Final Fantasy VII follows protagonist Cloud Strife, a mercenary who initially joins rebel organization AVALANCHE to stop the world-controlling megacorporation ShinRa from draining the life of the planet for use as an energy source. As the story progresses, Cloud and his allies become involved in a larger world-threatening conflict, facing off against Sephiroth; the game’s iconic main antagonist.
Love it or not, you’d have to agree that FFVII is one of the most memorable titles in gaming history.
For me, Final Fantasy VII is easily one of my favourite video games of all time. It’s a huge open world RPG with excellent, memorable, likeable, well developed characters. It’s turned based combat is fun and challenging, as well as being quite tense at times. The story is full of highlight after highlight of epic, memorable moments and not forgetting the amazing soundtrack. It’s a masterpiece and I could go on and on praising a game that is hugely nostalgic for me; I spent a good amount of my childhood within its world. With a remake on the horizon, I thought this would a good time to look back at some of best/most memorable moments/scenes in the game.
(No particular order)
10 – Aeris Death
Spoiler, Aeris dies in Final Fantasy VII. If you don’t already know that and you’re a gamer then you surely must have been living under a rock for the last fifteen years. It’s still talked about as one of the most shocking, impactful scenes in gaming history. Nobody expected that such an important character as Aeris would suddenly die in such a sad and brutal manner at the hands of Sephiroth. A beautiful melody accompanies the scene which makes it all the more memorable.
09 – Cid’s Rocket
With Meteor fast approaching, ShinRa devise a last ditch plan to destroy it and stop Sephiroth. Cid’s rocket has stood unused since a failed launch left him constantly enraged. The rocket is repaired and Cid and the rest of the party successfully blast into space, it’s an epic moment that really helps Cid develop into a great character. The group recover the vital piece of huge material and crash the rocket into the meteor but unfortunately it merely breaks it into pieces making the situation worse.
08 – How Barret got a gun for a hand
Cloud and his party find themselves in a strange prison that’s situated in a town in the middle of the desert. During this section of the game we’re give some insight into Barret’s past and most notably how he came to have a gun grafted to his arm. He tells the story of Dyne and how Barret and Dyne were attacked by Scarlet of ShinRa. Dyne hung off the ledge as Barret clung onto him but that didn’t stop the ShinRa soldiers. They shoot at Barret and Dyne, causing them to lose their arms. There have been a number of murders at the Golden Saucer and in the prison itself, the cause of death seems to be from bullet wounds which gives Barret a bad feeling.
Eventually Dyne is revealed to be the murderer and after a tough battle with him it turns out he’s actually really bitter towards Barret. Barret does his best to apologize and explain that he thought that Dyne had died after falling from the cliff (you can’t blame him really). Anyway, Dyne hands Barret a pendent that he is to give to Marlene; Dyne is her biological father. After this, the wounded Dyne asks Barret to take care of Marlene and then commits suicide by falling from another cliff. Again, I like this because it adds depth to Barret’s character and helps you truly understand his motivations for wanting to destroy ShinRa with Avalanche.
07 – The true story of Nanaki’s (Red XIII) father
Red XIII has a strong sense of honour and courage, especially regarding his father, whom he believed a coward who abandoned his tribe. After defeating a boss in a dungeon below Cosmo Canyon, you learn the truth. Imagine, hating your father for decades because you believed he left you and your mother when you needed him most. Then, you find out he didn’t leave, but instead had sacrificed himself for your safety. This has to be one of my favourite scenes in the game and a good example of why this game is so great. Red XIII is one of the least featured characters in the game and even he has a story and background with such depth. Nanaki acknowledges for the first time that Seto is his father and suddenly Seto’s petrified body starts shedding tears. Nanaki notices and runs up to be with his father, howling at the moon as that tearjerker music plays; it gets me every damn time.
06 – Don Corneo’s Mansion
When you’re not trying to save the world from evil corporations or genetic monstrosities with a god complex, Final Fantasy VII can actually be quite a humorous game. One of the biggest laugh out loud moments occurs when Cloud and Aerith sneak into Don Corneo’s mansion to save Tifa from becoming one of his many ‘girls’.
How will Cloud find his way into the mansion? By dressing up like a woman of course! This leads to some very strange yet memorable scenes….
05 – The Weapons emerge out of the crater
Sephiroth unleashes Weapons on the planet, giant boss-style creatures that, when put together, look like something out of a Japanese monster movie. As soon as I witnessed these intimidating beasts being unleashed on the world I said to myself, “I’m really not looking forward to fighting those things. It’s an epic moment that really makes you feel the gravity of the situation. You must fight Emerald Weapon later in the game is it descends upon Midgar, it’s a tough one. The other weapons are optional and extremely hard to beat but worth it for some strong swords and other weaponry.
04 – Zack’s story
Although much of Final Fantasy VII’s story revolves around Cloud, he is actually viewing things through Zack’s perspective quite a lot of the time. Cloud is extremely confused and ends up distorting events based on Zack’s personality, stories Zack had told him and how he thought a SOLDIER 1st Class should act.
By the time that Final Fantasy VII is taking place, Zack has already been killed, but throughout most of the game, Cloud is convinced that he went to Nibelheim alongside Sephiroth. This isn’t true though, as Cloud eventually remembers that it was actually Zack who accompanied Sephiroth to Nibelheim and that Cloud was just a normal ShinRa soldier who also happened to be there.
Following the events in Nibelheim, Zack and Cloud were used by Hojo as test subjects in his Sephiroth Clones experiment. They manage to escape and Zack looks after Cloud, as Cloud has Mako Addiction.
During one of the many flashbacks it is disclosed that on their way back to Midgar, Zack was actually killed trying to protect Cloud, which is how Cloud inherited the Buster Sword.
03 – Sephiroth (the final battle)
Has there ever been a more epic boss battle? Its thick with atmosphere, has intense music playing in the background and then there’s the awesome progression in design with each new transformation. The one winged angel is his final form and leads to him casting one of his most famous spells, Super Nova. There is a lengthy cut scene involving the destruction of planets and it can be devastating to your party and their HP.
The final battle against Sephiroth is essentially scripted – you cannot possibly lose. You will only be given one command for Cloud to perform and that is his Level 4 Limit Break called Omnislash, truly awesome and extremely satisfying.
02 – Cloud’s subconscious
Cloud’s Subconscious is visited once by Tifa Lockhart following Cloud and her falling into the Lifestream after Ultimate Weapon’s attack on Mideel. Cloud was mentally unstable following the experiments of the Jenova Project, and so has to descend into his own mind to find himself. Tifa manages to enter his mind thanks to the Lifestream’s effects. Since it is Cloud’s inner mind, various versions of himself exist as memories from the past.
After Cloud remembers who he is and what really happened in Nibelheim, his mind is cured. All the versions of himself come together and Cloud is again a whole person. Cloud and Tifa leave the Lifestream and return to their party at Mideel, with Cloud again as its leader.
01 – Sephiroth and the fires of Nibelheim
One of the most recognizable cut scenes to ever grace videogames, Sephiroth, acclaimed hero of SOLDIER, descends into madness and destroys the village of Nibelheim. The town’s destruction marks the beginning of Sephiroth’s villainy after he learns of his “true” origins. The image of him walking through the flames of the burning town as a haunting soundtrack plays is something I’ll never forget.
So there you have it, in actual fact I easily could have made this a top 20 as there are just so many great moments in this classic. The bike chase, the snowboarding mission, Cait Sith’s sacrifice, discovering Vincent in Nibelheim, the Golden Saucer date and play, the list goes on and on. What are some of your personal favourite moments/memories from the game?