41 / HP: 10,000 / MP: 1,000 / Nothing to steal. He starts off the battle with a Demi 3, so quickly cast haste and then Cure 2 in rapid succession. Now go for Big Guard. Now alternate Swift Bolt , Magic Hammer (wether you need it or not!), Big Guard (if you need it), Cure 2 (if you need it). When you have no more Swift Bolt to throw at him, use Beta. When you've drained all his MP, he won't use Demi 3 or Trine or Cure 3 any more. I beat him with Yuffie on level 31, but only by the skin of my teeth and the two megalixirs I blew. The next time I came here she was at level 33, and this was MUCH easier. YMMV. You'll earn All Creation from this battle.

When the battle is over you'll also receive the Leviathan materia. When you have control again, rearainge the materia the way you want it, increase your battle speed back to a more reasonable level, then head back the Tiny Bronco when finished.

The Keystone :
OK. We're going after the Keystone now, but there are other things you can do here. I mean, we don't even know what a Keystone is at this point, or why we're going after it. I'll get to that in a minute. Now that you can pilot the Tiny Bronco anywhere you want, let's get started. I really hope you did the Wutai quests above; it's a great way to level up and get some really cool stuff.

When you're back on the Tiny Bronco, head straight through the heart of the continent that Rocket Town is on. There's a river that runs through the whole place, and you can float the Tiny Bronco straight through it. You have your Mithril, right? Let's beach the Tiny Bronco right outside the little house all by itself at the end of the river and go inside.

You'll talk to the guy about the Keystone , and he'll tell you it's how you get into the Temple of the Ancients. Go back and talk to him again. Ask him where the Keystone is. (His answer is a bit vague, but Dio bought it and placed it in his collection at the Gold Saucer.)

Talk to him again and again until you've learned about the Keystone , Temple of the Ancients and Ultimate Destruction Materia (absolute destiny apocolypse materia is harder to find, though. ;) ) Talk again and change the subject. He'll ask about Mythril , and he'll let you have what's in the big box, OR what's in the little box. Go to the big box at the bottom right for a Gold Armlet , or to the small box (up the stairs, around the corner, on the wall) to get Great Gospel . Since you already have the Gold Armlets, go for the Great Gospel . Hint, hint.

Head back to the Tiny Bronco and head South and then East to get to the Fort Condor area (if you want to participate in that side quest right now). You can also head more east and north to get to the chocobo farm and fight the midgar golem if you didn't learn enemy skill beta earlier. You can't stable a chocobo, evidently, but you can buy greens (since you can afford them now).

Anyway, continue on up the coast and follow the beach north and back west. You'll come to an upper continent where you'll find a bone village. Buy a couple of Rune Armlets before you start leveling up below. They consist of four unconnected double slots. These guys ALSO have some information for you about keystones. Head up and into the Sleeping forest, too.

You'll start out on a "Front View" screen. Go forward and you'll end up on a "Top View" screen. Floating around here is the Kjata materia. If you can catch it, you can have it! I recommend geting it now, not further down the walkthrough. You can put it on those rune armlets you bought while you wander around the Temple of the Ancients (below) so that it levels up quickly.

Head back straight down and you'll get out of the forest. On the shore of this are you can find a Tornadu (1600 HP) from which you can steal a Bird Wing . You COULD manipulate him, but you can't learn any of his stuff, so there's no real purpose there. You can also run across the Vlakorados, if you are lucky.

Stealing nets you a Carob Nut , something you'll want later in the game, magic hammer nets you a LOT of MP, and Demi will do massive amounts of damage! You can also head to the contenent South of Fort Condor and steal a Dragon Scales from the Sea Worm (9000 HP / 200 MP) along the shore. Eventually, you'll want to make your way back to the Gold Saucer.

Head to the town of North Corel, and get Cloud ready for battle, then hop back on the tramway. I recommend the following: Equip Murasame , Edincoat , Jem Ring with the following Materia: Time-Added Effect, Restore, Counter Attack, Long Range, Enemy Skill, Kjata, 2x MP Plus and 3x HP Plus. Buy a ticket (if you haven't already bought the 30K one, you might want to make the investment now). Head to the Battle arena and talk to the lady at the bottom of the stairs there. Go up the stairs, and head to the right to Dio's Show Room.

Look at the thing on the pillar, but only if you've already made Cloud ready for a battle. Fight as long as you want, then leave. If you can manage to beat all the enemies, you'll walk away with the Keystone , plus a Protect Vest and a Choco Feather (both accessories). Here's a round-by-round of my fights. Cloud started with 3234 HP and 450 MP.
Round 1: 2x Spencer. Used Enemy Skill Big Guard, then Enemy Skill Trine.
- Handicap (using special square button technique): Lv Down: 5.
Round 2: 2x Gagighandi. Used Enemy Skill Trine.
- Handicap (using special square button technique): Accessory is broken.
Round 3: 1x Flower Prong. He stared off with Bio, so I used an Antidote . Used Enemy Skill Trine. He grew and attacked by missed. Used Trine. He grew again and used pollen; Cloud falls asleep. He uses W Laser three times and Cloud is reduced to 1 HP. Cloud wakes up and I have him cast Cure 2, then use enemy skill trine twice to finish him off.
- Handicap (using special square button technique): Weapon is broken.
Round 4: 2x Desert Shagin. Used cure 2 to regain lost HP, then used trine, then 2x beta. They caused Darkness on Cloud. Cloud got a limit, which I saved for the next battle.
- Handicap (using special square button technique): Weapon is broken. (That's basicaly a "by" for this round).
Round 5: 3x Skeeskee. Used a Turbo Ether to get my MP back up, then cast cure 2, then hit them with Beta and wiped them out.
- Handicap (using special square button technique): support materia is broken. (not really using any anyway).
Round 6: 3x Battery Cap. Used 2x Trine.
- Handicap (using special square button technique): Weapon is broken. (That's basicaly a "by" for this round).
Round 7: 3x Twin Brain. Their 3x Stare Down all missed. Used Beta and killed them in one shot.
- Handicap (using special square button technique): Weapon is broken. (That's basicaly a "by" for this round).
Round 8: Dragon. Used my saved-up limit (Meteorain) on him. Did no damage since my weapon was broken. :( Cure 2, Big Guard, 3xMagic Hammer (now any term he tries to cast Flame Thrower is basically a skipped turn). 8x Aqualung.
Win! Too bad I can't keep these battle points. Bummer.

Head back to the station, then try to exit via the tram, and you'll be told the tram is out of order. You'll end up in the Hotel. After some fight scenes, you'll get a visitor. I've managed to get most of the girls to come visit, but this time it's Tifa. You're told that everything is free, but you're not allowed to go play the good stuff. GRRRRR.

Anyway, it's time to head to the event, and you'll be chosen to be in the show. Now you'll head up on the gondola. Eventually, nothing will happen (of significance anyway, if you know what I mean) and you'll regain control with Cait Sith running away from you - carrying the Keystone . Follow and eventually you'll watch him thow the Keystone away... to the enemy.

When you are back in your room, open the cabinet at the end of the room for an Elixir . Walk out the room to talk to everyone else. Leave the area and head to the entrance. Get on the tram and head down.

When I started this section, I had the three key enemy skills that make the game easier: Magic Hammer, Trine, and Beta (Midgar Golem). That made this next section pretty easy. If you want to go that route, I strongly recommend it. Leave town and head to the Tiny Bronco; take it south and slightly east. You should be able to see a pyramid off on the land pretty close.

If you want, you CAN go and fight another round at Fort Condor at this time.

Exit the Tiny Bronco and head toward it. When you get there, you'll head upstairs. Talk to the black blob at the top of the stairs, then head inside. Talk a BIT, then put the Keystone on the altar. Here is a fun puzzle. You have to figure out your way through the maze.

If you run across a doorbull, you can steel a Hi-Potion . You can steal an Antidote from a Kelzmelzer. You can steal a Remedy from an Under Lizard - be sure to!!! See the little wizard guy at the beginning? Follow him through the maze. To get through the maze...

  1. Follow the path forward, then curve left and go up a short flight of stairs, pass another set of stairs going up, turn right, and go down the stairs there
  2. Go through an arch then down a short vine
  3. Go under the long stairway and open the chest for a Trident .
  4. The stairs just past the chest lead to a dead-end, so go down the stairs to your right and up the vine.
  5. The cave here is sealed, so continue past it, around the corner, and up the stairs to your left.
  6. A the top of the stairs, detour up the vine and grab the Mind Source ; use it.
  7. Now head down the staris and into the cave.
  8. You can open the chest here for a Silver Rifle .
  9. Talk to him (Nyum, nyum...) twice and you'll be able to buy items, rest and save.
  10. Leave the cave and backtrack down the vine and under the arch for a Turbo Ether .
  11. Head down the long staircase, through an arch, and down a smaller set of stairs.
  12. Go through another archway, and down the tiny vine at the lower left of this landing.
  13. Open the chest here for a Rocket Punch .
  14. Head down more stairs, then take a left and go up the vine.
  15. There's a cave-looking arch here.
  16. Go through that, down one set of stairs and up a long vine.
  17. Grab the "Lucky Plus" at the far left; just go under the stair case (it's actually a luck plus materia).
  18. Backtrack down the vine, up the little staircase, through the cave-arch, and down the next set of stairs.
  19. This time, take the hard-to-see arch to your left and go into the caves at the end of this path.

Once you enter the cave, there is a fun maze where you have to run into the caverns of a bunch of rolling cylinders. Take the upper detour, there's a morph materia there (trust me, you NEED THIS ONE) and then get back to it. At the end of the path, you'll have a conversation, watch a cut scene, and have a save/rest dude. Take the exit to the lower right.

You are now at a big clock thing. If at some point you are knocked off by touching the second hand, you'll fall to a room below. Fight the Ancient Dragon creatures here, and you'll be able to open the chest and get the Nail Bat . The dragons don't have anything, so don't bother stealing (don't bother morphing them either). Exit the room, and you'll be at the "barrier sealed" area from the maze area.

Each time you enter a room, don't reset the clock on the way back. Just return all the way to the rolling pillars area, then go back. Reset it to the next hour, and then go ahead (use this method to get to all the areas in the order below, but try not to touch the moving second hand after you've fought the Ancient Dragons. Be sure to bypass 2,6,9,10,11 and 12.

Use the Triangle to move the minute hand to:
1. There's a treasure chest here with enemies in it. Defeat them for some exp (1x Beta).
2. A Dead End, skip it.
3. A treasure chest with enemies. Defeat them for exp (again, 1x Beta).
4. Princess Guard (Aeris's Weapon - Equip it NOW!)
5. Remember that chest you couldn't get into before? Here it is. Ribbon !!! Equip to Cloud now.
SKIP 6 for now.
7. Chest containing the Trumpet Shell .
8. Megalixir .
9. Dead End, skip it.
10. You start here, skip it.
11. Dead End, skip it.

After you have got the stuff you wanted above, now you can head to 6: You'll have to catch that little guy to get in the locked room. There are three levels here; Level 1 has two doors and Levels 2 and 3 have four each. You have to figure out where he'll come out, and run into it. First off, though, run to the left side of the screen and jump down to level 3 and open the box there for the Work Glove . From there, go in the door on the far right to get up to the top. He'll come out some door and go into another. Use the table below to figure out which door he'll come out of, and go into that one. These are labeled L1-3 for the Level (1 at top, 3 at bottom), followed by a dash and then the doorway. When he goes in one, he will come out at the other. Figure out which one he'll come out of, and go IN that one.

Remember, you can walk to the far edge of the level and jump down to the next one. You should be able to catch him pretty quickly. Remeber, if you miss him, always jump to the lowest level and go in door L3-4. By going to the top of the screen, you can enter any door without triggering him to move again. FWIW, these do not work in reverse (go in one you just came out, and you'll end up somewhere else!) When you find him, he'll unlock the doorway. Here's the pattern. When you've found him, jump to level three (if you aren't already there) and go in the far right door to get to the top. Go in the door there to see the murals.

The pattern:
L1-1 => L2-3
L1-2 => L3-4
L2-1 => L3-2
L2-2 => L3-4
L2-3 => L2-1
L2-4 => L3-1
L3-1 => L2-2
L3-2 => L3-3
L3-3 => L2-4
L3-4 => L1-1

When you catch him, you can save/rest and then go into the mural room. Walk right when you have control and you'll learn stuff. Eventually, you'll get sucked into a battle, so be prepared to fight a red dragon. Haste you, stop or slow him, and wail on him. It shouldn't be too hard. He's got nothing to steal, and you can't manipulate or morph him. A few magic hammers will keep him from using magic, though. ;)

You'll get a Dragon Armlet (unless you're using a Rune Armlet to double AP, be sure to equip this one - it's cool!) Pick up the Bahamut materia on the floor beside where you first wake up. Walk all the way right and try and take the thing there. Agree to let Cait Sith handle the Black Materia thing and head out. If you run into some ancient dragons, remember you cannot morph or steal. And they have nothing to learn. What a let down. :D

Run all the way left and rest/save at the weird guy, then head right out L1-2. You only have one direction you can go from here, so head across the bridge and get ready to fight Demon Gate. Don't use Demi on this guy, and he's not undead, so don't throw potions at him. He has nothing to steal and can't be manipulated. He has 10,000 HP and 400 MP. I used the magic hammer attacks, but he could still do stuff. Bummer. One time Cloud had a Limit Break already queued up when I got to this guy, and one Meteorain killed him off. :D

Summon Bahamut for upwards of 1/3 his HP. You should get the Gigas Armlet . Eventually, you'll be back in control. Or whatever passes for control where Cloud is concerned (heh heh). Now that you have the morph materia, you may want to see the Level Up Section (since you are here, and all) and get some of the various "UPs" around. You might also see the Fort Condor area too. In any event, when you are ready, head to...

Bone Village and the Sleeping Forest:
Pilot the Tiny Bronco south and east around the tip of the eastern continent, and head up to the northern continent. You can play with Chocobos along the way, but there isn't much point just yet; you can't stable them. Stop off at the first (only) beach you can find on the northern continent, and head toward the big skeleton a little way off-shore.

Talk to everyone here to get some idea what's going on. After you've talked to everyone, go back to the guy in the cave (bone Tent thing) near the entrance and tell him to "Start diggin'." Tell him you're also looking for good treasure, and then set people around the area. Don't forget to put people up on the ledge above, too.

You can only place 5 guys, so be careful where you put them. I try to distribute them fairly evenly. Don't put people at the edges, try to place them in the middle area. I usually put three on the lower level, and two above. That's 500 gil per search, but you can get some pretty good stuff out of it. I got a Mop and a Megalixir before I got bored (I'm ADD; I get bored easily).

Tell him you just want them to look for the harp, and do the same thing. OK. Now I'm curious, so I'm going back for more "Good Treasure." I got a Buntline , then nothing, then bored. Exit town and save, then go back into town and head for the Sleeping Forest. It's the black tunnel at the top of the screen.

On the second screen of the forest (the top view, not the bottom view; the one where "the Sleeping Forest wakes up"), you may notice something floating around. It's a summon materia. When you catch it (it teleports around, but it's not tough to catch), you'll get the Kjata materia (if you didn't get it earlier on). Go straight through the forest, and stop when you get to the screen with the huge log bridge.

It *really* looks like you should be able to go up a vine on your right and into a cave there, but I can't figure out how to get on that vine. You can go to the right of the spiny red-coral colored plant and under the bridge to get a Water Ring . The spiny floating sea horse things can be morphed into X-Potions.

The boundfats can be changed into Dazers . Ifrit works well on both. If you run across a "hungry" you'll want to kill it fast before it ejects all your guys from the battle. Go back around the red-coral plant and through the log. When you get across the log, ignore the left path; it doesn't lead anywhere. Go straight. Head down the long ramp, and you'll appear on the overhead map in a trench.

Go straght forward (north) to the large rock looking thing that's blocking the path, but save your game if you want. When you get to the next screen, you'll go forward a little way, then you'll have 3 path choices: left, straight and right. Go right first. The first branch of that path will take you to a spiral-shaped building with a Guard Source at the top. Exit that building and continue down the right path. The next building has an Elixir in a box, and a place where you can sleep.

It's hard to see, but behind the main column at the top (just left of the last bed) is an enemy skill materia. Don't sleep yet. Go all the way back to the beginning and take the left path. There's a little building there you can save in. There's also a box with a Magic Source in it.

After leaving that building, go further down the path. Take the stairs leading down when you first enter the cave. There's an Aurora Armlet in the chest on the lower level, all the way to the right. Head toward the entrance to the city, and save your game on the way. Take the center path.

Go down the long pathway, into the building at the end of the line and up to the top of the ramp. There's a commet materia up here. Go partway back down the ramp. If you have your "show exits" deal on, you'll be able to see that there's an entry to the area below hidden at the closest (to the viewer) point on the ramp by the floating fish. You can't go down there yet.

