|Important Items in this Area||Enemy Skills in this Area|
|Counter Attack Materia||Trine|
Through Mt. Nibel
Follow the trail through the mountains until you reach a fork, at which point take the northern path uphill, follow it behind a foreground and onto an elevated ledge with a chest containing a Rune Blade . This is the best weapon available for Cloud, out-damaging even the Butterfly Edge you could purchase at Cosmo Canyon. It also has four unjoined Materia sockets with Double AP Growth. What’s not to like? Return south and, at the fork, head to the west until you come to another fork at a boulder. Head north-west and follow the road up, then back east, eventually wrapping around the stone you’re climbing until you reach a chest containing a Plus Barrette . This weapon is slightly weaker than the Silver Barrette, but it has four unjoined Materia Sockets with Double AP Growth. Return back to the fork and this time continue west and cross a bridge, which fortunately proves sturdier this time around.
In this area there are five chutes leading down. Ignore them for a moment and instead head down some stairs, descend a ladder, then make your way down another ladder, kicking it down to reach the ground in the process. Go down one more ladder and head north-east to find a Save Point near a pulsing mass of dark limbs and spikes. Save your game and head south to investigate the odd critter, which, unsurprisingly, isn’t friendly.
Boss Battle: Materia Keeper
This overgrown spider-like critter isn’t nearly as dynamic as Lost Number was. It’s normal attack will deal around 400 damage, as will its "Big Horn" attack. A little stronger is its "Hell Combo", which will deal 700 or so damage. Its most dangerous - and interesting - attack is the Enemy Skill "Trine", which conjures a lightning pyramid that hits all characters for about 500 damage.
No special tactics are required for this fight, just start out with "Big Guard" and pummel it into submission. When it casts "Cure2" on itself, stop attacking and wait for it to use "Trine" if it hasn’t already. Do not proceed without learning this Enemy Skill! It’s quite rare, and there are only a few chances in the entire game when you can learn it, this being the first. Once you’ve learned "Trine", feel free to kill the pest by whatever means you wish… just avoid fire attacks, as it absorbs fire damage.
|Resistances:||Fire (absorbs), Gravity (halves)|
Once Materia Keeper is defeated, pick up the Counter Attack Materia it drops, then save your game again and return to the top of the level. Now that the way below is cleared, it’s time to explore these pipes. If you look closely, you’ll notice they’re numbered, starting number one being the eastern-most pipe, and five being the western-most. Pipes #1, #3, and #5 take you nowhere interesting, so just ignore all the odd numbers. Pipe #2 will deposit you onto a rock formation near Materia Keeper, where you can score a Powersoul , a 28 Attack weapon that powers up when Tifa is in Near Death status. It also has four unjoined Materia sockets with Double AP Growth. Finally, go down pipe #4 to reach a platform with a chest on it. Loot the chest for some All Materia , then jump back down to the lower level.
Now, there are two exits to this area; going south-east past where Materia Keeper was you’ll reach an elevated trail that’ll take you back to the world map. But there’s more loot to be had if you instead exit the screen to the south. Jump off the ledge you find yourself on and head into a cave entrance to the east. Make your way north along the eastern side of the area, and when you reach the northern end of the chamber, turn back south and run along the edge of (but not back down) the path you took to reach the northern end of the cave. Doing this will lead you between some pillars and to the center of the area. Enter a cave to the north, then follow it south along the western end of the area, obscured the whole time by the foreground. You should reappear near a chest which contains an Elixir . Claim your prize for bogus area navigation and return back to the northern end of the cavern and exit the area to the north.
Enemy Info (Dragon): While there are a number of dangerous foes inhabiting Mt. Nibel, the Dragon stands out for a few reasons. First, it’s capable of doing quite a bit more damage than most foes you’ve fought, including bosses! Second, you can learn the Enemy Skill "Flamethrower" from it, but it’s not as gentle with its application of the spell as Ark Dragons were back in the Mythril Mines. Third, you can steal a Gold Armlet from them, which is a significant defensive upgrade over the Silver Armlet. You’ll be able to buy them shortly, but why pay when Dragons are giving them out for free?
Make your way north through the Mako fountain area, stopping long enough to search to the west of fountain to claim a chunk of Elemental Materia . Once done, continue north into another cavern and head east along the bottom of the area, heading north-east when you must. When the path splits, head west and loot a chest for a Sniper CR (42 Attack, two pairs of joined Materia sockets, and a whopping 255 Attack %), then backtrack east and head south down the eastern side of the cavern to reach the next area. Once outside, head north-west along a trail which will eventually lead to the Nibelheim Mako reactor, behind (north of) which is a door leading back to the pipe room. You’ve obtained everything in Mt. Nibel, so head past where Materia Keeper was and travel through a short screen to reach the world map again.