Final Fantasy VII/Five years ago, and a Parade for Rufus
After getting out of Midgar, you need to split your party into two groups. You should equip the Enemy Skill materia to someone in your party as well as the Steal materia. On the world map, find an enemy on the dark colored ground around Midgar called Sweeper Custom. (Note: you can see their names by pressing select and targeting them.) When you find them, you can kill two birds with one stone. Use one party member to try to steal the Atomic Scissors (a weapon for Barret), and try to leave one of the enemies alive until it uses Matra Magic. This is a very useful skill at this point in the game. When it uses it on you, you will learn it and you can finish it off.
Barret tells you to head northeast to the village called Kalm. Finding your way to that location is not really all that difficult. If you have trouble with directions, switch to overhead view and head up and right. You should see a few houses there – these represent Kalm.
 Cloud's story
In Kalm, follow your friends to the inn's second floor. Cloud tells of the time when he went to Nibelheim with Sephiroth. Before you do, browse in all the houses in Kalm to pick up some Ethers, three in total, either hidden in a staircase closet or a bureau. Also there is one house with a winding staircase which leads to a chest with a Peacemaker for Vincent. In the same house with the winding staircase, go up the other stair and grab a Guard Source in the bureau by the little girl. In the upper level of Kalm, there are three shops, each consisting of item, weaponry and materia. The materia shop has Earth and Heal of which you have yet to pick up in the game to this point, and the weapon shop has Cannon Ball for Barret and Full Metal Staff for Aeris of which both are not worth your gil.
First of all, Cloud talks with Sephiroth in the van, and then they hit a really big dragon. You can try hitting the dragon, although it's pretty pointless since you won't do much damage. Sephiroth, a much more formidable combatant at level 50, will try to keep you alive with Life2 spells if the dragon kills you, but he won't do that more than a few times – don't worry, he'll restore you to full health afterwards, and you don't gain XP or AP from this fight anyway. He will eventually slash the dragon twice for a large amount of damage, killing it.
Then head to the town. You can talk to the people here; be sure to visit Cloud's mom, and also check out Tifa's home – she isn't home right now, though. While in Tifa's home, be sure to check the piano; you can play it, and if you pick the right choices, Cloud will play the Highwind theme melody: "Do-- Re Mi Ti-- La--... Do Re Mi So Fa Do Re Do--..." Don't worry if you don't get this, it's just a hint for getting Tifa's limit break later in the game. If you select the option 'Jam on the key's' you'll recieve an elemental materia when you return here later in the game (if Tifa is in your party!). Be sure to violate Tifa's privacy and pick up an Orthopedic Underwear from the cabinet with three boxes on top.
Head to the inn, talk with Sephiroth and the guys, and sleep.
In the morning, after a brief but very inconsequential photography session, Cloud, Tifa, Sephiroth, and two Shinra soldiers head to the Nibelheim mountain. Combat-wise, your party consists of Cloud and Sephiroth; you can view the characters in the menu screen, but there's no alternate equipment available. You can check out Sephiroth's endless list of materia abilities. The rope bridge breaks. You need to head up the path. There are random monsters here, but these are weak against Sephiroth, who prefers casting l2 elemental spells with All on them, more or less killing them all instantly. Eventually you come into a Mako fountain, where you get a brief cutscene. Then, you find yourself in the reactor in the mountaintop. Do what Sephiroth says here and you'll get a glimpse of the monsters Hojo is cooking here.
You'll find yourself then in Shinra again. Go talk to Sephiroth in the Shinra manor. Find the guy who is on the second floor and search the room – there's a hidden door leading to the cellar. Sephiroth is reading there.
In the morning, go talk to Sephiroth again. He's annoyed beyond belief. Logically, he wants to kill everybody. Help the folks as said. Next up, there's still a confrontation with Sephiroth in the Nibelheim reactor. Help Tifa, and then go after Sephiroth. That's the end of that story. When you regain control of present time Cloud, be sure to go to the bureau beside the stair in the inn. It'll tell you it cannot be reached but repeat trying to reach for it, and Cloud'll kick the bureau out of frustration and the rare Megalixir will fall into your hands!
After the scene you get the item PHS, which is accessed through the menu, and can be used to change the party characters on the world map and on save points.
- Orthopedic Underwear
- Guard Source
- Enemy Skills
- Matra Magic (see above)
- To Steal
- Atomic Scissors (for Barret, see above)
 Chocobo Farm
Now, Kalm folks seem to hint that Sephiroth went east and over the mountains. Once you head east, you find that the only way through the mountains is through a cave beyond the swamp. Of course, the swamp is guarded by this really nasty worm called Midgar Zolom who easily tears your party apart.
The Midgar Zolom is well worth fighting, when you're strong enough. The XP and AP aren't so good for how difficult the battle is but the worm holds the super-powerful Beta, which can be learned via the enemy skill materia. Beta can easily do 1,000+ damage to your entire party and he doesn't even use it until his HP falls to about 1,300/4,000. Not only this, but if you run away, you don't get it. The Midgar Zolom has one more annoying feature: he can throw any one of your character from the battle. You might want to wait until you're stronger to fight him. Unless you're really brave and over level 20, just remember to come back after you get the buggy.