Go back to the room with the beds and sleep now. You'll wake up in the middle of the night. After some dialogue, head to the place where the floating fish was. See the moonlight streaming in? That's what opens up the stairway you couldn't see before. Go down the long windy stair case and save at the point near the bottom. As far as I know, you can't do anything here, but make sure to equip any enemy skill materia which does not have Aqualung, and have Yuffie in your party to see something funny later on.

When Cloud sees Aeris from the bottom of the stairs, press left and up to jump across the pylons to where she is. You'll have to walk over where she is and press circle. Watch the cut scene to learn why I don't recommend keeping Aeris in your party more than you have to. You'll be thrust into battle with COMPLETELY inappropriate music. Wait until your party has all learned Aqualung, then take him out.

This was his first attack against my party, and Cloud got his Meteorrain Limit Break, which finished off Jenova-LIFE (Level 50, HP: 10,000 / MP: 300) in one shot. It's OK: you cannot steal, and there's no real point in prolonging this battle. In another pass at the game, cloud got his level 4 limit break ( Omnislash ). If you don't have lots of High-power attacks, use the magic hammer attack 3 times to eliminate his energy. But be careful - he can use reflect which will also reflect the magic hammer and other enemy skill attacks. You should get your first Wizard Bracelet from this.

Wail on him. I tried to morph him, but my "counter" kept me from doing it. Anyone have success? Listen to Cloud for a minute (I'm not a puppet! I'm a real boy! heh heh - Cloud has a Pinocchio complex) and then watch the "baptism" cut scene. How is Cloud standing shoulder-deep in water that she can just sink all the way down in... Oh yeah, sorry. Suspension of Disbelief. I forgot about that. Save your game BEFORE opening the console ( trust me >.< - it didn't work on a ps1. I don't have the courage to try on my PS3) then you'll be told when to swap the disc out. When you have control again you'll be shown where you need to go.

 

Disc 2

Hang on a Second:
If you go back the way you came, though, you can get into a fight at Fort Condor (see round three). You can also stock those enemy skill materia you have now. There are only a few really good enemy skills to get. Here are the five great ones to have (be sure to swap out your counter materia with manipulate for these battles, though):
Enemy Skills:
1. Stop off by the chocobo farm and fight a Midgar Zolom (or two, or three). Get them near death and learn enemy skill beta.
2. While near Fort Condor (in the brown, rocky area), manipulate a Zemzelett to get the other enemy skill materia the "White Wind" skill.
3. In the beach area by the weapon smith (or any beach near Gonga), manipulate and learn mighty guard from a Beach Plug.
4. Head to the beach area by Wutai and find an adamantaimai to manipulate. Cast Death Force on each of your characters to learn that skill (can't morph these guys).
5. While around here, go to the dark green grassy area and find a Razor Weed. Learn the Magic Hammer Skill.

You can also level-up using some of the Guard Source and Power Source morph monsters (see the level up section). When you have the above enemy skills, go back to the Sleeping Forest, and head back to the Forgotten Capital.

Northern Caves:
Throughout this WHOLE area, enemy skill: Beta really is your best friend. Combined with Enemy Skill: Magic Hammer, you have an unlimited number of entirely too powerful fire-based attackes that will almost without exception kill off everything in one shot. See the paragraph above for more info on these skills. Really; it's that useful!

At the beginning of Disc 2, you'll wake up in the Forgotten Capital. Go down the left path to save your game, then take the right path all the way to the end (the direction you saw Sepiroth going earlier). Go left all the way around the large spiny thing to get the Viper Halberd from the chest, then come back around to the front. Cloud should jump up the spine on his own.

At the top, you'll go all the way to the top of the shell, then back around to get to the exit on the ledge to your left. When you enter the cave. there are a few chimneys you can climb up. Here's the order to do this most efficiently:

1. Take the left chimney, at the top exit left.
2. Take the left chimney and at the top exit left again.
3. Go right back into the chimney and go up. At the top, you'll jump left and be able to get Bolt Armlet . Go back down, and this time exit right.
4. Walk right until you get to the next chimney you can go up (you can't jump into the first one you pass).
5. Go up and exit right for a Megalixir .
6. Get back into the chimney and go down.
7. When it asks you, exit right and then immediately jump back on heading down again.
8. Toward the bottom, you'll exit left and get the HypnoCrown from the box (you'll want this if you have trouble manipulating things).
9. Climb all the way up the chimney and go left at the very top.
10 Take the next cleft up and walk left until you hit the ladder.
11. Climb to the bottom (Cloud climbs automatically) and you can get a magic plus materia.
12. Get back on the ladder and go up.
13. When you jump off, get back on heading up (you'll have to climb here, don't ask me why...)

When you get to the top, head right. If you run across an Acrophies (HP 2400, MP 220) steal a Water Ring - you can use a couple of magic hammer enemy skill attacks to keep him from casting huge tidal wave over and over and healing back up. You can't get anything else useful from them, though. There's a Power Source in a box just as you enter the next cave. If you happen across a Grimguard, you can steal a shrivel (uses mini on one opponent) from them.

You'll emerge from the cave in the Icicle area. Head slightly south, then west until you hit the ocean and then turn north. You should go past a bunch of chocobo tracks. When you get there, look off to the east (right). When you get to the ocean on the north, head east and you'll find the town of Icicle. Save your game, then head into town.

The Weapon Shop just left and straight ahead has some decent weapons. Be sure to sell off all Aeris's weapons, too. Sigh... The next room over is Gast's House. There's a Turbo Ether to the right of his bed downstairs. Head upstairs and examine the equipment at the far end of the room.

Watch all the videos for a little more information on what's going on. The next house over has a kid that hurt himself snowboarding. The far right building has a back room with a Hero Drink and a Vaccine . There's also a map hanging on the wall. Grab it. The final building in town is the Inn.

Upstairs, hidden in the leftmost corner of the room is an X-Potion . After you've looked around the town, head to the far end and talk to the nice man (if you thank him, he'll teach you how to ride a Snowboard ), then try to leave (go past the guy); when the Turks show up, you'll get punched - try to (mash left) dodge it.

If you succeed, they'll go trailing off down the hill. If you don't dodge, you'll wake up in Gast's house. Head right and talk to the kid who got hurt snowboarding (two or three times) then take his Snowboard . Run to the end of town, and head right down the hill. You'll be thrust into the Snowboard mini-game. It's kinda fun, but it does get old pretty quick.

Glacier:
If you collapse here, you'll end up in the mountain house. If you come to a hot spring, touch it (not to reset your warmth gauge; but to make you 'dirty'). Beta works REALLY well here, but don't forget you can recharge your magic with magic hammer. Figure out where you are on the main map.

  1. Run straight ahead, and then left. You'll arrive at a lake. There's a Potion on the lake toward the right edge.
  2. Get back on the shore and go up.
  3. On the next screen, go right. At the tree, head left until you get to the bridge.
  4. Go left across the bridge and head down (left on the overhead map), then go left on the next two screen.
  5. At the caves, head into the nearest cave and go to the upper left corner for an Elixir .
  6. Go out either exit, and head to the bottom of the screen (lowest exit = south on the world map).
  7. Head right until you get to the tree, then go down and take the exit to the lower left.
  8. Head right until you come to the Ice Gate (three screens).
  9. Go up
  10. Go right
  11. Go right
  12. Go right
  13. Run left out on to the lake and walk this path when you have to hop on things:
    1. up
    2. up
    3. left
    4. down
    5. left
    6. up
    7. up
    8. right
    9. right
    10. right
    11. up
    12. left
    13. down
    14. left
    15. up
    16. up
    17. right
    18. up
  14. Inside the cave is a Safety Bit . Go back the opposite of the way you came:
    1. down
    2. left
    3. down
    4. right
    5. right
    6. down
    7. left
    8. down
    9. right
    10. down
    11. left
    12. down
  15. When you are back on the lake screen, head back to shore and take the right exit.
  16. Continue right until you come to the tree.
  17. Head up and right three screens until you come to a place with two left exits (you're on the lower one), one right, and one down.
  18. Go up and right.
  19. On the next screen, you'll head up and left.
  20. Then go up and left again (on this second one, be careful: there's an added cut materia here - pair-equip this with enemy skill!).
  21. Touch the hot springs here (you'll need to go up and left a bit to touch it; it's not obvious how big this screen is).
  22. Now go right, then right and up (for a few screens). At the two-left screen, head down and follow the path.
    (We're stalling - At the end of this path, you should pass out.)
  23. After talking with Holzoff for a while, save and head outside.
  24. Go south (down) to the ice field, and head straight south to get to the cave (place markers frequently to make sure you are traveling in a straight line!!!)
  25. When you get there, go inside for an all materia. When you leave the cave, head due right.
  26. Go right another three screens and you'll come to a cave.
  27. Head up into the cave and talk to the woman in blue (you have touched the hot spring, right? If not, exit the cave and go down-right two screens, then use the topmost left exit to get to the hot springs. You can try to backtrack to the cave, but you'll likely pass out; that's fine - just repeat the previous few steps). For this fight, I used beta twice, and she was totally gone. Which is a shame, because if you're good enough to steal from her you can get a Circlet , which is pretty amazing for your mage!
  28. You'll get the the Alexander materia (and a quote based typo), possibly along with an Ice Crystal .
  29. Return to the mountain cabin (via the reverse of the path you took here) and save.
Now it's time to scale the mountain. Head north from the mountain cabin and follow these guidelines to get to the top:
  1. Press up until you get to the next ledge, then press Square a bunch to warm up.
  2. Then, go to the upper right of that ledge and press circle to get on the next area.
  3. You'll press square a bunch when you get there, too.
  4. Repeat a few times: Essentially, you're going whereever the flags are.
  5. When you get to the top (pause and warm up at each ledge) go into the cave.
Just a quick work about this area... If you run across a Stilva (HP 2000 / MP: 300), be sure to manipulate it (you're wearing the hypno crown, right?) and learn Trine and Magic Breath. If you run across a marlboro, try to manupulate it and learn bad breath (not magic breath). When two of your characters have ribbons, have one try to manipulate, and the other two stand guard. You'll want to use white wind to un-nastify the third character. When you've learned that spell, wail on him.

Anyway, now that you've made to the cave, follow these directions to get through and maximize your spoils! Cave Directions:
  1. Proceed to the far back of the cave.
  2. On the next screen, double back to the left and re-enter the cave you left (but through the left entrance).
  3. Go straight across that bridge, and continue on through the tunnel that's hard to see. You'll be rewarded with the 2nd Ribbon .
  4. Exit the hidden room, and head up along the near wall, then back across the entrance. The box up there has a Javelin in it.
  5. There should be a doorway to your immediate left; go through and across the bridge, then all the way to the top left of the screen and up, right, then down a bit; you'll pop out of a cave.
  6. Push the bolder you've come out of the cave near. See the crystals it broke?
  7. Go back the way you came (all the way to number 2 above), until you come to the area opened up by the boulder. Continue along that path through the caves,and out the far right exit.
  8. Go across the bridge, and to the far right exit to the next phase of the cliff climbing.
  9. Use square to warm up (don't forget to do this any time you're on a ledge, OK?), then left a bit a climb. You'll eventually be asked to choose which way to go. Go UP (right is a dead end). Warm up and then start climbing up next.
  10. Go right at the next part and warm up on the ledge, then start climbing again.
  11. Warm up on the next platform and head up and left (right is a dead end).
  12. Warm up then head up and right until you get to the cave.
  13. When you get into the cave, follow the right wall and open the box for an Elixir .
  14. Save your game in the upper left corner (really, do you WANT to do all this again?!?), then go out the exit on the far (upper) right corner.
You'll head outside and need to head forward, then double back around to the right and back into another set of caves.
  1. As soon as you enter, go to the right and open that box for a Fire Armlet .
  2. Run left, and you'll have to fight some icicles and bats. Use Beta on them.
  3. Say you don't want to jump down, and continue on; fight again, and a third/fourth time.
  4. After the final battle, go to the far left and open the chest for a "Last Elixir." A quick check of my current items and last save point makes me think this is likely a " Megalixir ."
  5. Walk along the ledge to the right and "Jump Down" to the next level.
  6. Go to the far left and use the icicle to access the chest in the corner for a Speed Source .
  7. Save your game and head through the center exit.
  8. Grab the Enhance sword on your way out, and continue around the bend and back to the near left corner of the screen.
  9. When you come around back into the cave, you'll run forward to the near edge of the screen and begin the final summit.
  1. Warm your character up, then begin climbing on the right edge of this ledge.
  2. When asked, head right (you may have to hold right even though you're going up and, inexplicably, left).
  3. On the next ledge (with two flags), head to the left, warm up, and climb.
  4. When you are asked, head up.
  5. Warm up on the next ledge, then climb up to the next ledge.
  6. Warm up. It's hard to see, but the next climb point is left of the flag.
That route should take you to the final cave. There's a pool to the right of the save here which I recommend using (HP/MP restored) - Yes, I recommend using both the pool and the save. ;) Choose your materia wisely. I recommend having enemy skill materia on pretty much everyone. Also, equip both the ribbons. When you're ready, head right. When you come to the tunnel, you'll be heading toward the near end.
  1. When you get attacked by Schizo (Left AND Right) use magic hammer on both sides until you've taken all his MP. I was able to steal a Protect Ring from Schizo (Right) (left had nothing after that). Then heal up and just wail on him. Be sure to keep your guys at 1/2 HP at least - this guy's death retaliation can do serious damage. They each have 18,000 HP and 350 MP. Did you learn Aqualung? You can use that if you'd like, but he doesn't do much once you use up all his MP. ;)
  2. Go back to the pool and save. ;)
  3. Back down the corridor and you should be outside. Notice your body temp thing is gone? COOL! (heh heh...) Head to the right of the tunnel entrance and examine the cliff.
  4. Climb up and watch the cut scene at the top.


Now you get to run down the mountain side. If you run into a Gigas, steal a Gigas Armlet if you want (they aren't all THAT great). You can morph a Gremlin into an X-Potion . Make sure to get Cloud up to a limit break here (but don't use it; save that attack for Jenova-DEATH.) Head left a screen, and on the next one be sure to pick up the Neo bahamut materia.

It's on the same screen as the save point. When you get to the save point, go through it to the far side (save if you want) then turn left. You should see the airship. Head left to the wind screen. Talk to the black dudes; they'll disappear and leave you with a Hi-Potion and an Ether .

Wait until the wind looks like it's died down, THEN run. On the next screen, don't forget to open the chest so you can get the Kaiser Knuckle and talk to the dead black cloaked guys. You may have to examine a ledge or two to jump over it. On the next screen, run through the green lights. Now you can see Sephiroth again! And of course you get another battle.

Jenova*DEATH has 25,000 HP and 800 MP, but 8 magic hammer attacks basically render him completely useless. Did you remember to save Cloud's limit break? Good! Unleash a Meteorain or Omnislash on 'em. Piece 'o cake. Otherwise, use your big guard and white wind as appropriate and wail on 'em. Don't bother Stealing, or using Demi or Bad Breath.

Beta works for about 1k HP each shot, but Magic Breath is about 30% more effective. Don't forget you have magic hammer, though! Finish off this battle and you should get a Reflect Ring . Only Barret and Red XIII can take the Black Materia ; give it to Barret, talk to Tifa, pick up the mp turbo materia, save, open the nearby chest for a Poison Ring , and head out along the path.

The next screen has wind, light and lightning. Better time this right! It's pretty irritating, to say the least. Run right up to the edge, then wait for the wind to die down. Unequip any good weapons/equipment/materia from cloud. When you get through this, you'll get a fun flashback scene. You'll watch a bunch of scenes you can only peripherally participate in, and you'll watch the Weapons (I count 4) get let out. A week later, you wake up as Tifa in Junon.

Breakout:
Go talk to Barret. You'll become him after a minute. Follow Tifa out the doorway and save the game. As far as I know, you can't really do anything yet. Just follow everyone and pay close attention. You'll notice a few names you recognize, and you'll see the guard accidentally drop a key in front of Tifa.

When Weapon appears, you're gonna have to fight as Barret and Cait Sith, so materia them up, and put a Ribbon on Barret. It sounds so weird to say that, doesn't it? Anyway, after that fight, equip and materia up Cait Sith. Go and try to get into the chamber. After a few cut scenes, you'll have control of Barret and Cait Sith again.

Go talk to Tifa, then head out the door he was guarding. Cait Sith warns you to run toward the airport. Head out the door to the right and run toward the near end of the screen. See the reporter there? Go talk to her. Don't forget to use your enemy skill here.

