|Final Fantasy VII owned by Square Enix.|
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The World Outside Midgar
- First thing’s first: Make a party. You have four people to choose from. You can go with whomever you wish, though Aeris is handy for healing / casting and Barret is good because you can soon Steal a weapon from a nearby enemy for him. Pick whichever members you like, though, as you won’t be wandering for long. (Choosing both males or both females results in some funny dialogue.)
- Welcome to the world map. Wherever you go out here, you’re going to be dogged by random battles. On the flip side, though, you can save whenever you like, and you can use Tents as you please. You’ll also be able to use a new item, one you’ll find in Kalm, any time you like on the world map. More on that shortly.
- The enemies near Midgar are a bit stronger than the ones you faced in the Shinra Building, but they’re not bad. Electricity is good when going on the offensive. If you run across any, try to Steal from Custom Sweepers (the bulky robots). They’ll yield up Atomic Scissors, a powerful weapon for Barret. Atomic Scissors are short ranged, so don’t equip ‘em if you want Barret to maintain his range advantage.
- Head northeast from Midgar. You’ll find your next destination, a small village, by the seaside.
- Upon arrival in Kalm your party will split, but you can wander at will. Start with the northern row of houses. Check a closest on the ground floor of the first for an Ether, a cabinet on the second floor of the second for another Ether, a cabinet on the second floor of the third for a Guard Source, and up the spiral stairs in the third for a Peacemaker. You can’t use this last item yet, but someone you can optionally recruit in the distant future can. If you check the house on the far right side of town you can also find an Ether in another closet.
- Along the upper row of Kalm is a string of stores. The left is an item store, nothing special; the middle is a materia store, and boasts two fancy new pieces of materia; the right is a weapon store, and has some decent stuff for everybody. (Though if you went on a Stealing spree before and after leaving Midgar, you have better equipment already., the only exception being a Mythril Claw for Tifa.)
- The inn is at the entrance of town. Head upstairs and you’ll trigger a long, plot-heavy flashback where you’ll get one fancy-ass addition to a party that otherwise consists only of a very weak Cloud…
This section is absolutely teeming with spoilers, and I won’t go too heavily into what happens. You can’t take anything away from this section anyway. The directions below are the barest of the bare, to avoid spoilers:
- Fight. Your companion will do all the hard work.
- Run into town. You can visit the houses here and catch several humorous and otherwise revealing cut scenes. Speak to your companion upstairs at the inn to continue with the story.
- Back outside, speak to your companion.
- Cross the bridge. Crash. Climb the northern slope, then wind through the subsequent cave until you hit a cut scene. You can’t level or collect items here, so don’t bother trying.
- Enter the reactor and follow your companion’s instructions.
- Once you can move again, enter the mansion and look on the upper floor. There’s a room in the east wing with a fake wall. Enter the basement and watch what happens, then leave.
- Go back downstairs. Bad stuff. Head back to the surface and outside. More bad stuff. Check the house on the right.
- Follow your companion through the reactor, then lift your fallen friend out of the way. Head through one last door up a set of stairs. That’ll about do it.
You’re almost ready to go. First, though, you’ll need to head downstairs and receive the PHS. This handy device will allow you to change your party members on the fly. You can use it at any time when you’re on the world map; once you’re inside a location, however, you’ll need to find a save point before it will activate. You can find the PHS on the main menu, just above Save.