|Important Items in this Area|
|Key to Sector 5|
The party will talk after obtaining the Huge Materia from Fort Condor; the next Huge Materia is in Junon’s Underwater Reactor, but given your recent activities, it might be wiser to lie low for a while… and go pay Tifa and Cloud a visit in Mideel. Return to the isolated island city and enter the clinic to discover that not much has changed, unfortunately. Once Tifa is done talking, the ground will start to shake, and the party will head to to find what’s causing the disturbance.
Boss Battle: Ultimate Weapon
Ultimate Weapon makes a deceiving first impression on how potent Weapons actually are; at this point in the game Ultimate Weapon is strong, but survivable. Other, optional fights with Weapons won’t be so easy. Ultimate Weapon has three attacks and more HP than you can hope to deplete. Its “Quake2” attack will deal 1000 damage or so to every party member, and “Ultima Beam” will also hit everybody for around 1500 damage. Other than that, its normal attack will deal 1400 damage. It’s all pretty hefty damage, but nothing “Big Guard” can’t mitigate and “White Wind” can’t cure. Focus on stealing a Curse Ring from Ultimate Weapon, then smack Ultimate Weapon around until it gets bored and flies off.
Lucidity in the Lifestream
After the fight the party will encounter a threat that can’t be chased off with weapons and magic. You’ll have no choice but to flee the area, and Tifa will, for her part, try to get Cloud to safety. There’s no miraculous escape this time, however, and the two end up falling into the Lifestream. In Cloud’s subconscious you’ll get to find out the truth about Cloud, his past, and his actual involvement in the Nibelheim incident.
Back on the Highwind (or rather, on the Highwind for the first time in the case of Cloud), our wayward protagonist will give a speech and explain what happened. He was weak. He was a petty, shy, loner who never quite fit in, and projected his introversion as a reflection of fault on those who didn’t accept him. More than that, there was a girl involved, who Cloud had a crush on, but he could never quite get her attention. When his plan to join SOLDIER, his ultimate solution to all his perceived problems - weakness and obscurity - failed, he was overwhelmed by self-pity and depression. He did, however, have a role model he could emulate; Zack, SOLDIER 1st class.
Well, there ain’t no gettin’ offa this train, so Cloud rejoins the party and resolves to see this through to the end. Hopefully now Cloud’s new-found confidence, or at least his acceptance of his faults, will make him more resilient to Sephiroth’s will. Leave the Operations room to be bothered by the crewman here, who gushes about your story before allowing you to pick your party.
Optional Things to do With Cloud
Afterwards you’ll be in the bridge, where Cait Sith will divulge more of Shinra’s plans to you. Again, the next piece of Huge Materia is in Junon, but now that Cloud is back, there are many, many lucrative things to do before bothering with the story again. No rush, it’s not like the world’s going to end right? Below are a number of the optional things you can do now that both Cloud and the Highwind are at your disposal. The most elaborate (and rewarding) of these diversions are Chocobo breeding and racing, which deserves a section of its own. Check out the optional things you can do now, then, if you’re in the mood to get some of the best Materia in the game, head to the “Chocobo Breeding and Racing” sections of the guide, below. If you want to get right back to the story, skip to the “Underwater Reactor” section.
The town is a wreck thanks to the lifestream, but most of the original shopkeeps seem to be selling a vastly depleted selection of wares… save the weapon store owner, who has mysteriously vanished. Up a hill to the west you’ll find the crazy shopper who - now having bought up everybody’s wares under better times - is all too ready to sell their stock.
Final Heaven and Missing Memories
Return to Nibelheim with Tifa in your party and play Tifa’s piano again. Same tune as before:
X, [Square], [Triangle], R1 + [Triangle], R1 + [Square], X, [Square], [Triangle], R1 + X, [Circle], X, [Square], X
[CANCEL], [SELECT], [MENU], [PAGE UP] + [MENU}, [PAGE UP] + [SELECT], [CANCEL], [SELECT], [MENU], [PAGE UP} + [CANCEL], [OK], [CANCEL], [SELECT], [CANCEL]
Do it correctly and she’ll claim to have the sheet music for that song, which she promptly produces. While doing so she’ll discover a note from her old mentor Zangan, who apparently arrived back in Nibelheim sometime ago and left this note for her. After reading it you’ll get Tifa’s ultimate limit break, Final Heaven , which adds a 7th, and final attack to Tifa’s limit break. Get it? 7th Heaven was the name of her bar back in Midgar? Yay, continuity…
Packing a Punch
Learn Final Heaven-Tifa's last Limit Break.
While in Nibelheim, return to the offices under the Shinra mansion to witness a scene that details what happened to Cloud and Zack between the Nibelheim incident, and the start of the game. Entirely optional and there’s no reward for doing so, but why not learn a bit more of the backstory while you’re here?
Returning to Midgar
Return to Bone Village and search for “Good Treasure”, then head up to the upper level and direct them to dig along the southern ledge, halfway between the smoke coming from the building below and the remains of a campfire to the east. By doing so, you should obtain the Key to Sector 5 , which will let you return to Midgar. More than just nostalgia, you can score some decent items here. Talk to the guy outside the gate leading to Midgar and he’ll mention that he lost his key during an “excavation tour”, information you don’t need since… well, you already got it.
Head through the gate and return to Midgar, specifically the outskirts of Sector 5 near Aeris’s church. Make your way through Sector 5 and head to Wall Market and enter the shop with the “ITEM” sign over the door. Search the machine with the two clamp-arms in the shop and you’ll get the Premium Heart , which happens to be Tifa’s ultimate weapon.
Note (Premium Heart): Tifa’s ultimate weapon, the Premium Heart, has 99 Attack and, like most ultimate weapons, it has eight Materia sockets (four pairs of two joined sockets) with no AP growth. Unfortunately, Tifa’s ultimate weapon charges based (in party) on how full her Limit Gauge is, dealing the most damage when full. Of course, when it’s full, there’ no attack option, meaning most of the time this weapon will be uncharged, or you’ll be unable to attack. There are work-arounds, namely using Mime on another, more capable fighter, or by using the “Goblin Punch” enemy skill, but it’s even easier to just use another character whose weapon charges more reliably. Her ultimate weapon also deals more damage based on what her Limit Level is, which at least is a variable you can control.
Make your way to the weapon shop near the debris and talk to the man sitting in the tank. He’ll offer to sell you something for 129,000 Gil, which… is an odd (and hefty!) sum. In return you’ll get the Sneak Glove accessory, which increases your chance to steal items. There’s still some choice items worth stealing in the game, but you should have no trouble stealing without this item. Purchase it or not, then leave Midgar. It’s time to either breed and race Chocobos (highly recommended) or to return to Junon and liberate the Huge Materia in the Underwater Reactor.
Did You Know? : In one of the oddest glitches in the game, you can see “Aeris’s ghost” if you enter the church. Just don’t move when you enter the door and she’ll be there, merrily tending flowers while two kids look on. Intentional ghost, or glitch? You decide. If you approach the garden, she’ll vanish abruptly.