When Yuffie (you DID acquire Yuffie earlier in the game, RIGHT?!?) joins your party be sure to equip her and materia her up. When you have Yuffie ready, head toward the near end of the screen. You'll be magically whisked to the airport; head to the yellow square on the middle of the screen (the elevator controls) then, at the top, head to the airship on the far right.

When you again have control of Tifa, Press X (legs) until the key is right in front of you, then use X-Triangle to pick it up, then X-Square to unlock your arm, then Square to unlock the other arm and get out. You may have to do it a few times. Run around to the top and press the button to turn off the gas, then run to the exit; watch the cut scene.

When you have control of Tifa, don't bother to equip and materia her up - just climb down. The Shinra guys are morons; they won't be able to catch up to you here. When you get to the bottom, run to the end of the gun barrel (top of the screen). Slap her around then run to the end of the cannon. Watch more cut scenes, then enjoy the Highwind.

Explore the ship and talk to everyone. See the guy by the "Operation" room? Ask him about how to fly the ship; he lies. You DON'T press 'select' to move ahead, you press 'OK.' The translation here leaves a bit open to the imagination, I guess. ;) Anyway, head toward the bridge. Talk to everyone here. When you talk to the pilot, Cid will tell you he has to instruct the dude how to land. Go to the operation room and chose a party, then come back to the bridge and talk to everyone again for control of the Highwind.

Optional: While this isn't the best time to go and do the Chocobo Side quest - for starters, the Gold Saucer is closed - there are some really powerful materia you can get now if you do. :) Be sure to read through the Chocobo Racing section (see the link on your left?) to find out how you can get things like the mime materia, slash all materia, quadra magic materia, Typhoon materia, HP<->MP materia, and the Apocalypse weapon (Cloud gets three TRIPPLE growth slots!) You won't be able to get the Knights of the round materia yet, though - that requires a gold chocobo which requires the golden saucer be open.

Go to the chocobo ranch, talk to the girl in the stable, and buy one of every green. After that, head down to Mideel. Head right as soon as you go into the city - don't go under the overpass. There's a log of shopping you can do here, and there's a white chocobo running around. Now that you have the type of greens it likes, scratch it behind the ears like Cloe told you and you should get a contain materia. You can buy one or more Wizard Bracelet here; I like having at least three of these on hand; they let you use all the slots for materia. You can also buy pretty decent weapons here, too. If I don't have enough cash, I'll usually sell off a master level all materia here and stock up on things for everyone. At the very least - if you didn't already do it back in Cosmo Canyon on Disc 1 - I would also buy HP plus materia and MP plus materia for each of the three party members I'm using (and equip them in the last two defensive slots; that way I remember where they are, and I have them handy).

Anyway, when you've bought all you want, head to the lower level and talk to the dog just under the overpass. You may want to head out of town and save your game first, though. You can't do anything about the white chocobo yet, either. Anyway, you'll be forced into a conversation and you'll meet someone you haven't seen in, like, a WEEK.

Of course, Tifa has only really been awake a few hours... Whatever. After a LOT of cut scenes, you'll end up as Cid on the Highwind. Head to the operation room and talk to the people there to chose a party, then head up to the deck. Go right back to Mideel and go into the house you couldn't get into before (next to where the dog was).

There's an Elixir on the bed. You can also buy Gravity and Destruct (you could before too, you know). While you're in Medeel, walk up the stairs across the entry to town and examine the boards above (screen wise) the accessory shop - just to the left of the lady who says she's praying for you. Now you can try to get into the door at the back of the weapon shop. Now go back and examine the boards again. You might have to examine a few times to get the beat up useless old key. Go back and try that key in the "door" at the back of the shop to get the Curse Ring (well, if you apologize). Curse rings are interesting. They will boost all your stats (not status, which the in-game text confusingly states), but also give you 60 seconds to finish a battle before you're auto-killed. I found them useful when morphing enemies, but YMMV.

Head to Fort Condor and fight some battles. See the fort condor section. Be sure to talk to the old guy near the top of the entrance rope (he's the father of the guy at the very top of the tower) to get the Huge Materia .

North Corel Huge Materia :
Head to North Corel next (the town where you take the tram up to the Gold Saucer. Go to the North end of the town and take the bridge. After that, take the tracks all the way north. If you run into some search crown enemies, you can use trine to make quick work of them, but really. These guys are all just a joke at this point in the game (I had slash all materia, heh heh).

Keep taking the tracks until you come to the Corel Reactor, then go straight for the middle of the reactor. You'll get into a battle with the Shinra dudes, then you'll jump on a train. Alternate between pressing up arrow and triangle to catch up to the train. You'll automatically jump. Just run left and fight on each car. Don't use long time summons here (like Alexander and Neo Bahamut) and you should be fine.

I used Cid, Cait Sith and Vincent. They just beat people up well. Here's what I fought on the various cars:

  1. 1x Gas Ducter. Nothing to steal. Just use conventional attacks.
  2. 2x Gas Ducter. Nothing to steal. Just use conventional attacks.
  3. 1x Wolfmeister. Nothing to steal. Magic Breath works well, but Aqualung is really your best friend in this battle.
  4. 1x Eagle Gun. Steal a Warrior Bangle. Trine is great on this enemy.
  5. 1x Attack Squad. You *can* steal an 8 inch cannon, but you can do that against any number of these guys, so just go after him normally.
Even with writing this while I was typing, I got this finished with 4 minutes left, so it really shouldn't be any problem for you. Press up and triangle at the same time, then down and X. Do that a few times, and this section will be over. You now have your second Huge Materia . Walk into the middle of town. Remember that kid who kept telling you stuff about the glowing rock in the well?

Congratulations, you now have the ultima materia. You'll go to sleep as soon as you finish talking, but equip it as soon as you wake up. Your guys talk it over, and they decide to go visit Cloud and Tifa. After that you'll be heading to the underwater reactor at Junon. Go back to the Highwind and (if you haven't already gotten contain from the white chocobo) hit the chocobo farm and buy one of each kind of greens (don't worry about the various kinds of nuts), then hightail it to Mideel.

Mideel revisited:
When you get back to Mideel, save your game right outside town. Junction enemy skill materia and commet materia to at least one person, then go inside and talk to the NURSE. You'll rest up (useful for the next battle). Now talk to the Doctor then Cloud then Tifa. Head out when the earthquake starts, and you'll notice Weapon show up to play.

You have enemy skill materia junctioned, right? Use Big Guard, and steal a Curse Ring , if you want. Don't use demi, but you can use magic hammer to weaken him. Commet works well too. You'll scare him off (fairly quickly, if you do what I just said). Cid will taunt Weapon, then things get nasty, then Tifa moves Cloud directly into the lifestream. Because, hey, he hasn't had enough exposure to Mako, right?

Anyway, you'll wake up as Tifa, eventually. Talk to all three of the Clouds. Start at the bottom right, then the left, the the top. When he stands up, talk to him again. Try to exit the top of the screen, then you'll get a fun flashback. When Tifa finally shuts up, have her go talk to Cloud. After some cut scenes, head to the Cloud on the far left.

Now talk to the fourth Cloud who has just materialized. And the third Cloud, the bottom right Cloud. Follow number four toward the window. Watch a lot of cut scenes. Become Tifa, talk to Cloud. Blah blah blah. Become Tifa again, go back to Nibeheim, again. When you hear the REALLY annoying screeching sound, then you're going to be teleported to the world where Laguna is...

NO WAIT! Sorry, that's a different Final Fantasy with the same annoying sound effect. What I meant to say was, when you hear the sound, go and talk to the Cloud in the middle of the screen. He should be the only Cloud you can see now. You'll jump out of the life stream and have MORE cut scenes.

Eventually, you'll be Cloud again. Equip cool equpiment and then swap in materia from one of your other characters. Go back to Mideel. Talk to the old guy by the dog, then climb the green thing to his left. You'll run up to the weapons shop, the doctor and a white chocobo. If you have one of every type of green (and you haven't done it already), you can get a contain materia from this chocobo.

Just talk to him, then tickle behind his ears. If you try to talk to him and it says, "Chocobos act cold to humans who don't look like they'll give them any greens" then it means you don't have the right kind of greens. Now go MATE CHOCOBOS. (See the chocobo section). You can continue on if you want, but chocobos are really the only way to level up your characters in this game. Read the chocobos section for more information about WHY it's the only real way.

Junon Underwater Reactor:
Pack up your guys and head to Junon. Talk to everyone in the lower town (betcha didn't know you were engaged, did yah? heh heh). Talk to the guard at the bottom of the elevator to go up to the top and guess what? NEW MUSIC!!! Heh heh. You can talk to the guards who don't know how to keep their mouths shut if you go onto the airport exit (door that leads right).

You can get back into the locker room by going through the door that leads up. Neither one are really important. As you run down the main road, you'll get a different view for a second as Cloud says, "I may be mistaken, but...... Doesn't it feel like we're missing something?" You can probably see from the angle there that a very large "Junon Cannon" is no longer there. So don't freak out.

You haven't forgotten something. Anyway, there's nothing really useful in the city that you don't already have, so run toward the other side of town. When you go under the elevator (and hear the obnoxious whistle) you can head toward the bottom of the screen (and left). The door at the end of the hallway leads to the undersea reactor. On the way, you'll see Larry Moe and Curly's special forces strike team (kidding - sort of).

Anyway, look for the door leading up near the end of the hallway and you should be able to find it. At the bottom of the elevator, ignore the dog for now (we'll get to him later) and head down the path. If you see red buttons along the way, you'll probably want to ignore them. Go down a few more hallways to a freight elevator, and take that down to the bottom. On the next screen, run toward the top of the screen, and you should now be on a screen with an underwater glass tunnel (looking at the animals swimming around).

Hey look, it's Mr. Dolphin! "Hi Mr. Dolphin!" Anyway, you'll eventually run into an enemy on this screen called a Ghost Ship. When you do, be sure to morph it into a Guide Book. These guys have 6600 HP and 100 MP, and are weak against Holy. Attack to get the HP down, use Magic Hammer (Enemy Skill) to eliminate his MP, and then use morph (if you have mime, all the better) to get him.

Equip an enemy lure materia and wander around. Once you've fought one of these guys once and morphed it, you can take off the enemy lure materia. It'll probably only get in the way. Head down the path until you get to the room with the three cylinders at the top of the sceen (it's an elevator). NOW you can press the shiny red button. When you get to the bottom, exit the elevator and head left along the path.

Save (and/or Tent ) if you want, then head up and right. "Talk" to the soldiers while you head right and you'll eventually watch the Huge Materia get taken by crane toward the submarine. Run right to try and stop it, then go forward and talk to Reno.

Strategy for fighting Carry Armor, Left Arm, and Right Arm: There is nothing to steal from these enemies. Carry Armor has 24,000 HP and 200 MP / Left and Right arms have 10,000 HP and 100 MP. They are all weak against Lightning, so fire up your enemy skill Trine. It should do about 2k dmg to each of them. That plus some mime and slash-all should make fairly quick work of him. Big Guard is also useful, but don't bother with Demi.

If you have mime materia, don't forget that miming an attack doesn't require MP!!! I was fortunate enough to have one of Cloud's limit breaks (meteorain) saved up when I went in to this battle, so it's a cinch. Of course, a 4xQuake 3 helped a bit, too. This battle certainly helped level up my materia, too. I received a God's Hand from this battle. After the battle, head left and open the box there for the Battle Trumpet . Now run toward that submarine at the far end of the screen.

There are two more boxes en route, thought. The first one has a Scimitar (Cid's Triple weapon). And the other is a MUST have: Leviathan Scales . Be sure you visit Wutai's cave where the flames shoot out now that you have this (See below). Now that you have all four things you needed from here, head toward that submarine. After a few battles, you should be good to go. Enter the sub, fight the both sides attack, and then save/ Tent (if you want) and head inside the cabin.

Take the guys there prisoner, then head to the top of the screen and examine the captain's chair. Read the manual if you haven't done his before, then start the mission. Read the instructions. It's easier than me trying to explain it, but I will say this: I beat this mission in about 30 seconds. However long it takes you, don't forget to pilot your sub to the wreckage of the red sub on the ocean floor, wherever you sink it. That's how you get the Red Huge Materia .

After obtaining the Huge Materia from the wreckage, surface with 'X' and head to the dock at Junon Harbor. I would take this opportunity to save. Cloud implies that you MUST get to Junon harbor NOW or everything will fail. I usually head to Wutai to use the Leviathan Scales , then go to Kalm for the underwater materia, then I take the sub to the underwater wreckage (Gelnika) where you can get Yuffie's Conformer weapon, which will allow you to do some serious leveling up - though you might want to wait until you get the mega all materia before you spend a lot of time on that (see the level up section for full details.)

Optional: Wutai and Leviathan Scales :
Once you have retrieved the Leviathan Scales from the underwater reactor, head to Wutai and climb the mountain with all the statues. Use the select Button to see all the exits you can take. Take the first right, then the U-turn. At the "Tee" crossing, go right (up), and enter the cave. Inside is the Dragoon Lance (If you don't have it already). Approach the fire and it will die down. The first fire pit has " Oritsuru " inside (you may have to approach it twice), the second has steal as well materia.

Optiona: Kalm, Guide Book and the underwater materia:
When you finish the Wutai Leviathan Scales section above, hop back on the Highwind and head to Kalm. The house on the far right lower corner of the screen has a funny old guy upstairs. He wants three things. He wants the Guidebook , Desert Rose and the Earth Harp .

Now that you have one of them, go talk to him and you can get the underwater materia. This is one of the requirements (well, maybe not, but it certainly makes it easier) for beating one of the Weapons later on.

Underwater Crash site - AKA Level-up Central:
You have the steal as well materia from Wutai, right? If not, you really should make sure you have that before going through this area. I junction it to morph materia to farm Turbo Ether items. Wehen you have enough, junction morph materia to sneak attack materia (from the golden saucer) to make quicker work of these guys. If you have the mega all materia, make sure the same character has that one, too. If you do this to Yuffie with her Conformer weapon, you can start the battle with a preemptive strike that does 9999 damage to all enemies and basically morphs many if them before they get a single attack. See the level up section for more information on this one.

Take the sub across the see to the bay directly west of the Junon Harbor Dive when you get there and look for a wrecked plane at the bottom of the ocean. That's Shinra's Gelnika crash. In the bottom right corner is " Heaven's Cloud ;" get it then SAVE!!! Head left and talk to the Turks. You can steal a Ziedrich and a Touph Ring , then, if you have it, just summon Knights of the Round and be done with them, then go back and save.

You want to walk around here and fight enemies. It's worth it; trust me. You can morph any enemy you find here into some kind of a stat-up. For now, though, head straight ahead from where you fought the Turks, and go into the store room. Just in front of you is a box with a Megalixir . Head all the way to the far end of that catwalk, and then all the way to the right. You should see a box at the end with a Spirit Lance in it.

Head back the way you came and go down the stairs. At the bottom, head straight to the right toward the crashed helicopter. There's a glowing red orb just below the entrance to it. That's a Hades materia. Pick that up and then head toward the bottom of the screen. There's a box at either end. The right one contains a H1ghwind (teaches Cid his ultimate limit break). The one on the left contains the Outsider . Grab them and head out.

Return to your save point and go through the door there. Go straight ahead and off to the right to find a box with a Megalixir inside. Afterwards, head back toward the entrance and head to the far right for a box containing an " Escort Guard ." Head down those stairs to your left and into the far back right corner for the double cut materia. Yup. It's a command materia. Despite the fact that it's clearly purple on the screen there, it's a command materia. :D

The far left back corner has a Conformer . You're not going to believe how powerful this weapon is. Trust me - this is arguably the best weapon in the game. Really! If you don't have Yuffie in your party at this time, head back up the stairs to the save point and swap her in. Equip the Conformer to her. This weapon doesn't allow growth, so equip one or two of those master level HP plus materia until she's at 9999 HP (you pretty much only want master level materia on this weapon, since it's got no growth.) If you have them, equip master level cover materia and any master level enemy lure materia you've got. Fill the slots up with whatever master level stuff makes sense (speed plus materia, luck plus materia, etc). Now equip a rune bracelet and give her the morph materia. With this weapon equiped, every time Yuffie uses a morph attack, it will do FULL POWER - not that annoying 5% or so that every other character does. If she's not doing 9999 damage every morph, see the level up section for instructions on morphing quick Power Source items.

See the level-up section for more information on the cool stuff to do here. Again, any enemy here can be morphed into an item that will increase your characters' stats. With Yuffie's 9999 morph hits, you can very quickly max out your characters here, which will pretty much let you walk through even the hardest parts of this game.

