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

The Keystone

- The Temple of the Ancients, on the southwest tip of the eastern continent, is your next destination. There’s no point going there yet, however, as you’re lacking a necessary item to enter the Temple: the Keystone.

- Head to the Gold Saucer and check out the Battle Square, which, since your last visit, has been cleaned rather substantially. If you look in Dio’s Show Room, to the right, you’ll find the Keystone on display. Dio, the owner, will agree to give it to you - if you please him by participating in a Battle Square challenge. You don’t need to win, though you’ll get a Protect Vest and a Choco Feather for getting through all eight battles. The challenge gets more difficult with each fight as more limitations are piled onto your character, Cloud in this case, so equipping something to ward off status ailments (Ribbon is preferred, though you probably won’t have one right now) will help. Counterattack and Restore materia are staples of the Battle Square.

- Head back to the station when you want to leave. You’ll find that the tram is out of order. Cait Sith will arrange for accommodations at the Gold Saucer’s hotel. A cut scene follows detailing what you’ve learned so far, and you’ll wind up in a swanky room. Check the cabinet in this room after you come back for an Elixir. This is your only chance to check, so make sure you grab it. You can also check the lobby of the hotel for another Turtles Paradise flier.

- Now comes the big moment. Countless times up to this point, you (Cloud) have been given choices to interact with various teammates. Each time you make a choice you’ll affect a character’s opinion of Cloud, for good or for ill. The character that likes him most will, at this point in the game, ask Cloud to go on a date. Note that this only applies to Aeris, Tifa, Yuffie, and… Barret. Yep, you can go on a date with Barret. The date is the same for each character, though the results may change from character to character. (Aeris and Tifa get the most dramatic dates, for obvious reasons. Barret and Yuffie… less so.)

- After the date is done, you’ll see a certain someone skulking about. You need to chase him through the Gold Saucer, from Battle Square to Speed Square to Wonder Square to Chocobo Square. The sum of all this is the loss of the Keystone. Ouch. You bastard

- Choice time. You need to choose a party member to accompany you to the Temple of the Ancients. Aeris is a staple character, and will force herself into the party until you complete the Temple. Make sure number three is one of your best characters, as you can’t leave the Temple after you enter, and it’s not an easy dungeon.

Temple of Ancients

- You’ll find the Temple of Ancients a short sail southeast of the Gold Saucer’s nearest beaches. Optimize your party, then head inside. After a quick cut scene in the Temple’s first room you’ll find a path into the main dungeon, via the Keystone. You can’t leave once you descend.

- Welcome to the oddest dungeon in the game. The monsters down here aren’t too amazingly difficult, but you have a ways to go before you can heal. Try to conserve your magic for healing rather than attacking. Physical strikes should suffice for most battles. Status ailments are rather common down here, so be prepared to fight with frogs on your team.

- Take a left at the steps straight ahead and descend the second flight of stairs. There’s a small arch to your right at the bottom; pass through and climb down. You can pass beneath the long set of stairs to your right from here to find a Trident. Go down the stairs to your right and climb the vines on the nearby wall, then head west. 

- Follow the purple-clad fellow up the wall, grab the Mind Source at the top, and go through the door down the next flight of stairs. The creature inside will sell you items, save your game, and allow you to rest. Handy if you need to level. There’s also a chest in here containing a Silver Rifle.

- Backtrack down the last set of vines, then head southwest through the cube archway and down the long set of stairs through this area. You’ll find a Turbo Ether along the way, and along the path to the south a Rocket Punch. There’s a split in the path ahead, just past a set of vines; go through the door to the right to reach a set of vines leading up to a Lucky Plus materia. Climb back down and go left next to reach a new area.

- The next path has a series of rolling stones. Move from stone to stone, slipping into the gaps beneath the stones, to get to the central island on this path. There’s a Morph materia up here. Continue to the right and, once you reach the end, you’ll stop the falling rocks. This triggers a cut scene, and eventually you’ll be allowed to continue to the east. Another rest-and-save purple dude is waiting, and beyond…

Clock Room

This is one of the trickier areas of the Temple of the Ancients. Upon entering this room you can turn the hands on the massive clock to create a path from one room to the next. Each room contains something different. You can find the following in the rooms:
I - Monsters
II - Jack all
III - Monsters
IIII (IV) - A Princess Guard, Aeris’s best weapon
V - A Ribbon
VI - Your destination
VII - A Trumpet Shell
VIII - A Megaelixir
IX - More jack all
X - The way you came in
XI - So much jack all
XII - The Temple’s exit - you can’t go through here yet, and once you can the path will be set automatically
If you get swept off of the hands by the second hand, which you cannot control, you’ll wind up fighting a few enemies - but you’ll also find a Nail Bat for Cloud. 

- After passing through the VI door you’ll find a room filled with connected tunnels. You need to run through them and come out the same door as the fleeing dude in purple. Hop down to the bottom floor to get a Work Glove from a chest, then pop into the third doorway on the left. Keep entering the doors from which you emerge until you catch the guy in purple. Pretty easy. You can use the guy to heal and save. Go through the bottom-right doorway to get back to the top, then go through the doorway flanked by pillars. Cut scenes - and a boss - await.

Red Dragon

This is basically a really powerful normal enemy masquerading as a boss. The Red Dragon has a simple physical attack pattern, punctuated by occasional bursts of Red Dragon Breath to inflict elemental damage. Protection against fire helps, but not against the Red Dragon’s horrifying physical attacks. Fortunately, Red Dragon hits so hard that your Limits will charge up quickly, and so long as you have powerful single-hitting attacks the Red Dragon will get massacred. Climhazzard is a particularly effective attack. Aeris should heal as necessary. Not too bad, overall, and you’ll get a Dragon Armlet in the aftermath.

- Grab the Bahamut materia off of the floor, then check the altar to the right. A cut scene follows outlining what happens next. Check with the purple dude to restore your health and save, then return to the clock room. Only one way to go…

Demons Gate

This is a simplistic battle, but still somewhat difficult. Demons Gate either uses a powerful attack on one character, typically doing around 1,000 HP of damage, or it rushes forward and hits everyone for slightly more damage. Both attacks are dangerous, but the latter is absolutely deadly. You’ll know it’s coming when it edges forward. Putting your team in the back row is helpful. Demons Gate is nigh-invulnerable to magic, so stick to physical attacks, preferably ones tied to commands (Throw is quite good) and Limit Breaks. Aeris should focus on healing with Healing Wind. Once you have enough HP to survive an attack Demons Gate isn’t too bad, as it’s fairly predictable, but you still may have a tough time taking it down. You’ll receive a Gigas Armlet for defeating Demons Gate.

- Cut scenes follow, and, uh, bad stuff. You get Black Materia for about twenty seconds. Aeris leaves the party for good. Fun times.