Final Fantasy VII owned by Square Enix.
Images used for educational purposes only.

Upon leaving the Mythril Mine you’ll emerge in a wide, grassy-and-forested area. Your next major destination is Junon Harbor, to the far west, along the shore. Before heading there, though, we have two other things to do. The enemies in this area are more numerous than they are dangerous; mass magic attacks, and perhaps that Choco/Mog summon from the Chocobo Ranch, work best.

Fort Condor

Fort Condor is a short distance south of the Mythril Mine exit. Agree to help out and you’ll be allowed inside. Fort Condor has some basic items and materia for sale, as well as an inn, but its primary draw is a lengthy mini game.

Fort Condor is under constant attack by Shinra soldiers, and the residents don’t have the money to drive them off. Consequently, they want Cloud and company to do the deed, using their own money (ie your money) to hire mercenaries that can drive Shinra away. These missions are equal parts tower defence and RTS, as you need to defend a central point using movable troops. Successfully defend Fort Condor against enemies and you’ll receive an item; fail and you’ll have to fight an enemy boss, and thereafter receive a lesser item for your efforts.

Fort Condor is a fun, albeit somewhat slow, mini game, though it gets pretty expensive. Completing a mission upon arrival isn’t a bad idea, as you can win a Magic Comb for Red XIII for completing the game successfully. You need to return quite often to compete in every available quest, though, so Fort Condor may be a bit of a hassle unless you grind often and have a lot of money to drop. We’ll look at the complete mechanics of Fort Condor in a separate article. Note, however, that there is a timeline on Fort Condor, and eventually the mini game will run its course.


The second side quest available at this point is a great deal more innocuous, and you can easily miss it - her, rather - if you stay out of forests while travelling in the region. 

Meander around in a forest for a while, fighting random enemies. Eventually - it may take one battle, it may take a dozen - you’ll encounter a young female opponent. She’s fairly easy to defeat, and unlike most creatures battled and defeated, winning here will take you to a unique screen.

This is an odd situation. You need to use a very particular set of actions to successfully recruit this girl, default name Yuffie, onto your team. Don’t turn your back on her; don’t enter the menu screen; don’t use the save point. Just walk up and talk to her. Once you have Yuffie engaged in conversation, choose the following conversation options to keep her enthralled:
  • Not interested
  • …… petrified
  • Wait a second!
  • …… That’s right
  • …… Let’s hurry on
If you screw up any of that, Yuffie will find a way to flee, and you’ll have to search for her again. Sigh. Regardless, you’ll eventually have a new party member, and though Yuffie isn’t the strongest you’ll get, she’s damned fast. She also has some fantastic Limit Breaks.

Note that you do not have to fight in the forests near Junon Harbor to find Yuffie. She can be found in any forest from this point onward, and her level will rise with yours. It’s good to get her reasonably early, though, as there’s a sizeable side quest involving Yuffie that appears near the end of Disc One of Final Fantasy VII.

Part Eleven: Junon Harbor