Where else can I go?
You can also detour for the Gold Saucer stuff if you have missed some of it. At any rate, by this time in the game I have all of the summon materia except Bahamut ZERO (Alexander, Bahamut, Choco-Mog, Hades, Ifrit, Kjata, Knights of the Round, Leviathan, Neo Bahamut, Odin, Phoenix, Ramuh, Shiva, Titan and Typhoon), Cloud's weapon Apocalypse (See chocobo section), the w-summon materia (see Gold Saucer section), exp plus materia (see Gold Saucer section), two ribbons (see disc 1 section), slash all materia (see chocobo section), the major enemy skills such as magic breath, bad breath, beta, trine, magic hammer, big guard an death force (see beginning of disc 2 section), Cloud's stats all above 100 (see level up section), mater level materia for all magic materia except shield materia, master level cover materia linked with master level counter materia, steal as well materia (see optional wutai section above) and the underwater materia.

A few optional side quests:

Tifa's Ultimate Weapon
To get this weapon, you'll need to get back into Midgar. Head there on foot and talk to the guy lounging outside the gate. He'll tell you he lost the key at a dig site. Head to bone village, have them search for "good treasure" and when they point to the area just south of the nose cone of the airplane, you should be able to get the key to the slums. Head to Wall Market and check out the "item" shop (the one with the machine gun.) You should get the Premium Heart weapon. If you go and talk to the guy who sold you the batteries earlier, you'll have the option to buy an accessory that makes stealing items work better. That's most cool if you have the mega all materia (see the disc 3 section).

Cactus Island:
Hover the airship over Cosmo Canyon, and point it directly south (well, maybe ever so slightly west, too.) Just down and a tiny bit left of that (toward the bottom of the map) is an island with a bit of green and a lot of brown called Cactus Island. You can find enemies here called Cactuer. If you defeat them in battle, you'll get 1000 XP, 100 AP, and 1000 Gil, which isn't really all that great. However, if you have Yuffie's Conformer , a master morph, and a master sneak attack, you can morph these guys into an accessory called Tetra Elemental .

We've completed all the major side quests we can at this point, so you can either:
1. Level up (See level up section) or
2. Get on with the game.

Since it's better to wait to level up much more than this until you have all the summon materia, let's move on until we get the Bahamut ZERO materia.

Junon Revisited:
Let's get the Huge Materia that's bound for Junon Airport now. Head to Junon and go directly to the airport. A far as I can tell, you can't do anything else at this point (well, you could shop if you needed to, I guess). You'll arrive a bit late, and Cloud will tell you that you all have to head to Rocket Town. Head back down the elevator, hop in the Highwind and let's fly over to Rocket Town. On your way in, hit the weapon shop on your left.

In the room with the fire is a box containing a Fourth Bracelet . The item/materia store back room has a box wih a Guard Source in it. Go to the rightmost house with Cid in your party to hear something that the game claims is a "joke." Anyway, head to the rocket launch area. Head over the ramps and 'talk' to the soldiers. If you want to steal another Ziedrich from Rude, equip a steal materia (not mug) and a mime to another character.

Be sure to not have your counter attack on - you want to steal before you kill him off. Head into the rocket (beat up Rude on the way). Kill the senior grunt in the hall then head through the doorway on the end. Watch a bunch of cut scenes then head right when you have control of your guys. Head up the ladder and get ready to enter the passcode on the device. Read this before you enter it, though, to save yourself some trouble.

You'll be asked to enter a four-key sequence. You can chose from Triangle, Cross, Circle and Square. The hints are:
1. You only push circle once. 2. The first key is not a square.
3. The second key is not a triangle.
4. The third key is a cross.
5. The last key is either a cross or a triangle.
6. One of the keys gets pressed twice.
7. The triangle key doesn't get used.

From this you have to figure out the passcode. We can reduce the above to:
1st key = Circle or Cross.
2nd key = Circle or Cross or Square.
3rd key = Cross.
4th key = Cross.

Based on 5, we can assume that 1 and 2 are not Cross, so we're stuck with either Circle,Square,Cross,Cross or Square,Circle,Cross,Cross. If you try them both, you'll discover that the first one (circle->square->cross->cross) is the correct sequence. Once you get it, try to leave the rocket the way you came in, and head down the ladder at the end of the hall.

(The area where Shera was concerned about, heh). Anyway, you'll follow Shera and watch a bunch more cut scenes, then you'll be on the Highwind. If you have a chocobo, you'd better land and pick 'em back up.

Anyway, head to Cosmo canyon, and NOW you can go up that rightmost ladder and around behind the store owner. There's a fullcure materia and an Elixir / Magic Source there. Once you have those, head up to the top of the mountain, into the planetarium room where you first leaned about the lifestream from Bugenhagen, and start another conversation with him. When he leaves, you'll head up the elevator.

Take a close look at the blue one on the right. Ta da! You now have Bahamut ZERO materia. :D OK. Here's how these things work. When you get master level of ALL the materia of a certain type, bring them here. You can have master level magic materia, master level summon materia and master level command materia. You have to have a master of ALL of them (within one of those categories), though.

You can find a list of each and where to get it in the materia section of the walkthrough. Now it's time to head to...

Forgotten Capital:
Hop in the sub and ride it (above water) toward the place where the northern continent has green grass. That's only a single place. You can't go over shallow water, so there really is only one place you can get very close to. When you get there, dive and if you swing the camera angle around, you'll see a cave to your right. Go inside and get the Key to the Ancients, then head back to Junon and get in the Highwind; head to Bone Village. Go through the forest. Go to the Forgotten Capital.

Take the left path and head into the cave. When Bugenhagen leaves, head behind the pillars around the back and into the area where he is. Go straight across the narrow bridge and talk to him. After a bunch of cut scenes, you'll be treated to an instant replay of some of the stuff that happend on the first disc. Eventually you'll have control again. Go into the middle of the waterfall and you'll see more cut scenes.

Try to leave. When you see what you need to do next, head to Midgar and save outside the city. Now you know the importance of the materia that Aeris dropped earlier.

Off to Midgar:

You'll be treated to cut scenes of Weapon en route. Head to the green area outside of Midgar, materia up, then save and get in Weapon's way. You can steal a Rising Sun from him. If you have the w-summon materia and Knights of the Round materia, this will be a short battle. Otherwise, unleash your most powerful magic/summon attacks. After a lot of cut scenes, head back to the Highwind and try to go to the crater at the far north.

If you are powerful enough, you may go after the various Weapons at this time. If you're a completionist, you'll at least want to hit up the floating weapon so you can get Cloud's Ultima Weapon so you can get inyo the powerful battles at the golden saucer's battle arena. With this, you should be able to get the final attack materia. Junctioning this to Phoenix materia is a VERY powerful "oops" prevention. Be sure to check out the Beating Weapons section for more info.

When you're ready to go on, FLY to Midgar. If you try to approach on foot, you'll have some issues. You'll notice Yuffie isn't parachuting. But on the deck, there she is?!? Heh heh. Whatever. Once you've watched the parachute cut scene, head up and save, then talk to Cait Sith and you'll be able to go down the ladder. When you get to the bottom, head up and right. Follow the catwalk until it leads up to a plank. Left from that is an Elixir . On the right (continue way past the ladder) is a Megalixir .

Go back to the entrance and head down the ramp, then down the ladder at the bottom to get to the next screen. Head right and you should jump down to the next platform. Head left and climb the ladder. When you get off that ladder, head left a little bit and then up the lext ladder to your left until you get to the next screen. Continue up the ladder and jump off to your right. Head right (under the ramp you came down) and jump into the chute there.

The platform you come down to has two boxes on it. The right box has an Elixir ; the one on the left has the Starlight Phone . Head up the stairs to end this level, or down the ladder if you want to get the rest of the stuff here. (I assume you want the rest of the stuff.) Go right at the bottom of the stairs and jump in to the thingy. At the top of the climb, go left and climb the ladder there to go up a few levels.

The box here contains the Max Ray weapon for Barret. Go back down the ladder, into the chute, then left and up the ladder to get to the platform with the two (now empty) chests. Head up the stairs to the left of the chute to get out of this place (feel free to use the save point en route). When you emerge from the chute into the subway, you'll be able to go either up or down. Go up to leave, or down to get the w-item materia. I can't recommend going down to get that w-item materia strong enough. :)

If you want to go down you can't take any of the left branches of the "Y" roads, just go straight down 2 screens and talk to Barret. Go down 7 screens and there's a box with a Power Source . Grab it and head down 2 screens for a box with a Guard Source and talk to Red XIII. Go down 2 screens and get the Mind Source and Magic Source . Go down 1 screen and pick up the w-item materia.

Equip this now, then save your game here and head back up past all 14 screens. The w-item materia lets you use two items at once; but it also duplicates the first item you select if you cancel the w-item action before using it. This lets you duplicate as many of any item as you want. I recommend doing this with your megalixirs. Here are the steps to make this easier to understand:
1. Chose w-item from the command menu in a battle.
2. Chose Megalixir and use it on your guys.
3. Chose Megalixir and then press "cancel" before using it.
4. Repeat step 3 over and over.

If you haven't gotten too side tracked by this coolness, you recall I previously told you to go back past all those screens you just came through. You can even climb back into the chute and save your game, if you're paranoid about going back down and up all those screens.

When you try to walk past the ladder you first entered the subway through, you'll be approached by the Turks. You can choose to fight them, or to ignore them. They're not really that hard, so it's really a question of whether you want to get some items. You can steal a Minerva Band from Elena. Successfully doing so will push her into the back row. Reno has a Touph Ring you can steal. Rude has a Ziedrich . Once you have those, you can just wail on them. If you find you're having trouble, Big guard/White Wind/Bad Breath/Womping. It doesn't look like you can get back out from here, so head further on down the road (up toward the far end of the screen).

There is a left exit and a right exit on this screen. The up and left one is a non-return path, so let's go up and right first (then left at the electricity).

There's a ladder here that you can climb. This leads to a save point and the entrance to Shinra Headquarters where Cait Sith will pop up and tell you the sister ray isn't here. Here you can visit the Turtle's Paradise poster (ground floor) if you missed it earlier. On the 2nd floor there's a fully automated shop where you can buy regular items at, and there are two boxes here, too. The right one has a master fist and the left one has a pile banger.

If you take the elevator up to the 63rd floor, you can get the glow lance. Actually, that looks like a grow lance once you get into your character equipment. I wonder if that's on purpose. ;) There's an HP Shout on level 64 in the locker that Cloud refused to take the megaphone out of waaaay back on disc 1. :) There's nothing on 65, and you can't get out on 66, 67, 68 or 69. That being said, if you go up and down the stairs on these floors, you can run into enemies that you can steal from or morph. For example, a Vargid Police can be transformed into a Tranquilizer and a Zenene can be morphed into a Remedy . A Sword Dance can be morphed into a a rather cool Light Curtain . Other enemies can be morphed into Smoke Bombs, Grenades, etc.

Go to level 59 and take the stairs down 1, 2, 3 (get the Behemoth Horn ), 4, 5, 6, 7, flights of 14 stairs and one flight of 10. Let's see, that's... 108 floors. Yeah. This TOTALLY makes sense. ;) Actually, I think each 2 stair cases counts as a floor, so it does add up to 59 floors. Whoa. It's actually on purpose. Sorry, I get side tracked by numbers pretty easily. Anyway, when you have all this junk, head back to the tunnels and go down 3 screens, then take the left fork of the "Y" split. At the end of this fork is the outside world. Move forward and you'll head up a ladder to the next level.

Head forward a little bit and you'll see a large robot come after you. After more bad dialogue, you'll get to fight the "Proud Clod." Yup, that's really its name. Big guard, White Wind, Magic Breath. Yup. Pretty easy. Wow. 15,000 XP, 2500 AP, and 40,000 Gil. And to think I didn't get any materia even leveling up. You get the Ragnarok after this battle. It also begins to rain. Go figure.

Anyway, head up one screen and open the two boxes at the very beginning of that screen for an Elixir and a Mystile . It's kinda hard to see, but you're supposed to run up the stairs (it looks like a ladder) just to the right of the save point and down toward the boxes. When you get to the top of the stairs, go to the top left corner of the platform, and then walk toward the bottom of the screen to go up the next set of stairs.

Left and up take you up the last flight. The Grosspanzer-Big you can fight here are quite wonderful for leveling up already high level characters. You get a decent amount of XP and AP from them. The rest of the enemies are alright. The Maximum Kimaira look funny, but you can morph them into a useful Guard Source . ;) The Soldier: 1st aren't as tough as you would expect a soldier first class to be, but you *can* steal a Shinra Alpha from them (but frankly I'd rather just have a Dragon Armlet instead). When you get to a level with lots of electricity sparking, be sure to get your guys ready for a boss battle.

After you are ready, go talk to Hojo. None of the enemies in this battle have anything to steal, and none of them appear to be morphable. Big guard/White Wind/Magic Hammer (on Hojo). I use slash all to damage the monsters he summons, and I use 2x cut to hit him. I have the third character use enemy skills above for maximum results. After you "kill" Hojo, you'll be treated to Helletic Hojo, Right Arm and Left Arm. Use the above pattern exactly the same way. has anything to steal. Kill him off to fight "Lifeform-Hojo NA." Same tactics works for me on this one, too. I got a Power Source for this battle, though. :D

Kill him off and the battle is over. 25,000 XP and 2500 AP. Still no materia level up for my characters. Whoa. Ah. In my game, I only needed to get a few more materia to master level before I could trade them in for a master all, so they needed a very large amount of AP. More on that later.

Watch a bunch of cut scenes and try and figure out what's going on. Eventually, you'll be offered the chance to save then asked to swap out discs. When you get control again, you'll be on the Highwind ready to jump off at the North Crater.

 

Disc 3

Cavern
Did any of your materia level up during the last battle? If so, you probably want to think about swapping them out now. You're welcome. :) Also, don't feel like you're stuck here. While traveling in the overworld, You can press "cancel" while over the northern crater to decend the Highwind into the cavern.

Take the ladder down (don't worry, you can get back up). Head down and left. On the next screen, Cloud will complain that "we can only slide down". That's OK. Just select "Alright, let's go" (don't worry - you can get back.) When you have control again, the box past the cave has a Save Crystal in it. If at any point you want to return to the Highwind and do other stuff, you can take the cave here to a smaller cave on the previous screen. Once you emerge from that cave, walk (don't run) to the right and examine the path next to the cave. It's not marked with a green pointer, but it's a ladder that will lead you up. Go up from there to get back to the highwind. FYI, doing pretty much anything else on that screen will cause you to slide down to the screen where you found the Save Crystal , and you'll have to go back into the cave and try again.

Ok. So the thing about this area is this - there are three paths that all lead down to a spot where the rest of your characters will be waiting. That's where you're going to fight a major battle. As you go down a path, it may become impossible to go back up the way you went. I'll tell you where the various paths down branch off, and where you can get back up from each.

Enemies:

Gargoyl: While going around the spiral here you may find a gargoyle or two, it's an un-morphable two-stage enemy you can steal an X-Potion from. It will kill of any character that is at a level divisible by four. Luckily 99 isn't, so I'm OK. Anyway, hit the first stage of the gargoyle with anything at all (it's invulnerable until you hit it), then when it wakes up you can smack it around a bit. You can win an x- Potion from it. Frankly, I like to equip all my enemy away materia on this screen. You won't find any gargoyal enemies after you get to the bottom of this pit.

Dark Dragon: Steal a Dragon Armlet from him, then morph him into a Vaccine . If you manipulate him, you can learn enemy skills Dragon Force and laser.

Parasite: Steal a Remedy , then morph into a Remedy . Note that this guy can hit you with Sadness, so have a rememdy or Hyper handy. Better yet, equip everyone with a Ribbon accessory. Don't have three of those? Just read the next paragraph. :)

Master Tonberry: If you run across this guy here (small guy with floating star above his head) steal an Elixir and morph him. Even if you lose a guy or two, it's worth it to morph this guy. He turns into a Ribbon ! If you have Yuffie's Conformer and her morph does 9999 damage, it's possible to farm ribbons here. I'm not 100% sure why you'd want to, but I've validated that it *is* possible. If you "just" manage to kill them off, there's a possibility you'll get a Megalixir from them.

Sissors: You can steal an Ether from these guys. I'm pretty sure you don't need them by this point, but I figured I'd tell you anyway.

Armored golem: You can steal a Turbo Ether from these guys and morph them into a Guard Source !

Mover: These show up in groups of three. Are you using Yuffie's Conformer weapon with Sneak Attack and Morph? That's great! These guys can be morphed into a Protect Ring and will give you 800 AP each. In other words, you'll get a total of 2400 AP just because you ran into them. That'll level up your Knights of the Round materia somewhat more quickly that you were probably expecting.

For now, avoid the cave and head left. You'll jump across the ledge and go counter clockwise in a spirla aroud and around and around - down to the bottom. On the way, stop off at the box and get the Guard Source . When you get to the bottom of the cave, you'll be on a screen with a bunch of switch backs.

