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


- Head north from Cosmo Canyon. Across a thin stretch of shallow water you’ll hit a mountain range, and nestled in it, the town of Nibelheim. Highly suspicious, this.

- The first house on the left is an inn. In the kitchen is an odd… man… thing… in a black cape. Check it for a Luck Source. Next to this is a general store, with some basic items. Check the oven in here for another caped man, this one carrying an Elixir.

- Across the street is Cloud’s house, empty, and next to that Tifa’s house. A black cloaked man in the kitchen has a Turbo Ether, and another upstairs in the bedroom has a Platinum Fist. You can play the piano in here, though there’s not much point now. Come back in a later disc and you can do this to receive an item. The last house on the right has two more caped figures on the second floor; one carries a Luck Source.

- In the north of town… the Mansion.

Shinra Mansion

- Unlike your last visit to the Mansion, this place now has random battles. The enemies in here like status effects, particularly confusion, and can be quite deadly. Magic is usually not the best idea; stick to physical attacks or Summons.

- If you want to speed your way through here you can simply go down to the basement, the same as you did in Cloud’s flashback. There’s plenty more to see, though, and further exploration is advised. Start by checking the two side rooms in the foyer. There’s nothing to the right, but you’ll find a note with a bunch of clues to the left. You can use these to access more items, a boss… and a new party member. Check each of the hints and you’ll find a fourth, invisible one: (4) Right 97.

- Though they’re well-hidden, there are hallways beside these rooms on the left and right of the foyer. Go through the right door to find a Silver M-phone, then go through the left door and wander back to the east wing to find a Twin Viper. If you check the ground beside the piano you’ll receive the second clue: (2) Left 10.

- Head upstairs and take a right. There’s a Magic Source in the top room. Just outside this room you’ll hear a faint creak as you walk down the hallway; check the floor when you hear this creak for another clue, (3) Right 59.

- Wander to the west wing of the Mansion. There’s an Enemy Launcher in a chest down here. Check the chest again after getting the Enemy Launcher and you’ll find a fourth clue, (1) Right 36.

- The next room over from the Enemy Launcher contains a safe. As the clues suggest, you need to open this safe with the proper combination: Right 36, Left 10, Right 59, Right 97. You can’t move past these numbers, and you have a limited time to enter the combination, so this might take a few tries. Be ready for a battle, as one’s waiting when you manage to open the safe.

Lost Number

Lost Number starts off as a half-and-half, one part physical fighter, one part magical. Neither side of it is particularly tough. The game keeps track of how you damage the beast, however, with varying results: if Lost Number is knocked below roughly 3,500 HP with a physical hit it becomes a physical bruiser, vulnerable only to magic, while hitting it with magic attacks at this same point turns it into a veritable wizard, vulnerable only to physical attacks. Lost Number’s physical side is much more dangerous, capable of a single strike that does well over 2,000 HP, so unless you’re really confident in your physical defence I suggest whittling it down with magic. Defeating Lost Number will earn you a Cosmo Memory, useful much later in the game…

- … and, sitting on the ground, Odin materia. Fancy that. Check the safe after it’s emptied of villainy for a Key to the Basement, as well.

- Head through the secret passage in the east wing and into the basement. When the perspective changes to an overhead view, look along the northern wall for a semi-hidden door into a back chamber. Check the coffin inside multiple times and you’ll eventually pester its occupant, default name Vincent, into revealing his name. (Mentioning Sephiroth helps.) Vincent won’t come with you yet, so give up and continue east down the corridor, into the lab at the end.

- A cut scene follows. Grab the Destruct materia that hits Cloud, check the office in the rear for books filled with interesting (but cryptic) notes, and leave the Mansion. On the way out Vincent will join up. He’s another ranged fighter, and something of a frail one, though when he gets a Limit Break he’ll turn into a berserk monster capable of inflicting a lot of damage for the rest of the battle. You can’t control Vincent when this happens, so use his Limits with caution.

- Back outside, there’s only one direction you can go: Mt. Nibel, to the north. Leave town through the rear exit and make haste in Sephiroth’s tracks.