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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.

In Kalm: Cloud's story[edit]

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 keys' you'll receive 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 Hibelheim 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.

Items
  • Ether
  • Megalixir
  • Orthopedic Underwear
  • Peacemaker
  • Guard Source
Enemy Skills
  • Matra Magic (see above)
To Steal
  • Atomic Scissors (for Barret, see above)

Chocobo Farm[edit]

Important Items
  • Choco/Mog Materia (see below)
  • Chocobo Lure Materia (see below)
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 below)

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.

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 2000 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 you're caught, you will lose your Chocobo and be forced to fight.

The Midgar Zolom is well worth fighting, when you're strong enough. The Experience 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. Equip Elemental materia linked to the Fire materia in the armor of the character holding the Enemy Skill. Still, you might want to wait until you're stronger to fight it. Unless you're really brave and over level 20, just remember to come back after you get the buggy.

Mithril Mine[edit]

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.