  1. Head left and jump down to the next level.
  2. Go left and climb up the ledge at the end; open the box for a Power Source . Head all the way right and get the HP absorb materia.
  3. Go back and jump down to the previous ledge.
  4. Go right on the next level open the box for an Elixir .
  5. Wind your way right-left-right and down to the next level with a box; open for a Magic Source .
  6. Go down one more level and right; at the end go up the other ledge.
  7. Climb all the way back up to the top and go down the other side.
  8. The first box this way has a Guard Source .
  9. The second box has a Mind Source .
Jump all the way down and go to the next level/puzzle. Note that you're a bit more likely to hit the Tonberry and other high-level enemies here. (This screen has 6 levels and various caves in it. The first time you go through here you'll want to get all the loot. The second time, just head right on level 1 to jump to level 3, then jump right, go into the cave, come out down on level 5 and head left, right, left, left, and then on to the next screen.)
  1. Head slightly left to jump down to the first level.
  2. Go into the cave on the far left. Head down and right into the hidden cave looking thing, then come out above.
  3. The chest here has a Power Source .
  4. Toward the bottom is another chest with a Guard Source .
  5. Exit the cave using the bottom exit.
  6. Go right and open the chest there for a Hero Drink .
  7. Go back into the cave and go to the top.
  8. Exit the cave and go right until you fall down.
  9. On that level, walk left until you get to a chest; open it for Mind Source .
  10. Walk right and jump up to the previous level.
  11. Walk left and jump down to the next level, the go into the cave on the right.
  12. There's a Megalixir here.
  13. Go out; jump back then walk right.
  14. Go down twice and use the loop-around cave to get to the next level.
  15. Walk left and jump down, then right and jump down, then left and jump down twice.
  16. Finally, go right and you'll be at the next area.
Head right and climb down the icicle things. OK. This is the first of three branches. You'll have to split your part a few times before you can return and try other branches, though. You'll split into two groups at the bottom. I took Cloud, Yuffie and Cid to the left, and had all the rest go right. On the next screen, I had everyone go down. There is a box here with a Remedy and another with an Elixir off to the right. An X-Potion is on the lower level. Down one more screen is a ledge you have to jump DOWN from, then wrap around to get both the boxes. The left one has a turbo Ether , the right one has a Vaccine . Climb back up the surface and head down the left fork. There's an X-Potion on the next level. Down farther is a Turbo Ether , next to which is a floating ball in a Mako fountain. If you're fast enough, you can grab a mega all materia, which is epic and cool and everything!.

To the left of that is a Speed Source in a box. Go down and left to get to the next area; there's a Luck Source in the box just down and slightly right from the entrace. A little farther down, all the gang shows up. If you talk to everyone that's not in your party, you should get several interesting things. I especially like how vincent gave me a Last Elixir , which is pretty much just a Megalixir . This is when you can go back up and try the other three paths to get more cool stuff. Some of which is great, and some of which is required if you want to max out your characters.

Go back the way you came. When you get to the place where you went "down" with all your characters, go up. In the next cave, the magic pots are the best way to level up. Really! Use the w-item materia to allow you to get unlimited elixirs and feed them one each, then kill them. This should get you enough AP to level up any materia you want. I like to combine junction sneak attack materia to morph materia on Yuffie to make this go quicker. Once you've got all materia in a category leveled up, you can return to the top of this area, climb back into the hightwind, and head to Cosmo Canyon to get some master level materia. A few screens beyond this you'll find a w-magic materia.
  1. Go down and right along the vines; jump up at the end and open that box for a Magic Source .
  2. Go back to the entrance, then head up and right.
  3. After a short swim, head up and left to open the box with a Remedy in it.
  4. Backtrack slightly and enter the next room.
  5. Pay close attention here: See that green shiny thing at the top of the screen? You WANT it.
  6. The chest at the top left of the screen has a Vaccine in it.
  7. The green flashing thing is a shield materia.
  8. Go STRAIGHT DOWN from that to swim to where the far left box is; it has an Imperial Guard in it.
  9. Go STRAIGHT DOWN from THERE to swim to the other side of the screen.
  10. Go up and left, then loop back around on the pathway to get to the final box (far right). It has a Hero Drink in it.
  11. Backtrack a little and take the exit at the far right of the screen.
Go left and down then left and up to get to the center of the glowing area. Examine it for a particularly cool counter materia (Did you get hit? Morph that jerk!). Head out the cave on the left. You should be where the rest of your party is. Follow the trail to the right and head out of this area. On the next screen, go right and you'll jump up to the next ledge. Remember that double-jump you do that goes past the floating orb in the middle of the Mako fountain? Go over there and examine right as soon as your first jump finishes. If you time it right, you can grab the mega all materia out of the fountain. After that, backtrack to the place where your party first split. This time, take the road to the right. Wind your way down the cylinder and, on the next screen, go down. There's a box down here with another Mystile , and around the corner is an Elixir . Wind your way down around this one too, and you'll find a box at the bottom with a Speed Source in it. Down and left is a box with a Tetra Elmental (Drains Fire/Cold/Lightning/Earth attacks). Further along is a box with a Megalixir . Left of that is a box further along with another Megalixir . Now head to the far right of this screen and go to the next one. Head left and wind down the skeleton if you wish to go on to the end of the game, otherwise, head back up to the place where everyone split and go outside back to the ship. NOW is the best time to fight Weapons! (See Weapon Side Quest Section for more information).

When you're *TOTALLY* done and ready to move on...

Back to the End of the World:
OK. Now that you have pretty much beat everything there is to beat, head back to the crater and decend to the bottom. When you get to the screen where you first met up with all your party, make sure to create a save point using the Save Crystal . After that point, you'll have to jump from time to time by pressing the "accept" or "OK" buttons. Go in a spiral pattern around the outside left until you get to the center of the floating square thing. Anyway, as long as you have KOR at this point, it's a total cake walk. When Jenova shows up, w-summon KOR. After you beat Jenova, you'll fall down a long drop, and then you'll see a "Li....ght." I guess it's a light, but whatever. Sephiroth will show up and get the group back together again, then you'll have to split your party into three groups. Since I spent so long leveling up Cloud, Tifa and Cid, I made them the party leaders. I had Cloud, Barret and Cait Sith. Tifa, Red XIII and Vincent and Cid and Yuffie. I made sure they had their best weapons, then Divy up your materia accordingly. You'll hear your people cheer you on, then you'll fight. One KOR and that was the end of it. He really is a pathetic wimp. Next he changed form, so I used a Megalixir to get another shot off, and KORx2'd him. After another Megalixir , I KORx2'd him again. He killed off my guys, so I had to bring them back, then use a w-summon of Hades/Phoenix to get back into action. That, oddly enough, killed him off. All that to say, three good guys will waste him. Screw using more then that. YMMV. At the end of the battle, you'll end up where I told you to make the save point. Thankfully, Cloud goes all mental and we are saved from reality by the sheer lack of understanding that is thrust upon us. At least we get a fun cut scene here. Ah yes. Sun, moon, stars, synapsis. It all makes sense... No actually, it doesn't. Let's kick Sephiroth's butt, shall we? Omnislash the heck out of him, yah? 9999xd6!!! Sorry... I had a bit of a homestarunner moment there.

End:
Watch the pretty lights. You'll get the LIFESTREAM lecture here. I'm not sure what the heck is up with Aeris, to be honest. Cloud grabs Tifa and let's get the heck out of here. OK I'm just joshing you. You can't do anything here. Just watch Cid curse and hang on for dear life. Various towns get nuked and you evetually see Meteor get replused (I think that's Marlene's eye's view your watching) and then Midgar gets munched. Eventually, you'll see that stupid thing that fell out of Aeris' hair start to work its magic. No wait, that's the lifestream. OK. I give up. I don't know what the heck is going on here. I'm just in it for the money/fame/glory. Yeah right. I wrote the whole frickin' walkthrough and what, 5 people maybe will read it. Heh heh. That's OK. I helped Cam. That's all I really care about. Heh heh. Oh. And Lewis. If you actually got here, you rock, dude!

 

Chocobo Stuff

Start with a stable:
OK. You can't start raising Chocobos until you have the Highwind (even if you backtrack at the very beginning of disc 2, you can't do it). You can do this in pieces, or in one fell swoop. Be prepared to spend a couple hours, though, if you want to do it in one sitting. It took me 6 hours to go through this at once, but I was writing this walkthrough and taking breaks (eating, etc).

Once you get the Highwind on disc two, you can pilot it to the chocobo ranch and talk to grandpa (six annoying times) to rent all six stables. Fair warning - if Cid is your party leader (trying not to spoil anything here) you won't be able to get into the Gold Saucer (Dio closes it because, um, he doesn't want Cid to race Chocobos? lol).

The bottom right corner of the screen showing the outdoor chocobo pen has a 2nd chocobo lure materia. Be sure to equip both of these as well as any enemy lure materia you may have when you go out hunting. The chocobo ranchers will keep the last four chocobos you "send back to the stable" in the pen area out front. You may also want to stock up on some greens, while you are at it (if you need to).

My guys are fast enough that the chocobo doesn't get a battle turn before I'm done killing off the dudes it's with, so I can just ignore the greens usually. If you talk to Choco Billy's sister Chole, she'll tell you to only scratch a white chocobo behind the ears. Remember this if you are headed to Mideel - but only if you have the right kind of greens. The one in my game liked Samolen greens. You may have to take one of each to find out what he likes. (You'll get a contain materia from him.)

Chocobo Sage:
You'll need information and powerful greens to get all the best stuff, so head to the Chocobo Sage's house up north by Bone Village. Remember the cave you climbed out of when you scaled the glacier before? Right across the valley from that is the mountain range protecting the Sage's House. Fly the highwind there and land in the little green patch beside it. You'll see a green chocobo in the pen next to the door. The first time you come here, go talk to it. You'll get ANOTHER enemy skill materia. Because you really need four, right?

The sage remembers things over time, but you have to do two things to get him to remember something different. First, once he tells you something, head back to the chocobo ranch and talk to Chole. After that, fight 10 battles, then go back to the sage. Repeat the process until the sage tells you he can't remember anything else. At this point, you should have learned everything you need to know to make the most powerful Chocobos in the game. At any point here, you can then tell Chole "Let me jot this down" and she'll tell you all the cool stuff you've learned from the sage.

Since you'll need to level up your chocobos, you should also buy 99 Sylkis Greens . Yes they are expensive. No, there's not really a good substitute. If you don't have the cash, consider selling off a master level all materia. See the level up section for information about how to quickly level up both your characters and your materia.

Breeding 101:
This may come as a shock to you, but to breed a chocobo, you will need a male and a female chocobo. You'll also need a nut. Depending on what kind, level and racing rank of chocobos you have, and what kind of nuts you feed them, you will get various differences in your chocobos. There are 7 classes of chocobo, ranging from poor to wonderful. Only certain combinations of certain genders will produce useful offspring.

The only combinations you care about are:

  1. Great Chocobos can be bred using a Carob Nut to give you a Green/Blue/Regular Chocobo (more on this in a minute).
  2. Blue and Green Chocobos can be bred using a Carob Nut (after racing them to Class S) to give you a Black Chocobo.
  3. Black Chocobos and Wonderful Chocobos can be bred using a Zeio Nut (after racing them up to Class S) to give you a Golden Chocobo).
  4. Golden Chocobos can be bred together with a Zeio Nut (after being raced up to Class S) to get even faster Golden Chocobos - to a point. Be sure to chech with Chole to see if your new chocobo is any better than your previous ones.


So about those Great Chocobos I just mentioned. There's a great deal of confusion about breeding these guys that probably results from the Chocobo Sage telling you about breeding good and great chocobos. It turns out that any combonation of good/great chocobos *can* result in either a blue or green chocobo. Since you can use any combonation, I like to only use Great Chocobos since they have better default stats, which is helpful when racing later. If you've been racing them, it's more likely you'll get a blue/green, but there's about a 1-in-4 chance you'll get a blue/green just breeding them as you found them. If you do get a blue/green one, there's a 50% chance it will be male/female.

Feeding and Racing:
To get past the Blue and Green chocobos, you'll want to feed them greens and race them at the Gold Saucer to make them "level up." Once you've got Cloud and Tifa back, you can race the Blue, Green, Black, and Wonderful Chocobos you have at the Golden Saucer. See the section below called "going for black" for information about how to level-up and race your chocobos.

Random Encounters and Materia:
You'll be getting into a fair amount of battles during the chocobo side quest. Be sure to equip double AP weapons and armor where you can, and don't bother with enemy skills materia. Use worse weapons/armor if you have to (not single instead of double, though) in order to have the most materia slotted, then equip all the materia you might not otherwise use. Especially command materia, magic materia and summon materia. You'll be using these battles to level up the materia so you can get master level materia later on.

Good Chocobos:
At a glance (See below each section for more information):
When: Meh
What: Good Chocobos
Where: South east of Gold Saucer
With: 2 Spencers or 2 Flapbeats (ONLY flap beats behind him work!)

Again, there's a lot of confusing about this on the web. You really don't need these guys. See below for getting great chocobos and use those instead! But if you really want good chocobos (e.g., you can't kill off the spirals with great chocobos with enough time to capture them), here you go:

Point the Highwind toward the Gold Saucer and park it due east and slightly south. In other words, off the south end of the bay just to the east of the Gold Saucer. You should see some chocobo tracks there. Go ahead and land near them and equip your chocobo lure materia (and enemy lure materia, if you have it) then run around in the tracks.

You should run across the chocobos fairly soon. Use the greens if you need to, then kill off the other enemies. You are looking for a chocobo with 2 spencers or 2 flapbeats BEHIND him. Don't capture any that are with other enemies or that have the flapbeats in front of them. A chocobo with a harpy is "Pretty Average." Make sure you "Turn it loose" with those.

When the battle is over, dismount and "Send the Chocobo back to the stables" if he was with two spencers or flapbeats. Keep track of how many you have released. When you have cought and released four (as many chocobos as will fit in the pen), head back to the ranch. Save your game just outside the ranch, and then go inside and talk to Choco Billy about "Moving Chocobos."

Move them all into the stables. Talk to Chole to find out which ones are best. Keep the best male and female, but let the rest go.

Great Chocobos:
At a glance (See below each section for more information):
When: First
What: Great Chocobos
Where: Near Mideel
With: one or two Spirals (nothing else!)

Unless you've been level grinding a bit, these are a tiny bit harder to catch for two reasons. First, they run away faster. Second, the spirals are harder to kill in one shot (unless you use high power magics; I recommend bio 3 and comet - but avoid comet 2 and any magic materia junctioned with all materia!!!). Stock up on gyshal greens, then point the Highwind south of Fort Condor toward Mideel.

The chocobo tracks you want are located due south of Fort Condor. The Chocobos with Headhunters are "Not Bad" chocobos, so you don't want them. You want the ones with Spirals (one or two, it doesn't matter). These are great chocobos. Equip all the chocobo lure materia and Enenmy Lure Materia you have, then wander around for a bit. When you have killed off all the enemies it's with, you'll catch the Chocobo.

If the Chocobo was with Spirals (not spirals and other enemies, JUST spirals - one or two is fine), send it back to the stable. If you catch a chocobo with anything other than Spirals, just let it go. You'll want to catch four, then head back to the stables. Save your game outside before you go into the stables. If you have not yet visited the Chocobo Sage, be sure to go chat with him so you have some information to share wtih Chole.

Talk to Choco Billy about moving chocobos and name/move all your chocobos into the stables. Again, I pick names like "GudMal3" and "GrtFem1" so I can tell them apart just by the name. After moving all the chocobos into the stables, talk to Chole. If you have shared info from the chocobo sage, she will now tell you which chocobos are best at which things. Use her info to decide which male and female Great Chocobs are best, then let the other ones go. See the Mating for Blue and Green Chocobs section below for instructions on mating these Great Chocobos.

If the golden saucer is open, you can always enroll your chocobos in a race in order to see their top speed and stamina values. If you're not sure which one is best based on Chole's observations, this can be a helpful way to make up your mind.

Wonderful Chocobos:
At a glance (See below each section for more information):
When: After you have a black chocobo
What: Wonderful Chocobo
Where: South and west of Chocobo Sage's House (or the town on the Northern Continent)
With: Jumping Rabbits (nothing else!)

Carob Nuts:
On an Island due south of bone village run around in the light green areas until you come across an enemy called Vlakorados. Use bad breath, magic hammer, magic breath, comet and demi 3 on this guy. He'll go down eventually. If you defeat him, you'll get a Carob Nut , but that's a terrible waste because a) you can steal/mug one from him, and b) you can morph him into an Elixir . Yes, you read that correct. My favorite strategy is to cast bad breath to put him to sleep, then use magic hammer to steal all his MP - then steal his nut and cast demi 3 over and over until he's got so few HP that I can morph him. I use a character with massive strengh (see the Level Up section for info on Morphing enemies for stat-ups.)

