Final Fantasy VII/Walkthrough/Nibelheim, Rocket Town and Tiny Bronco
If you haven't used Aerith a lot, this would be a perfect time to put her in your party for a while, otherwise in you're going to be in a world of hurt slightly later in the game when you have to have her aboard and she's a level-twenty weakling. So let her stick around until she's around level 27-30.
After Cosmo Canyon, there's very few directions you can take. Ummm grrrmrr... north! Head north until you come to yet another town.
Which turns out to be Nibelheim. Wait a second? Wasn't Nibelheim burned by Sephiroth?
You can go to various houses here. You'll find out a few things:
- There's a few people hanging around, but they think it's highly annoying that you ask about the Nibelheim fire.
- Most of the other places are full of black-hooded, tattooed guys who mumble something about "the Reunion". They give you some items too.
If you want some experience and gold (and don't we all?), it'd be a perfect time to do Vincent subquest here - head to the Shin-Ra Manor for that.
If you go to the basement of Shin-Ra manor, you'll find Sephiroth... ye gods... Sephiroth was right there! He tosses a Destruct materia at you and disappears, telling you to go north - where you were going anyway, right? So scary guy! So obvious!
The Nibel mountains path is not very twisty. You can climb the mountains to grab a Rune Blade for Cloud (a nice four-slot double-growth blade), and Plus Barrette for Red XIII (a nice four-slot double-growth pin).
After the path, there's a rope bridge going up. Now you get to go through a fun little maze to find lots of items and various materia. After the rope bridge, you'll notice five chutes. Start by taking the chute that is second to the right. Pick up the Powersoul (a weapon for Tifa) and then jump off to the lowest level. Steering clear of the monster, take the exit in the right corner of the screen. Jump down and go into the cave below. Go towards the top end of the tunnel, then cut back to reach the farthest cave on the left. Move through the hidden tunnel to get the chest containing an Elixir. Head back to the far end of the cave and go through it to get to the next room where there's a fountain. On the left side of the fountain, you can pick up an Elemental materia. Then, proceed into the next room. Loop to the end then come back to the right to get the Sniper CR, a weapon for Vincent. Go into the next room and take the lower left path to get to the where the reactor is. On the right side of the reactor is a door that will take you back to where you started (the room with the chutes). Climb to ladder to get back to the chutes. This time, take the second chute to the left. This will take you to a chest containing the All materia. That's about it for the stuff in this area.
Down on the bottom of the big area at the top of the mountain is a save point. Too bad the only exit forward is blocked by a really nasty-looking monster. Meh.
|Lv: 38, HP: 8400, MP: 300, Weaknesses: -, Strong against: Gravity, Absorbs: Fire|
|Oh bother. This thing is probably a lot higher level than what you expected, but should be doable with sub-lv30 characters if you play your cards right. And like most boss fights, this gets a lot easier with Big Guard, keep it up all the time! You'll probably learn Trine enemy skill from this thing; once you do, it kind of works against this thing too. Under no circumstance you should use Ifrit or Fire, as these just heal the thing. Also, don't use Vincent because his limit break involves him into a fire-breathing beast which you can't control. His fire-based attack will happily recharge the Materia Keeper again and again until you die. But on the bright side, Bio seems pretty effective too. Oh, and it helps if you swear loudly when this thing casts Cure2 on itself. Won't help the fight, but it helps you concentrate.|
(What's funny is that I always remember that this boss is in this game, but I never quite remember where. A boss you really remember, but never can quite place.)
It was called a Materia Keeper, and the Materia it kept is called Counter materia, and by all means, you should pick it up as it's kind of handy.
Some twisty passages later, you find yourself on the world map again, heading north... north... north! And here your options kind of run out again. Eep. Wait, there's a rocket sticking out in the middle of the plains? Could that be just a decoration, or a gigantic big clue on where to head next?
Upon entering the city, you will find yourself in a courtyard. The first guy you meet says Sephiroth hasn't been seen here. But... but... this is a big clue town? Yes! Everyone's talking of someone called Captain. To the immediate right is an inn (100 gil a night). The building on the immediate left is a weapon shop. You can buy a Shotgun for Vincent, some gold armlets, etc. The house in the upper left corner doesn't contain anything. Across the courtyard in the upper-left-middle is an Item shop were you can buy Barrier and Exit materia.
Outside of the Item shop, there's an old guy. Talk to him a couple of times and you'll find out that he wants to rest his aging eyes on that big rocket, and will give Cloud Yushiyuki for his troubles. (A kind of a lame sword, but so is the Nail Bat on the first glance.)
In the middle house there is a Drill Arm (weapon for Barret). You can walk through this house and find a nice-looking airplane called Tiny Bronco on the backyard of one of the houses. A woman called Shera will tell that the plane is in fact owned by this Captain guy, who, as the multitude of hints have pointed out by now, is in the Rocket.
After hearing so %#@&ng much about this Captain, you'll %$#@*ng find him from this #$@%*ng rocket. The Captain, as it turns out, is a new character - Cid, who %&*@#ng swears a lot. He tells you of the Shin-Ra Space Program. And no, he won't give you the %#@&ng airplane. (For the sake of convenience, the rest of the document is kind of censored.)
Prepare for the most shocking and tear-inducing part of the game. Head back to the house where Shera is. Cid wants you to have tea. Shera makes it, and tells why Cid swears so much, specifically, she tells of the sad state of the space program. Awww. I hate to see space exploration have such setbacks.
Then, Shin-Ra executives arrive to the town. Palmer barges in Shera's house. You probably remember Palmer from the Shin-Ra building, but luckily, he's too obsessed with lard to remember you right now. Head out, and you find out that no, Rufus hasn't shown up to restart the space program, just wants to grab Cid's airplane. Shera hints you that Palmer is trying to steal the plane and it would be prudent to stop him.
|Lv: 38, HP: 6000, MP: 240, Weaknesses: -, Strong against: Gravity, Absorbs: -|
|Yess! If Materia Keeper was frustrating, at least you now get to fight something a little bit less perplexing. Palmer's Mako Gun is a bit annoying though, but nothing to worry about if you just remember to heal. Hammer away with spells.|
Then, the airplane gets moving. Palmer ducks around, runs away, and gets flattened by a truck. Eep. That's got to hurt. The party hops aboard, the plane gets going, and you grab Cid aboard. Too bad Shin-Ra troops manage to damage the plane and it crash-lands. At least you can use it now to cross some waterways - but you need to wait a lot longer until you get a real airship...
|On to...Gold Saucer Dream Date|