For now, head to the Chocobo Farm. First, talk to the Chocobo near the fence. You'll have no idea what it's saying, but choose "Wark" anyway. This causes them to put on a little dance for you and then they give you your first summon materia: Choco/Mog.
The man in the house will tell you that Sephiroth crossed the swamp and that you need a Chocobo to get across. You should talk to Choco Billy in the barn. You can rest here by walking into the room with the beds. It costs 100 gil per night.
In the barn, Choco Billy will first sell you a Chocobo Lure materia for 2,000 Gil, and tells you everything you need to know about catching and riding Chocobos. You should also buy some Greens from him. Don't spend too much on them; you won't be needing them that much at this part of this game.
Head out, equip the Chocobo Lure, and run around near the Chocobo tracks you can see on the world map. When a random battle starts, there is a chance a Chocobo will be there. If there is, feed it the greens and beat the enemies before it runs away. If you hit the Chocobo it will run away automatically, so make sure you don't use attack spells coupled with All materia. When you capture a Chocobo you can ride across the swamp without getting destroyed by the Midgar Zolom. Note that the Chocobo only allows you to outrun the Midgar Zolom; if it catches you, you will lose your Chocobo and be forced to fight.
- Important Items
- Choco/Mog Materia (see above)
- Chocobo Lure Materia (see above)
- Enemy Skills
- Lv4 Suicide can be learned from the strange mole-like creatures called Mu. Note that you must have a level divisible by 4 if you are to get it.
- Chocobuckle can be obtained by attacking a Chocobo at any point in the game.
- Beta (see above)
 Mithril Mine
Before entering the cave, you see one of these legendarily tough Midgar Zoloms staked on a tree. Sephiroth seems to be pretty tough, in case it wasn't obvious before. Now you need to head through the caves; there are some items here in chests, and there's really only one way through, and that is the tunnel winding south and then west. You will also run into Turks; Reno is too bruised to show up, but you get to see Rude, Tseng and the newest member of the unit, Elena, who lets it slip that Sephiroth went toward Junon. After conversing with the Turks, be sure to browse the area north of the immediate area for an Elixir and a Hi-Potion.
- Important Items
- There is a Long Range materia in the room to the right of the entrance. You have to climb the vines on the wall.
- Tent from treasure chest in room with vine
- Mind source in the main tunnel, to the right.
- Enemy Skills
- Flamethrower can be learned from the Arc Dragons in the room to the right of the entrance.
- To steal
- Tifa's Grand Glove can be stolen from Madouge in the entrance room.
 The Road To Junon
There are two important things that can be done before proceeding to Junon.
First, directly to the south of the Mythril Mines exit sits Fort Condor. The residents are under constant Shinra attack and ask for your help. This is an ongoing sidequest throughout the game. To be able to shop what little the town has to offer and to rest, you must speak to the man slumping over on the table and accept the offer to help. The first attack is easy and there are only 10 or so enemies. The idea is basically to place units to stop the monsters from getting up the hill. Make sure you have quite a bit of money, as it is 400–500 gil per soldier and you'll need 10–20 of them. To line your pockets, you could repeatedly steal Boomerang and sell it. For the first win here, you'll get the Magic Comb, a great double-growth weapon for Red XIII.
Second, Yuffie can be recruited at this point. Go northwest of Fort Condor and wander through the trees that are near the mountains. Be careful though – there are hordes of small, fast creatures that roam this area. They have the potential to deal 100 points of damage per shot. Matra Magic is highly recommended for this, since it can kill all of them simultaneously. At some point, you will come across a "ninja". She will fight you as a normal monster would. There's no need to go into any fancy strategy, just do what you'd normally do. When the battle is over, you'll meet her. In this area, there will be a save point. Do not use it. Do not access the menu. If you do, or you don't stroke her pride properly, Yuffie will penalize you for the errors of your way and start all over again with finding her. The correct answers to the questions are as follows:
- "Not Interested"
- "Wait A Second!"
- "........That's Right"
- "........Let's Hurry On"
- Yuffie's escapades
- First Statement: You will be forced into the menu, after which Yuffie will be gone with 200 Gil. Any time you enter the menu, this will happen.
- Second Statement: Yuffie will bump into one of your party on the way out and steal 500 Gil.
- Third or Fourth Statement: Yuffie will leave, but she doesn't steal.
- Fifth Statement: She will run and will take 700 Gil with her.
After that, you can level up a little by wandering around, resting at Fort Condor if necessary. It is recommended getting your characters up to at least level 20, Cloud will surpass as you cannot change party members with him. Also attain Yuffie's and Red XIII's secondary level 1 limit breaks. You can adequately level up your materia and get decent amounts of EXP wandering about in the forest where you found Yuffie, but keep your wits about when it comes to keeping your party alive as the monsters in the forest are fast and deal decent damage. Be sure to set your limit breaks for those that have reached level 2 in order to acquire more limit breaks. Then proceed to Junon. You also now have the opportunity for the first Wutai sidequest but you need to be able to reach Wutai by sea which at this point you don't have access yet.
