|Final Fantasy VII owned by Square Enix.|
Images used for educational purposes only.
- First thing’s first: prep. Midgar doesn’t constitute a horribly long section of Final Fantasy VII, but it’s one you can’t escape until you’ve gotten all the way through. Make sure you’ve exhausted your options on the main map before flying over and parachuting into the city. At the very least you should heal your team after the battle with Diamond Weapon. This is your last chance to face Reno and Rude in the Crashed Gelnika, so if you haven’t visited the underwater plane yet, now’s the time.
- Fly over Midgar once you’re ready and you’ll drop onto a street near the Sister Ray. Follow Cait Sith and he’ll take you to a save point and a path into Midgar’s underground. You may want to create a second save, just in case you have trouble with Midgar and want to return to the world map.
- New area, new enemies. The foes of Midgar really aren’t that bad throughout your journey, and most can be trashed with lightning magic. The one foe you really really want to target first is the Crazy Saw, as their attacks inflict confusion and can really screw up your party. Protecting against confusion with a Ribbon is recommended. Behemoths are also dangerous if you rely only on physical attacks; go for magic instead. You may want to spend some time in the train tunnels just wandering around, as the extremely-weak Shadow Makers ‘living’ down here drop Turbo Ethers rather consistently.
- Start by crossing the bridge on your right. This long path ultimately leads to a dead end… as well as an Elixir and a Megalixir you’ll be screwed out of by not grabbing them now. (The Elixir is on the far left side of the walkway that leads to the Megalixir.) That done, return to the entrance and go down the long set of stairs to the south.
- Take a left when you reach the bottom of the next ladder. The next ladder over leads up to an Aegis Armlet, another item you can miss. Climb back down and go right instead and you’ll get dumped to a lower level. Head left, climb the ladder up to the previous screen, and run over to the duct on the right.
- Check the chests on this first platform for an Elixir and a Starlight Phone, then climb down the ladder on your right. You can hop from the lower platform to a duct on the right; it leads to a Max Ray. Backtrack to the upper platform and climb the stairs at the rear to find a save point and another duct. Slip through.
- You’re now on the train tracks running below Midgar. You need to head north to proceed, but if you go south instead (and you should, this is your only chance) you’ll find a chest containing a Power Source in the ‘3’ tunnel, a Guard Source in the ‘2’ tunnel, a Mind Source and a Magic Source in the ‘1’ tunnel, and a W-Item materia at the far end. Yes, unfortunately, you now have to turn around and walk back the way you came, though at least there’s a save point by the W-Item.
- When you try to head too far north you’ll be stopped by those loveable rascals known as the Turks. If you’ve already completed the Wutai side quest, they will act a bit reticent about taking you on, and you’ll have an option as to whether or not you want to fight. I recommend going ahead with it anyway, as this fight can be quite profitable - and it’s the only time you’ll have a chance to battle Elena.
Reno, Rude, Elena
Though they’re billed as normal enemies by the theme music, the Turks are quite tough. This is thanks almost solely to Elena, who has some strong fire-based hits and can confuse your characters. (Seriously, Elena’s a pain in the ass in this fight.) Reno and Rude kinda linger in the background and don’t do a whole lot, which is a big plus. Put up a Barrier to deflect the Turks’ physical attacks, then pick one of them (Reno or Elena) and focus your strongest attacks on taking them out. Beating one Turk will beat them all. Make sure you Steal from ‘em - Reno’s carrying a Tough Ring, Rude has his usual Ziedrich, and Elena has a Minerva Band. This is the last time you’ll fight the Turks, so enjoy yourself.
- Carry on north through the right tunnels until you reach the ‘0’ tunnel, then take a left. You’ll find a ladder leading up to street level… no less than the Shinra Building. This is your only chance to revisit the Shinra Building, and it’s worth the trip.