If you have already gotten your blue chocobo, see the section below about acquiring the surprisingly useful quadra magic materia. Junctioning this with gravity materia can let you cast demi-3 four times in a row, which should radically reduce the amount of time this will take. If you're having trouble with this guy, you can also buy a Carob Nut for 500 GP at the Golden Saucer. GP is hard to come by, though, so it's probably more efficient to just level grind your guys instead.

Mating for Blue and Green Chocobos:
Again, there's a lot of confusing on this one floating around the web. You don't need Good Chocobos - just Great ones. You *can* use Good Chocobos if you can't catch the great ones, but I'd recommend getting your characters leveled up and going after Great Chocobos rather than wasting time on Good Chocobos. Refer to the Great Chocobos section above for info on capturing your Great Chocobos.

Save before doing this - you need one blue and one green of opposite genders, and the genders are random. Talk to Choco Billy and select "Mating Chocobos." From talking with Chole above, you should have decided narrowed your chocobs down to two Great Chocobos - one male and one female. Choose to mate those two and give them a Carob Nut when he asks. If you've been racing these chocobos, there's a 50% chance it will be blue, and a 50% chance it will be green. If you haven't been racing them, there's about a 25% chance it will be green, and a 25% chance it will be blue. The other 50% chance is that it will be a dud. If you saved above, you can try again.

It takes fighting 10 battles before you can mate these guys again, so once you have one blue/green, go fight and return so you can try for the other color and gender. Eventually, you should have one green and one blue chocobo of opposite genders. It can take a while, but keep trying. When you are getting into battles between matings, consider going to the area with lots of Spirals south-east of Mideel and morphing Spirals into Guard Source items to buff up your characters. It's a great way to pass the time and level your team pretty quickly.

If you are doing these tasks with Cid as your party leader, you cannot yet breed for Black or Gold Chocobos. However, you can use your blue (river) chocobo and green (mountain) chocobos to go and get some great loot. Skip down a bit. If Cloud is your party leader while you're doing this, save your game once you have a blue and green chocobo of different genders, then see the Going for Black section below.

Going for Black:
Again, you cannot do this if the Golden Saucer is closed, so if you're running around with Cid as a party leader, skip to the sections below to get river/mountain chocobo accessible loot. Otherwise...

Let's get ourselves a black chocobo. To get the black chocobo, you'll need to lots of cash (you can sell one master-level all materia and get 1.4 mil gil - enough for two or three batches of 99 Sylkis Greens ). You're going to have to feed your green and blue chocobos some Sylkis Greens to make them raceable, then you'll race them to top of their class. If you used Great Chocobos instead of Good Chocobos, I've found you only need to feed them 25 each. YMMV.

If you haven't visited the Chocobo Sage, see the section above and do so. Be sure to talk to him every time you visit to buy stuff, then tell Chole so you can refer back to this stuff later. After feeding your blue/green chocobos the greens, fly to north corel and take the tram up to the golden saucer. Head to the chocobo racing attraction and talk to Ester in the over by the staff room. She'll let you race your chocobos. Keep racing your blue and green chocobos until they are at least in in class A. I use the short courses for these races.

Press start to start the race then select to take over manual control of your chocobo, then hold down R1,R2,R3 and R4 while you press circle. When your stamina gets to half, let go of circle and press Square until your stamina recharges. When it's recharged, use circle again. If you have not been feeding your chocobos, you can beat these guys, but you'll be totally out of stamina by the end of the race. You'll have to time it just right. Play around with it for a while.

If you *have* been feeding them, these races should be trivially easy. Even at rank B, your chocobo should be able to win these races in automatic mode. He'll have nearly 3 times as much stamina as your opponents, so it's not really even a contest. You shouldn't have to actually participate for some time yet. If you are going to try for cool items in the Battle Arena and/or buy the stuff in the wonder arcade, be sure to take the GP instead of the items when you finish the races.

Your chocobo should move up a rank every three races you win. I let my chocobo run on its own until I got to rank "A," then I had to manually take over. When both of your chocobos are Rank A or S (I like S, but I'm an over achiever), head back to the ranch and mate the green and blue ones with a carob nut. If your chocobos are too young, you may have to fight up to 10 battles before they're ready to mate.

When you have your black chocobo, it can do everything a blue or green one can do. So you can actually turn those guys loose at this point, if you want. However, offspring have random stats, and sometimes they are better than others. If you have a spare Carob Nut or twelve (I like morphing those enemies to get the Elixir , so I have dozens), consider going for 2 or 3 black chocobos. You just need to fight 10 battles between matings. After that, talk to Chole and select "Chole's Chocobo inspection" to find out which is the best one. You can let the others go, and use the best one as your breeder.

Again, if the golden saucer is open, you can always enroll your chocobos in a race in order to see their top speed and stamina values. If you're not sure which one is best based on Chole's observations, this can be a helpful way to make up your mind.

Gold Chocobos:
Go to the longish island on the northeast area of the map and steal/mug/win a Zeio Nut or several from the Goblins in the forest of one of the islands there.

OK. Now that you have a black chocobo and a Zeio Nut , head to the chocobo tracks up near the Chocobo Sage's house (actually, it's close to the town up there). Since you're by his house, buy back up to 99 Sylkis Greens again. When you get to the snowy tracks, equip all your chocobo lure materia and any/all enemy lure materia and make sure you DON'T equip the slash all materia.

Look for Chocobos which are ONLY with rabbits (any number of rabbits). When you've caught a few, head back to the ranch and save outside. Move all your wonderful chocobos into the stables and talk to Chole to find out which is the best one to breed with your black chocobo. If all your wonderful chocobos are the wrong gender for breeding with your black chocobo, just reload your save and go fight a few battles to reset the random seed value. Feed the black and wonderful chocobo 25 Sylkis Greens each, and then head to the Golden Saucer and race them to class S (Yes, it actually takes class S this time.) Which ever is faster, race in several class S races to try and get good loot. As long as Chocobo Joe isn't racing, you should be able to win a few races at this point.

I think you need to race about 5 times in rank S to get the gold choco. You don't have to win, though. Once you've got these chocos raced up, head back to the ranch, save outside, and mate them with a Zeio Nut . NOTE: It is really important to choose the BLACK CHOCOBO first, and THEN choose the wonderful chocobo. I think there's a bug or something with the game, because when I choose the Wonderful Chocobo first, I got a dud. Maybe it was a fluke, but it was pretty annoying.

If you choose black first and you still don't get a Golden Chocobo (it will look different from the regular yellow ones), you may have to race a bit more. If your chocobos are too young to mate, go fight 10 battles (again, I like to morph spirals down by mideel for Guard Source items during these battles) and then you should be able to mate them.

Once you have your golden chocobo, feed him 25 Sylkis Greens and he should be able to win just about any race at the Golden Saucer without Chocobo Joe, and should be able to win against him occasionally, too.

Using Chocobos to get cool Materia, etc:
There are quite a few things you can do with your Chocobos to get cool stuff. First off, by running your chocobos in the Chocobo Races, you can earn cool materia, items, and accessories. As your rank goes up (you start at C, then go to B, A, and eventually S), so does your chance to earn cool stuff like a surprise attack materia, Sprint Shoes , counter attack materia, etc. See the Golden Saucer section for more information on what you can get and where to get it.

mime materia:
If you have a green chocobo, talk to Choco Billy about Riding Chocobos and you can ride the green one out. Ride it to the Highwind and fly to Wutai. About halfway up the continent, on the easternmost tip is a cavern you can only get to by riding a chocobo. Go there for the mime materia. You'll have to dismount to get in.

Ancient Forest:
After that, take the Highwind to a grassy area by Cosmo Canyon, and head to the top of the mountains. There's a weird green mini-mountain sticking up. This is the ancient forest. Save your game outside and head in. You'll have to alternate between grabbing insects and frogs here. Use your enemy skill materia here. You're not going to be GETTING them necessarily but you can use magic breath and bad breath to get through here faster.

  1. Grab the first insect you see, and read the instructions.
  2. Take that insect under the bridge and release it NEAR the top of the ramp.
  3. Go back and get another one and do the same.
  4. Get the third insect and release it FROM the top of the ramp, and that should make the bug plant eat it.
  5. Go get another insect and jump on to the plant and release it.
  6. That will make the 2nd bug plant eat it.
  7. Now go back and get the third insect, making sure to give it to the third plant.
  8. You'll be able to hop all the way across now. When you get to the other side, head down toward the big red plant at the bottom.
  9. Walk ALMOST to the item in its center, and grab it ( Supershot ST - Vincent weapon), then go back.
  10. If you go too far, you'll get bit - dropping your HP dangerously low. I don't recommend that.
  11. Go right (you'll use the bungee springy thing to get across the chasm.)
  12. Go around the tree to the item at the top of the screen ( Spring Gun Clip - Red XIII weapon).
  13. Head right to the next screen.
This screen isn't that much different from the previous one. Ignore the sack sitting on the tree trunk for now; we'll come back for it in the next section...
  1. As soon as you come onto the screen, grab the insect and head right.
  2. You should have the option of jumping or staying when you get to the pink springy plant. (If not, you may have to walk back in a circle to trigger it.)
  3. Jump.
  4. At the top of the ledge, move to the right, and let your insect go; the plant should eat it.
  5. Jump across the two plants and springy-jump over the red carnivorous plant.
  6. Grab the frog and go right to the green ramp.
  7. Let the frog go while facing left to make the plant eat it.
  8. Then jump on and wait.
  9. The plant will spit him out, eventually, and catapult you to the orange ledge with a blue thing on it.
  10. Grab the blue thing and jump down.
  11. Walk over close to the carnivorous plant you springy-ed over ealier and throw the blue thing in.
  12. When the plant folds up, go and get the slash all materia on the ground by it and go back to the right.
  13. Equip slash all materia to Cloud so that he can attack all your enemies at once!
  14. Pick up the frog again, head right, and put him in the other plant at the top of the screen.
  15. Jump on that pland to be launched over the next carnivore plant then head right to the next screen.
More of the same kinds of puzzles. We'll be picking up a few things we missed earlier here, though.
  1. Ignore the first insect and go right until you get to the next one.
  2. Grab it and throw it into the insect eater at the top of the screen, then go get the other bug and throw it in the 2nd plant.
  3. Jump - Jump - Springy up to the next level.
  4. Remember that sack you couldn't get on the last screen? Go left and down from here to get it ( Minerva Band - girls only).
  5. Go down a little to jump off, then frog-jump right again.
  6. Do the same insect jump jump springy to go to the next level again.
  7. This time go left and UP around the tree and back to the right to spring jump three times to the far right (if you end up going down to the next screen, you've gone too far; back track and try again.
  8. Get the item at the bottom of the right side of the screen (Typhoon materia).
  9. Go back across the three springy things, but when you land this time, head down and right. You should be able to walk to a different area.
More frog/insect kinda mini-games. You *did* equip the Typhoon materia you just got, right?
  1. Walk down the tightrope to the right.
  2. Pick up the bug and throw it into the plant on the top right.
  3. Jump up twice and grab the blue thing.
  4. Jump down and throw it into the carnivorious red plant.
  5. When that goes away, run around and get an insect then throw it into the insect eater at the top of the screen.
  6. Jump left and grab the bug
  7. Release the bug near the opening just under the LEFT edge of the rope to coax out the frog.
  8. Move the frog closer to the plant you just hopped across
  9. Go back and get the final insect on the far left and use him to plug the plant you came across on.
  10. Grab your frog and head across.
  11. Use Mr. Frog on the far right insect eater to jump the chasm to your right.
  12. Put him in the plant, then jump on and wait - you'll be catapulted, er frogapulted across.
  13. Head into the cave and go right to get the Apocalypse from the chest.
  14. Head up for an Elixir toward the top of the screen (in another chest).
  15. Finally, head out the opening at the top left to be warped back to the world screen.

quadra magic materia:
If you are using a green chocobo, ride him to the Highwind, then take the Highwind to the chocobo ranch and swap him out with the blue one (or black/gold if you have 'em). Go to a grassy area east of Mideel. This is confusing, but there IS a way to use the coast line and shallow water to get to the cave on the eastern tip. Head inside for the quadra magic materia.

HP<->MP materia:
Once you have finished the above few side quests, mate your Blue and Green chocobos and get a Black chocobo (you can't do this if Cid is your party leader; see above). Now take him to the area just north and west of Costa Del Sol (across the bay to the west) and visit that cave for the HP<->MP materia.

This materia will swap the MAXIMUM MP and HP available for a character. This means, for example you could easily give Cloud 9999 MP and 999 HP. Of course, if someone isn't covering your mage, he'll likely get killed off fairly quickly - but it's an interesting idea.

Vincent Weapon and Level 4 Limit Break:
When you have Cloud as a party leader, take the mountain chocobo to North Corel, and take the mountain chocobo up the mountains to the west. Go around to the west side of the waterfall and dismount, then approach the waterfall with Vincent in your party and watch some cut scenes, then you'll be back outside.

Equip any/all enemy lure materia and fight some battles with Vincent so that he uses his limit break. I took the chocobo to the sub and did my fighting in the underwater crash site. Ater about 10 battles, Vincent had used his level 3 limit break a few times, and that was enough. I slot a master cover materia to him so he takes all hits for everyone and gets limit breaks often. Come back here after that. When you go back to the cave, you'll receive Death Penalty (Vincent's ultimate weapon) and Chaos (Vincent's level 4 limit break).

Knights of the Round:
The Knights of the Round materia is the second coolest materia in the whole game. The coolest one is (by far) the Master summon materia. Anytime you can perform ALL the summons, there's nothing cooler. Knights of the Round (KOR) is the greatest of all summons. Once you have a Golden Chocobo (yup, it requires golden) you can go after this one. In the far northeastern corner of the map is a tiny little island that you can only get to via the Golden Chocobo. Head up there and enter the cave hidden there. This summon can easily wipe out ANY non-boss entity, and most of the bosses. The exceptions are the Weapons.

 

Leveling Up

General Info:
Best advice: Wait to really level up until you have acquired the sub. This allows you to get access to the sunken ship, which allows you to get Yuffie's Conformer . That weapon will allow you to use the morph skill without the normal damage penulty associated with morphing stuff. If you opt not to wait this long, it can take you a long time to get your stats all maxed out. Also, if you wait until you get the Bahamut ZERO materia, you can maximize your grinding to *also* net you a Master summon materia. For best results, wait until you have the mega all materia and junction that to Yuffie as well.

Best Equipment: I recommend Cloud, Cid, and Yuffie. Cloud should use the Apocalypse (3 tripple slots), Cid should use the Scimitar (2 tripple slots), and Yuffie should use the Conformer (best morphing weapon. All three should start with Rune Armlet (4x double growth slots) equiped. Use the tripple growth slots on your summon materia, then swap in other stuff later. If you went to golden saucer and got a sneak attack materia, swap Yuffie's Rune Armlet for something with a connected slot and junction your sneak attack materia to a morph materia. If you have the mega all materia, give her that, too. If you have more than one sneak attack materia, you can use a tripple growth slot to rapidly level it up to master level so you can put it in the Conformer , which should only really slot master level materia.

Why only master level materia? The Conformer has no growth, so it's best to only slot materia there which won't grow anyway. If you have several master level HP plus materia and also have a master level cover materia, consider having Yuffie be your tank ( Conformer is a ranged weapon, so you can put her in the back without worrying about using a long range materia, too.) If Yuffie isn't killing everything off in a single shot, you can also consider junctioning time materia and added effect materia together in one of the connected slots on the Conformer to infect your enemies with slow/stop. Other good master level materia for her: pre-emptive materia, speed plus materia, luck plus materia, enemy lure materia, etc.

If you outfit Yuffie the way I described above, you can literally start the battle with a sneak attack that will do 9999 morph damage to all enemies before they get in a single attack. This makes farming your stat-up items rediculously fast, but it *does* mean you're waiting to do any serious level grinding until you're basically at the very end of the game. Since I like to play picture-in-picture while I'm watching football, I'll do some leveling up sooner rather than later, and save the really hardcore max-everyone-out grinding for the end of the game when I want to prep to go after Weapon.

A question I get from time to time is, should I bother leveling up other characters, too? That's up to you, but I usually do. I like to use Cid as my tank early in the game so he learns all his limit breaks. Once I no longer have a bunch of summon materia to level up, I'll swap out Cid for someone else and equip whatever weapon has the most double growth slots. I'll usually make that character my tank and have them draw enemy attacks with cover, thus getting them all their best limit breaks, too.