- Important Items
- Magic Comb (Fort Condor, see above)
- Enemy Skills
- White Wind can be learned later from the big green and white monsters, Zemzelet. You must have the Manipulate Materia to get them to use it on you.
- To Steal
- Be sure to steal a Boomerang from Formula, a sleek purplish bird, in the forest. It is Yuffie's next weapon of choice.
At this point, you can't do much in Junon. You can visit the shop but the shopkeeper won't sell anything right now. Before proceeding, it's definitely important to head out to the field to gain experience, AP and limit breaks. Level 2 spells such as Bolt2, Ice2, etc. aren't required, but they can be a big plus when you need to do a lot of damage as quickly as possible. Hopefully, you will have built up some Level 2 Limit Breaks, as well.
Once in Junon, head down to the beach to find Priscilla calling for her friend, Mr. Dolphin. When she discovers that you're behind her, she yells at you, believing you're with the Shinra. A monster appears from the sea, and it's not clear what happens but soon Priscilla is drowning and you're attacked by Bottomswell.
After the monster is dead, it's time to breathe life back into Priscilla. The controls will be explained. Exhale when the CPR meter is full (9 breaths). Repeat five times until Priscilla is revived. Don't worry if this seems to take longer than it should; a slightly mistimed breath will cause you to start over. Her father will take her home to rest, and you should take rest too in the rightmost house in Junon, there's an elderly woman standing guard in front of that house, speak to her and she will accommodate you for your trouble.
 Infiltrating Shinra
After a disturbing dream about Tifa, you wake up and find out something funny is going on outside. Note: there is a battle at Fort Condor available between the time you get up and when you talk to Priscilla. If you want to, do that now. If not, go outside and up the steps. Priscilla is awake, and shows her gratitude by giving you the Shiva materia, a very nice ice-based summon. Now, music can be heard from above, which means that Rufus is having a parade in his own honor. It looks like he's going to cross the ocean too, and you'll need to get aboard the ship.
Priscilla helps you get up to the Junon proper. Your friends leave climbing electric towers to pros, which means Cloud is going to have to go alone. Barret takes your PHS too, so it doesn't break if you fall into water.
Note: There is yet another Fort Condor battle available now, after entering the beach water with Mr. Dolphin but before you actually jump as in simply get into the beach water and then leave.
Priscilla calls Mr. Dolphin to jump for you, so follow the instructions once again. Try to find the proper spot for the jump; it's fairly easy. The solution is to not move at all, and then just jump once and then jump again from where you landed. Once up, climb the ladder to the airfield.
On the airfield, head toward the screen, then head downward and use the yellow switch to make the elevator go down. Head to the building on the lower edge of the screen. There's a save point in the corridor. The officer wants you to get properly dressed. Do so by going to the open locker. After the little tutorial, head out and do as they say.
Note that while between the parade events, it's possible to sneak into some of the Upper Junon buildings, such as the weapon shop. If you have tons of cash, and you probably do if you went killing creatures before going to Junon, you should pop into at least the weapon store to pick up good weapons like Hardedge, Grand Glove, etc. Also be sure to stop by the beginners hall for enemy skill materia.
|50+ %||5,000 Gil|
|40+ %||6 Ethers|
|30+ %||6 Potions|
When the officer says "charge", run straight through the soldiers (not behind them), and you'll find yourself in position. Once in position, march with the soldiers and rhythmically press and release . Each press will increase the ratings, but only if you're in position. If you're not in position, nothing will happen. If you're lucky, the ratings will start high, but if not you should still be able to make 50% after a few tries. The Shinra TV company, according to the sources, mails this kind of stuff to thank you for your influence to the ratings.
After the parade, there's a brief scene with Heidegger and Rufus, and you need to train for the next event: a proper military gun salute. Just push the buttons the officer says. In the training, the sequence is normal and straightforward; in the actual event, the commands are random. This should be simple enough after a few tries. Rufus' mood gauge determines what prize Heidegger will give to you.
Before going to the next event, you should look around for sources (Mind, Luck, Guard, and Power). There are four of them on the upper levels of the inn with the dogs and cats in it. There's also the 1/35 Soldier to pick up, but useless. There's another through the third door in the next area. They are not hard to find. If you visit the basement of the weapons shop, you'll get your chance to see Rude wasted with a group of men. If you go past the area where Heidegger had a showdown with Rufus and then turn left, you'll find an engineer who will explain about the submarine dock and an underwater Mako reactor. When you're done, head to the left to do the real drill. There are yet a few more shops to visit, also another Turk at the bar. There's a materia shop with a Save point on the second floor in the building next to the bar. On the third floor, there's an accessory shop carrying Silver Glasses and Headband. In the next building, theres a Speed source through the grey door and another useless 1/35 soldier upstairs. Finally, there's another weapons store in the last building before heading out to the dock. When it is over, collect your prize then head into the ship.
|100+||Force Stealer (sword for Cloud)|
|60–90||HP Plus materia|
|0–50||Silver Glasses accessory|