The Shinra Building
- Check the item shop on the second floor of the lobby. Inside you’ll find a Master Fist and a Pile Bunker (though it appears as a Pile Banger in your inventory) in a pair of chests.
- If you missed it the first time, check the notice board outside the item shop for one of the Turtle Paradise fliers. This is the only one you can permanently miss, as you’ll never be returning to the Shinra Building.
- Take an elevator up to the 63rd floor. There’s a Glow Lance in one of the rooms, and this time, you don’t need to complete a stupid puzzle to get it.
- Climb up to the 64th floor. If you check the lockers in the changing room you’ll find the HP Shout, Cait Sith’s ultimate weapon. (Why didn’t you just pick the thing up the first time, Cloud? Eesh.) That’s all for the Shinra Building; make your way back to the first floor.
- Head back to the train tunnel and head south to the ‘8’ tunnel. Take the left tunnel through here. You’ll pop out on the street. Heal up before you go anywhere, as you’re about to get into a fight.
And you thought the Weapons were big. The Proud Clod looks tough, and it is quite durable, but it’s not terribly strong. Most of its attacks will do in the 700 HP range, not too bad, and you can greatly deaden the effects with a Barrier, as almost everything it uses will be physical. The main exception to this is Proud Clod’s ability to cast Reflect on your party via its Jamar Armor, the lower target, which can be rather annoying in the long run. Take out the Armor first if you want to avoid this. Do enough damage to Proud Clod and it will begin to charge its Beam Cannon attack, a powerful all-hitting strike that will mash everyone for over 1,000 HP of damage. Painful, but there’s plenty of time between Beam Cannons to heal up and continue the assault - probably with Limits Breaks primed and ready. Overall, not that bad a fight. You’ll earn a Ragnarok for defeating Proud Clod.
- Head north after beating Proud Clod. You’ll find an Elixir and a Mystile a short jaunt south of a save point. At this point you should put Barret in your party, if only temporarily, as you’ll find his Missing Score ultimate weapon on the stairs leading up to the Sister Ray from the save point. It won’t appear here if he’s not in the party.
- Hojo’s at the top. You’ll get a slightly different cut scene if Vincent’s in the party at this point; either way, there’s a battle coming, the last of the second disc.
This is a three part battle, and will take a little while. Hojo starts out as plain ol’ Hojo, and he’ll begin the battle by summoning in some help. These creatures are just normal monsters with an excess of HP, and should be ignored - killing one or both will cause Hojo to bring them back to life. Focus instead on whittling away Hojo’s HP, which isn’t terribly large.
Do enough damage and he’ll transform into Helletic Hojo. Consisting of three targets, Helletic Hojo has a preference for painful physical attacks, typically via his large, spiked arm, and status attacks such as confusion and sleep. Barrier and a single character with an equipped Ribbon will negate the pain this guy can inflict on your party. You can defeat Helletic Hojo either by sapping the main body’s HP or by taking out the arms; I recommend the latter, starting with the spiked arm.
Last is Lifeform Hojo. Slightly more streamlined than the previous incarnations, this form of Hojo sports a two-pronged assault. It begins by casting Slow on your whole party, then goes after a single character with a Combo attack. Combo consists of four normal physical strikes. Doesn’t sound so bad, but they start to add up pretty quickly - and there’s a good chance your character will be asleep by the end. A Ribbon or other accessory will help defend against Combo’s after effects. One hilariously easy way to defeat Lifeform Hojo is to equip a powerful fight with Counterattack and Cover materia, as well as your Ribbon. They’ll absorb the Combo attacks (Barrier is a good idea) and smack Hojo back for many of the stages of Combo. He’ll basically take more damage than he dishes out. Keep this character healthy and Hojo will go down in no time. Barring that, just use your strongest attacks and magic to wear away Hojo’s HP. You’ll receive a Power Source for defeating Hojo’s three forms…
- … and, after several cut scenes, the second disc will come to an end. Your battle’s almost over.