As for which order to go after the status increase items, I recommend hitting these in the order they are presented. Note that I really don't recommend you spend any significant time leveling up until you first acquire the morph materia after visiting the Temple of the Ancients. There are certain materia it's a really good idea to equip while you level up. enemy lure materia can seriously limit the ammount of time you spend waiting to get into a battle. Knights of the Round materia can take a very long time to level up.

Depending on what you are using to wear down your opponants, you may not want to have your characters develop a limit break. You can give any character a tranquilizer to inflict sadness. This will delay them from getting limit breaks. You may be asking, "Why the heck would I want to PREVENT a limit break?" Well, if you are trying to morph your enemies into attribute increasing items, hitting for too much damage can kill them off before you can morph them. If that doesn't make sense, just play around with morphing enemies for a while; I'm sure you'll see why.

As you get lots of stat ups from level grinding enemies, you'll begin to apply them to your characters. If you check in the STATUS item in the menu will show you the stats for your characters. If you are using the various status up items, you'll notice that the stat never appears to go above 250ish. You actually CAN; it just looks like you aren't. I think I was able to give an extra 75 points to one of my characters, indicating you can actually get to 325.

Strength Up: Power Source :
Note: if you do this after Yuffie gets her Conformer weapon, it will go *very fast* for you. If you don't want to wait that long...

Prep work: You are going to be getting a BUNCH of AP here (If you get 200 power sources, that's 9,000 AP (18,000 for materia in a double slot). Later on in the game, you are seriously going to want to have one of each kind of materia at master level. For now, I recommend at least one of every yellow materia you have in a double slot (except enemy skill materia).

Also, one of every summon (red materia). Once you start getting master level materia, you can swap in your magic materia (green) until you have master levels for one of each.

Once you acquire the morph materia, feel free to get a ton of power sources (str up). Head to Gonga Village, and take the first right at the fork in the road. Go a few screens up to the burned out reactor. Equip sense materia to two characters, and morph materia to the third. Run around the reactor until you find a heavy tank (HP: 1600 / MP:25). Have your characters attack him a few times to get his HP down, then morph him.

You'll have to play with the numbers a few times, as your characters will do different damage than mine did. Once you have him down low enough, use the morph and he'll turn into a Power Source (str+1). If you're getting worked by him, consider using the mini magic on him to reduce the damage he does to your guys to 1 or so. These enemies give you 340 XP and 45 AP. If you are using double-AP weapons/armor, you can end up with 90 AP for each of these battles.

That's a pretty big number early on, but later in the game it's less appealing. I usually put my summon materia into the double (or tripple, if I have the apocolypse and/or Scimitar ) slots to get them up as fast as possible, but you may have a different strategy.

Vitality Up: Guard Source :
Again: if you do this after Yuffie gets her Conformer weapon, it will go *very fast* for you. If you don't want to wait that long...

Head south and east to the Mideel area to smack around some spirals. You can hit them for pretty good damage with Fire 3, then Cloud can morph them into guard sources. Oh, and did I forget to mention that you can steal X-Potions from them? They have 2800 HP and give you 1400 XP, 160 AP and 2600 gil. If you don't have fire, you can also use Demi-3 (plus mime works well) to make quick work of the.

Two shots of Demi 3 and you can usually morph them in a blow or two. If you have Gravity, Morph, and Mime, this is an easy battle. Demi 3, Mime, Morph, Mime. If there are three enemies, one more morph. You can get a LOT of vitality in a very short period of time with this.

Underwater Crash Site:
This is were you get the Conformer weapon for Yuffie. See the top of the page for strategy at this point.

When you first get the submarine, head to the dock area just east of the Golden Saucer, and then go to the souther area of the bay. Dive around here to see a sunken plane. Approach it with the sub to get inside. The Disc 2 section of this walkthrough explains how to get cool stuff out of this plane, so I'll concentrate on the level-up part in this section - but DON'T MISS THE Conformer .

Basically, any enemy you find around here can be morphed into one stat-up or another. You'll be going through a LOT of HP/MP in this area, so I recommend you bring in 99 tents. You can use these at the save point in the entrance hallway to restore all HP and MP. If you've come from fighting spiral enemies, you may also have stolen an X-Potion or 90. Those are helpful. As you fight the Poodler enemies you can steal a Turbo Ether from them.

There are a few things you can do here that make your guys work together well. For example, you can have three characters, one with a morph materia, one with a master level gravity materia and one with mime materia. Casting Demi 3, Mime, Morph, Mime is *really* effective against enemies that are vulnerable to gravity damage. Strategies like this will let your non-Yuffie characters also morph enemies. Depending on your level, that may or may not be necessary.

Be sure you understand how the HP<->MP materia works, too. A player who has 9999 HP and 999 MP can swap them to enable him/her to carry 999 HP and *9999 MP*. This makes Demi 3 go a LOT further. ;) If you junction steal as well materia to your morph materia, you can rack up some additional cool items.

Another thing I like to do is get everyone ready for their level 4 limit breaks. Since this has to do with how often someone is hit/uses their limit break, simply slot materia which ensures someone will get attacked more often. For example, I like to junction a master cover materia and two or three master HP plus materia. I'll also place that character in the back row, using a long range materia if needed (e.g., Vincent doesn't need it, since most of his weapons are long range weapons anyway.) After a character gets their limit breaks leveled up, I swap in someone else to draw all fire.

Here's a list of the sections of the plain, what you can find there, how to beat them, and what you get:

Cargo Room & Research Room:
These are the room with the busted up helicopter and all the boxes (one screen up and one screen left from the save point), and the room with the large reactor (one screen up from the save point). Unknown (HP: 11,000 / MP: 110)
* Steal: Fire Armlet
* Counter: None
* Demi: Yes
* Morph: Power Source
* Gives: 1500 XP, 150 AP, 5000 Gil
* Strategy: Demi 3, Mime, Demi 3, (Morph, Mime until all gone).
Unknown 2 (HP: 13,000 / MP: 130)
* Steal: Aurora Armlet
* Counter: None
* Demi: Yes
* Morph: Guard Source
* Gives: 3000 XP, 300 AP, 10,000 Gil
* Strategy: Sleepl. Demi 3, Mime, Demi 3, (Morph, Mime until all gone).
Unknown 3 (HP: 15,000 / MP: 150)
* Steal: Bolt Armlet
* Counter: Creepy Touch (Inflicts Sadness)
* Demi: Yes
* Morph: Magic Source
* Gives: 2000 XP, 200 AP, 7500 Gil
* Strategy: Sleepl, Demi 3, Mime, Demi 3, (Morph, Mime until all gone).
Serpent (HP: 14,000 / MP: 290) (Weak against Wind)
* Steal: Water Ring
* Counter: None
* Demi: No
* Morph: Mind Source
* Gives: 1400 XP, 70 AP, 2500 Gil
* Strategy: Sleepl, Tornado, Tornado, (Morph, Mime until gone).
Hallway:
The hallway is located exactly one screen left of the save point. This is one of my favorite places to level up. You get great XP and AP, and the morphables pile up quickly. As an added bonus, your guys get FASTER with time ( Speed Source ), so it takes even less time as you do it. If you have sleepl-all junctioned, you can even make sure you almost never get hurt. :D Bad Rap (HP: 9,000 / MP: 120)
* Steal: Ink (One enemy: Darkness)
* Counter: None
* Demi: Yes
* Morph: Luck Source
* Gives: 1,100 XP, 70 AP, 2,500 Gil
* Strategy: Demi 3, Mime, Demi 3, (Morph, Mime until all gone).
Poodler (HP: 6,000 / MP: 220))
* Steal: Turbo Ether
* Counter: Fire (unless you drain it's MP with Enemy Skill: Magic Hammer)
* Demi: Yes
* Morph: Speed Source
* Gives: 900 XP, 70 AP, 2500 Gil
* Strategy: Demi 3, Mime, (Morph, Mime until all gone).

 

Fort Condor

When you pass through the caves after getting past the midgar golem, you can head south to Fort Condor. There is an item and a materia shop here, but they won't sell you anything until you talk to the guy sitting at the table just below them. Chat him up, agree to fight against the Shinra, and you should be able to shop there. At first they only have basic stuff, but their wares level up as the game progresses. Be sure to come back to Fort Condor as often as you can so you can help them fight the Shinra. It's kinda remeniscent of FF Tactics, but... more, I dunno... brain-dead, maybe? I've found you can get some decent items this way, so it can be worth it.

General strategy: Place your guys pretty much right at the lower-edge line. Use two catipults in the middle, and one on each site. Have a shooter at each catipult. Vary the other guys as appropriate, but I like to use one attacker and one defender at each area, then vary who attacks based on what type of enemy I'm fighting. If it's a beast, use an attacker. If it's a human, use a defender. For Wyverns, use Shooters. Have the repairers heal in between skirmishes. Stay close to the catipult lines.

Round 1:
I deployed a lot of fighters, just like he suggested, and I was awarded a Magic Comb at the end of the battle. There was no other activity at the time, so I couldn't fight any more rounds.

Round 2:
Lots of mixed Barbarians; chose a bunch of defenders; got a Peace Ring . I put a lot of different people around the area.

Round 3:
He recommends I set up fire catapults, so I set up four fire catipult stations. I also put an attacker, a shooter, and a defender at each station. I also added 3 repairers, left, right, and center and one extra shooter in the middle. I got a Megalixir . I left them with enough gil for 5 battles, too.

Round 4:
Same as Round 3, except this time I got a Potion or two!

Round 5:
Same as Round 3 and 4, except I deployed Tristaners and got a Super Ball .

Round 6:
Same as Round 5. I got a Turbo Ether .

Round 7:
Same as Round 5 & 6. I got another Turbo Ether .

No Cloud or Tifa:
After losing Cloud and Tifa, you'll be able to come here and fight on your own as Cid. Check out the materia shop - you should be able to buy Throw, Manipulate, Deathblow, Destruct, and All. If not, you might have to wait until after the battle. If you screw up, you can always beat them the old fashioned way. When the guy asks you to go outside, go and pick up the Phoenix materia which is sitting on the ground there. Then go and talk to the old guy sitting at the table by the entry rope. You'll get the key item Huge Materia .

 

Materia Guide

Huge Materia
There are four Huge Materia you can get in the game. Once you have access to Buegenhagen's planetarium thing, you can store them there.

Red Huge Materia :
Go to the place where you sunk the red submarine during your flight from the underwater reactor. Be sure to get this one. You should be able to retrieve this at any time. I got it between defeating Ruby and Emerald Weapon. I had already received the master magic materia at this time.

Green Huge Materia :
If you are successful in stopping the train from plowing into North Corel, you'll get this after the mission. If you fail that mission, you won't.

Yellow Huge Materia :
Fight the mini-game battle at Fort Condor. If you're able to defeat the boss, you'll have this available to you. Simply talk to the old guy sitting at the table just at the top of the first rope.

Blue Huge Materia :
When you are on the rocket in space, head right when you get a chance and input the proper code to get this materia. See the appropriate section of the disc2 page of this walkthrough for the code.

Master Materia
In Beugenhagen's planetarium thing you'll find all the Huge Materia you've been rushing around to save. If you missed one of the materia, however, you will not be able to aquire a master blend. Use the levers on the right side of the planetarium controls to raise the machine and access the materia. If you approach one of the green, yellow, or red Huge Materia , you can see if you have the appropriate materia for the blend (See below for a complete list). You will exchange a master level of each of those for a single materia that will do all the things. For the Master summon materia, that means it can summon as any of the traded materia.

Note that the translation on these is pretty poor. For example, if you have a master level of all 20 magic materia, this is what you'll see when you "get closer" to the green Huge Materia : "magic materia Blend. All maximum level magic materia will be blended. Maximum level magic materia has been lost. Received one master magic materia. Perform Blend?" The implication from the first few dialog boxes is that it's already happened, but you can choose at this point to blend or not. For the record, I typically recommend you go ahead with the blend. :)

You can get master command materia by blending a master level of each of the following (note these are not all of them) command materia:

  • death blow materia
  • manipulate materia
  • mime materia
  • morph materia
  • sense materia (listed as sence materia)
  • steal materia
  • throw materia

You may have noticed that this is *not* an exhaustive list of command materia. That is correct; there are several command materia which are not combined during the blending process: w-item materia, w-summon materia, double cut materia, enemy skill materia, and slash all materia.

You can get Master summon materia by approaching the huge red materia and blending a master level of each of the following summon materia:
  • Alexander materia
  • Bahamut materia
  • Bahamut ZERO materia
  • Choco-Mog materia
  • Hades materia
  • Ifrit materia
  • Kjata materia
  • Knights of the Round materia
  • Leviathan materia
  • Neo bahamut materia
  • Odin materia
  • Phoenix materia
  • Ramuh materia
  • Shiva materia
  • Titan materia
  • Typhoon materia
If you get close to the green Huge Materia , you'll see: magic materia Blend: All maximum level magic Matiera will be blended. Maximum level magic material has been lost. Recieved one "master magic" materia! Perform Blend? If you select Yes, you'll see "Received "Master Magic" Materia!" To perform the blend, you'll need one of each of the following materia:
  • barrier materia
  • commet materia
  • contain materia
  • destruct materia
  • earth materia
  • exit materia
  • fire materia
  • fullcure materia
  • gravity materia
  • heal materia
  • ice materia
  • lightning materia
  • mystify materia
  • poison materia
  • revive materia
  • seal materia
  • shield materia
  • time materia
  • transform materia
  • ultima materia

support materia:
You may have noticed that I've not listed how to get a master support materia. It turns out you can't. The following support materia are helpful to you, but there's not way (that I'm aware of anyway) to blend them - even if you get the blue Huge Materia .

List of support materia:

  • added cut materia
  • added effect materia
  • all materia
  • elemental materia
  • final attack materia
  • HP absorb materia
  • magic counter materia
  • mp absorb materia
  • mp turbo materia
  • quadra magic materia
  • sneak attack materia
  • steal as well materia

independent materia:
You may have also noticed that I've not listed how to get a master independent materia. It turns out you can't. The following independent materia are helpful to you, but there's not way (that I'm aware of anyway) to blend them.

List of independent materia:

  • chocobo lure materia
  • counter attack materia
  • cover materia
  • enemy away materia
  • enemy lure materia
  • experience plus materia
  • gil plus materia
  • HP<->MP materia
  • HP plus materia
  • long range materia
  • luck plus materia
  • magic plus materia
  • mega all materia
  • MP plus materia
  • pre-emptive materia
  • speed plus materia
  • underwater materia
  • independent materia
  • counter attack materia

 

Weapon Strategy

Things you NEED

  • w-summon materia. You can purchase the w-summon materia using battle points in the Battle Arena at the Gold Saucer. You'll have to battle for a while, which means you'll need GP. The easist way to earn these is by racing chocobos. You'll need to race in order to get another needed materia anyway:
  • Knights of the Round materia. You'll need to capture, race, and breed chocobos to get this materia. Follow the instructions in the Chocobo Section for full instructions on acquiring this summon materia.
  • underwater materia. See the Junon Underwater section of Disc 2 for information on obtaining the underwater materia. Basically you just need to morph a certain enemy.
  • final attack materia. You can get the final attack materia by competing in the special battle at the Gold Saucer. You will need to be ultra powerful and use Cloud's best weapon (which you cannot get until after the underwater Junon area). See the level up section for info on how to max out your team's stats, and the Golden Saucer section for information on getting through the battles.

General Strategy
My weapon strategy is this: Equip one character with w-summon materia, Knights of the Round materia and anything else you want leveled up. Then equip a mime to each of your other characters and have them mime the KOR w-summon. You'll want to get the KOR materia via the steps in the Chocobo section and you'll want to level up your first mime materia to master level so it will "birth" a copy of itself. This will allow you to have two characters who can Mime the KOR summon used by the third.

Floating Weapon:
There is an opportunity to learn an amazingly powerful enemy skill here, but it can only be learned by the character who kills him off.

  1. If you don't have Knights of the Round materia, equip an enemy skills materia to everyone so you can learn Shadow Flare when he's defeated. If you have it, equip all the enemy skills materia to the character who has it. I recommend giving them to a character who is using a powerful weapon with no growth on the materia slots. If you've been using Yuffie to level up your team, her Conformer is a good option.
  2. Fly to the crater where you found Lucrecia and obtained Vincent's level four limit break and unltimate weapon (hint: it's a waterfall in a round valley due east of Junon).
  3. Hovering there you should see a floating weapon - land nearby to equip/ Tent /save, then appropach him in the highwind.
  4. Steal a Circlet , then attack. If you're using KOR summon, it should only take a single attack. Even if you're not using KOR, you should beat him pretty quickly by this point, but you will get no XP or AP. Yet.
  5. Follow him to the next continent and head toward the Ancient Forest (east and south of Cosmo Canyon).
  6. Take him out with a single Knights of the Round, but make sure the character who's using it has sufficient HP to withstand a pretty powerful retaliatory attack. If that character has all four of the enemey skills materia junctioned, all four will learn this attack.
When you've defeated him, you should receive an Ultima Weapon . This is the most powerful weapon for Cloud. If you've talked to the guy near the Battle Points exchanger at the Golden Saucer, you've probably learned that there's a battle for only those with "the most powerful weapons." The Ultima Weapon is the key to participating in those battles. See the Golden Saucer section for more information on how to win the final attack materia. That's a requirement for defeating the Ruby Weapon.

Ruby Weapon:
Quick bug note: If you don't see a red tentacle thing in the desert around the Golden Saucer at this time, simply land and fight a random battle. If that doesn't trigger it, go into a town, stay at an inn, and then return. That should fix it. Apparently the code for determining if this enemy appears does not get executed unless you do one or both of those.

OK. You'll likely wanna read this whole section through a time or two in order to get the gist of it. This guy cannot be hit if his tentacle-arms have not been submerged. The key is to wait until his arms disappear then wallop him. Unfortunately, he has an attack that will remove one or more of your characters from the battle (permanently). He won't use it if you have only one live character, though. So you will want to go into this battle with two dead and one live character. Kill off two guys first (before you even start this battle), making sure the last guy (your most powerful character) has w-summon materia, Phoenix materia, and Hades materia equipped. Link Knights of the Round materia to your mp absorb materia and, again, make sure to link Phoenix materia to final attack materia. The latter will automatically revive any downed characters in a single action. Your remaining (initially dead) characters should mime materia.

Also, there are a couple of materia you don't want to use during this battle. Be sure not to use counter materia, otherwise your guys will end up accidentally using mime on a weak counter attack instead of the Knights of the Round summon. That would be bad. Also, don't use cover materia. The attacks of this enemy can do 7000+ damage even on a buffed up character. Cover will prevent you from being able to respond quickly enough to heal up your characters - likely with catestrohpic results.

Finally, don't forget to change the settings to slow down the battle speed and change the ATB from Active to Wait. Since I usually come straight from a signinficant amount of level grinding, my battle speed is maxed out and ATB is active, which means Weapon is basically guarenteed an attack any time I have to choose an action. For most enemeis, it just doesn't matter if they get in an extra shot or two. When fighting Ruby Weapon, however, it can be seriously problematic.

When you're ready, use a gold chocobo or the Highwind to ram him. He's the little red thing poking out of the sand surrounding the Gold Saucer. When the battle first begins, you may have to heal up a little from time to time, but mostly he should just start off by sticking his hands into the ground. When this happens, w-summon Phoenix/Hades (point Hades at HIM, not the tentacles; you must disable his ultima-counter for KOR by causing him to "stop"). On your next action w-summon KOR and KOR. Have the other two characters mime this attack. Depending on how powerful your KOR attack is, you should be able to kill him off in 6-10 summons. My characters do 9200 per knight (Cloud), 6500 per knight (Cid) and 5800 per knight (Tifa). You may need to do a w-summon of Hades/KOR if he unstops. It took 9 attacks for my guys.

I got 45,000 XP and 50,000 AP. Pretty much all my materia leveled up on that on, heh heh. You'll get a " Desert Rose " for this battle. Battle Play-by-play: Cloud: w-summon Phoenix, Hades. Next w-summon KOR, KOR. Tifa Mime and Cid Mime. He should be awake at the end of this, so w-summon Phoenix (if people are dead) and Hades (knock him out again). Have Tifa or Cid use megalixirs to heal people up. If you don't need to use Phoenix here, use Hades on both him and the tentacles. After the Megalixir kicks in, w-summon Hades/KOR and mime with both characters. You SHOULD find the battle over at this point. If not, level up and try again, or repeat the last few rounds (if you have KOR summons left!) Since a dead character's materia does not level up, I had to replay this 5 times to get my guys all alive at the end. You may not want to sink 4 hours into this battle, though. Anyway, once you beat him satisfactorily and SAVE, head to Kalm and talk to the guy in the upstairs room of the house in the lower right corner of the village square. You can trade this item to him for a Golden Chocobo!!!!!!! WOW!!! That's awesome!!! No wait, I already have one. And this one blows. He maxes out at 88 KM/H and 999 Stamina. That's worse than almost ALL of my other chocobos. *sigh* Well, at least I got serious AP out of the battle.

Underwater Weapon
Let's fight the Underwater Weapon now. You don't need the Hades part from the above, but everything else is pretty much the same. You'll want to use the underwater materia, too. You'll get 50,000 XP and 50,000 AP from this battle.

Option 1:
OK. I've got a Master summon materia and w-summon materia. Between that, mime on each of the others and the fact that I have all my characters at level 99 by now, I think I'm OK. I'm only partially joking about that last part. Cloud has 255 in Str, Dex Vit and Luck. His Mag is 205, his Spir is 130. Tifa and Cid are both 255 in str and Luck. That's pretty much all you need, I think. I decided to use my W-Summ0n, Master Summon and KOR stuff here. Cid gets the Phoenix materia connected to the final attack materia, but you only want to use that as a last resort. Move your guys all to the back row (you're not planning on using a regular attack, are you?!?) and use as little materia as possible (this Weapon casts Aire Tam Storm which kills off your guys if you have more than 9 materia (it does 1111 damage PER JUNCTIONED MATERIA!!!!) Anyway, some of you have asked for a blow-by-blow account of how to beat this guy. Here it is.

Battle:
Cloud W-Summ0n KOR for avg of 8830 per smack.
Weapon: Hit Cloud for zero
Tifa: Mime for avg of 6447 per smack.
Cid: Mime for avg of 6996 per smack.
Weapon: Emerald Shoot hits Tifa for lots.
Cid: Megalixir
Weapon: Emerald beam All for lots
Cloud: KOR for avg of 8800 per smack.
Weapon: Revenge stomp, Aire Tam Storm. 7777 to Cid, who uses pheonix flame when he dies.
Cloud: Other unimate end (2nd KOR) for avg 8822 per smack.
Weapon: Aire Tam Storm, hits Cloud for 7777
Tifa: w-sum KOR for avg 6450 per smack
Weapon: Aire Tam Storm, Hits All - Cloud dies
Cid: KOR
Tifa: Wastes turn.
(Bring all back to life and heal up).
Cloud: KOR
One attack - Weapon Dies.

Option 2:
Depending on how powerful your team is, it's possible to beat Weapon without losing a single character. I went in with the following set up (all the materia I've listed below was master level.)

  • Yuffie: Conformer w/ Phoenix==Final Attack, Master Command, Underwater, HP Plus. Ziedrich . Ribbon .
  • Cid: Spirit Lance w/ Phoenix==Final Attack, Master Command, HP Plus. Ziedrich . Ribbon .
  • Cloud: Ultima Weapon w/ MP Absorb==Master Summon, Phoenix==Final Attack, W-Summ0n, HP Plus. Ziedrich . Ribbon .
With this team, All were at Level 99 and had Str, Dex, Vit, and Luck maxed out at 255. When the battle first started, the Underwater Weapon got one hit on Cid for around 7,000 HP. After that, Cloud w-summon KOR, Yuffie Mime, Cid Mime. Underwater weapon tried the stomp, but only hit Cloud for around 1300 damage. Then Cloud did another w-summon KOR and Yuffie Mimed it. That killed him off before a single Aire Tam Storm. I didn't get any XP or AP for the battle (again, all my materia was master level and the characters were at level 99, so I used weapons that had no growth but good attack values), but it was fun to just totally crush Weapon. XD

You'll get the Earth Harp for beating Weapon. Take the Earth Harp to KALM and give it to the guy in the upper room for the Master summon materia, master magic materia and master command materia!!! You can collect all three! Of course, by the time I got these using my "Option 2" team, I already had three of each, so it was kind of anti-climactic.

 

Gold Saucer

Intro:
When you first get to the Gold Saucer, there's a lot of stuff you have to do. You won't really be able to get much until your second (or more) visit. There are a few things you really want here: final attack materia, w-summon materia, Omnislash , Sprint Shoes , Precious Watch , Cat's Bell , counter attack materia, and Chocobracelet .
To do that, you'll need to participate in a bunch of battles in the battle arena, and you'll need to race your own chocobos in the chocobo racing area. You can't race chocobos until you have the highwind (see the Chocobo Racing area for more info), but you CAN participate in the battle arean. Sort of. I mean, you need 10 GP per battle, and you can only get GP via Chocobo Racing and Wonderland Arcade.

I recommend getting 40-50 GP, then fighting in the arena. You can get 30 GP easily at the arena by playing the Mog game (in the 2nd room on the far left). Talk to the guy there, then pay 100 Gil to play. When the game asks you if you want to feed 'em, give him a nut then wait 3 seconds. If he doesn't squeek and strike a pose, feed him again. Repeat until the game is over, then talk to the guy there for 30 GP.

You can get 1 GP per 100 Gil play with the Arm Wrestling thing, or you can try your luck with the (frustrating!) basketball game. I just played 20 games of arm wrestling and the mog game (50 GP). If you are lucky enough to have a controller that has the "turbo" function, you can wrestle the actual wrestler (as opposed to the sumo wrestler) in the arm wrestling game. This will alow you get 2 GP per game (at 100 Gil).

Once you've got 50 or 60 GP, head to the battle arena. The harder your battles the more BP you earn. I used the square trick (see Battle Arena area below) and was able to earn the Omnislash , pre-emptive materia, and speed plus materia on Disc 1. Then I did the battle arena and made BP which I traded for pre-emptive attack materia and speed plus. Once you've beat all 8 battles in a round, you can get Sprint Shoes . After you've played all you want and traded everything in (remember, you loose all that BP when you leave!) talk to the lady at the bottom of the stairs outside.

Chocobo Racing
Be sure to keep racing your chocobos after you have received all the S class chocobos you need. You can get some VERY cool stuff after you win these battles. It's also the best way to get your GP up to a respectable level, ensuring that you can spend all you need at the Battle Arena.

Battle Arena
To fight in the battle arena, you need to have a decent supply of GP. I really recommend not doing this until you have completed the Chocobo Section of this walkthrough. Equip Cloud with a Ribbon , Enhance Sword (see chocobos section) and a Wizard Bracelet , then head to the Gold Saucer.

Make sure to have enemy skill materia and counter attack materia equipped. You wouldn't believe how useful Big Guard and White Wind are. Also, equip slash all materia. If you have a double slot open, be sure to equip added effect materia joined with time materia. You can sometimes slow/stop your enemies that way! What you really need to master is the square button.

The biggest thing to know here is how to use the square button to stop the slots. While the square button is being held down, the slots will pause. As soon as you release square, press 'O.' The NEXT event will be selected. You want to watch what events happen in what order. For example, a given slot may be Level Down, Poison, and all materia. By pausing on Level Down, then pressing 'O' quickly, you'll cause 'poison.'

The harder your battle, the more BP you earn. That being said, you're also more likely to die. If you've morphed a bunch of STR Up (See the level-up section) items, you can beat these guys fairly easy - even while taking some VERY tough handicaps.

final attack materia: See the Beating Weapon section to learn how to get Cloud's Ultima Weapon. You have to defeat the easiest Weapon (the floating on), which I am able to accomplish with a single summon of Knights of the Round. Once you have that, be sure to compete in the Battle Arena until you can get both the Omnislash and the w-summon materia. Once you have them, keep competing. If you've got the Ultima Weapon equipped, you should eventually be asked if you want to compete in a battle against the hardest enemies. You'll want to remember a few things. Number one, these battles are one-on-one against the strongest enemies (well the last battle is against a guy named "Jamar Armor" who is two enemies). DON'T use slash-all. Use 2x or 4x cut. Also, don't use cover but DO use counter attack. Use Long Range attacks (long range materia if necessary) and put your characters in the back.

I don't usually do this until either I've used the morph materia to get Cloud's strength and defense maxed out (see the level up section), or I'm ready to fight Weapon. Suffice to say, my guys are usually pretty buff. Cloud walks through this with NOTHING other than good weapons and his 9999 HP. I didn't use any magic or items. Then again, he's level 99. When you beat all the enemies, you'll receive your final attack materia.

This may be a really cheap way to do it, but I went into this battle with an omni-slash limit break already ready to go. I also had a mime materia. Yup, you guessed it - you can MIME your LIMIT BREAK over and over and over! I just used it on the first battle and mimed it once for every battle after that (well, the last battle required 3 or 4 mimes because I went down 55 levels during my handicapping). Even better, each time you win, lose, or leave these battles, your HP, MP, and Limit Break guages are restored, so you can do it over and over again!

For the hard battles, you'll be fighting against the following enemies:

  • Sea Worm
  • Ochu (ho-chu)
  • Unknown 3
  • Serpent
  • Wolfmeister
  • Behemoth
  • Maximum Kimaira
  • Prod Clod

Things I've won from battling these guys over and over: final attack materia, Autograph, Combat Diary, Gambler

Wonder Arcade
It's worth your while to get GP to earn an experience plus materia (2000). Go ahead and compete in the chocobo races and you should earn enough. You may have to trade a really good item for few hundred, though. I always trade out an Elixir and a Turbo Ether . Mainly because I can morph certain enemies. Anyway, here are the items and costs:
Item Name Cost (in GP)
Potion 1
Ether 20
X-Potion 80
Turbo Ether 100
Gold Ticket 300
Carob Nut 500
gil plus materia 1000 (not available on disc 1)
experience plus materia 2000 (not available on disc 1)

Completing the chocobo racing S class, the experience plus materia and the battle arena w-summon materia quests took me four hours.

Battle Arena Enemy Guide
There are certain enemies in the battle arena that are harder than others. The guide below will help you get past some of the harder enemies. First, let's get something settled right away: Never allow the slot to disable the following: command materia, Accessory, Weapon, Item. Choose ANYTHING other than one of these. You *need* your enemy skill materia. You can safely allow the following slots: summon materia, magic materia, support materia, Level Down (5 and 10), Any Status (if you have the Ribbon ). Remember, the more powerful the thing you loose, the better your points awarded will be.

Garuda and 2x Jayjujayme: These guys are not tough, but they CAN start you off a little limited. If you see this group appear in the first battle, be sure to hold off on casting Big Guard and/or Haste, as they will use the Silk skill to slow your guy.

Vlakorados: To get past this guy, I recommend the enemy skill "bad breath." This will poison him, so every time he does anything, it will hit him for thousands of points of damage. Also, Demi 3 (gravity materia) should hit him for up to 9999 HP each time, until you've whittled him down a bit. The added effect materia junction with time materia should eventually hit him with slow and/or stop, which will make the battle even easier. 4x Magic Hammer will remove all his MP, BTW.

Ironite and 2x Wind Wing: This is a tough grouping because the two Wind Wing enemies will keep using their White Wind skill on you. To help counter that, use the Enemy Skill Magic Hammer on the Wind Wings to drain out their MP - this will keep them from countering with White Wind. They have 350 MP, so it can take some time to clean them out. If you've got a Ribbon accessory equiped, then the Ironite will keep trying to cast Sleepel and failing, so you won't lose much in the way of HP.

Serpent: This enemy has a LOT of HP and MP. The Viper Breath attack will do a great deal of damage. Your best bet is to use Enemy Skill Big Guard to cut his attacks in half. You can Steal/Mug a Water Ring from him, but if your guy isn't very strong, you'd probably better concentrate on killing him! Neither Enemy Skill Beta nor Trine appear to do much damage, but Bad Breath will go a long way toward slowing his attack down. It should hit him with at least poison and sleep, which gives you a chance to heal up and use Magic Hammer to divest him of any remaining MP. When he's out of HP, all his "Venom Breath" attacks just fail with something like "Serpent's skill Power is used up."

Ho-chu: This enemy can hit you with some nasty status effects if he does a big pollen attack (he starts off the battle casting this). Be sure you've equiped the Ribbon accessory and you've not accidentally chosen the slot to break it!

Tonberry: This enemy can do MAJOR powerful attacks. If he gets off his Knife Attack, you're dead. Hit him with Enemy Skill Bad Breath to put him to sleep, then use Enemy Skill Death Force on yourself to make your character immune. Every time he wakes up, hit him with Bad Breath again. Beta can hit him for a decent amount, and it's better than trine or aqualung. If you are running low on MP, you can use Magic Hammer to grab some of his 350 MP.

Sea Worm: A Ribbon will significantly reduce the effectiveness of his attacks. So will Enemy Skill Big Guard. I like to cast enemy skill big guard, then use magic hammer to clear out all his MP. Then I mug him until I get the Dragon Scales . After that, I just wail on him - unless my barrier runs out, in which case I cast Big Guard again.

Ghost Ship: Never let your item skill get broken. That's really the key here. Just throw a Phoenix Down at him.

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