--- The Return
= Goodbye [for now] Rufus.
EDIT: I just realized I didn't talk about the Weapon attack on Midgar that killed Rufus. Apparently it wasn't even a boss in the JPN version (much like Emerald and Ruby). Was this rectified for later Japanese releases? You can kinda tell it was a "late addition"; Diamond[?] has like two attacks and they're not even very strong. I do like that the game made an attempt to involve the event right on the World Map.
Yeah, I think that Diamond has a weapon for Yuffie that you can steal from it and is the only way to get it in the International version. It apparently existed in the code of the original JP version but there's no way to access it legitimately.
= W-Item is well hidden. Ya gotta go south, then south, and then south again... then south south south, and south after an item, then south.... And then, when you think you should go south one more time, you actually keep going south three more times.
(then walk back...). I like how the game throws you a bone by sprinkling a few items and party members to remind you it's not an endless loop you're walking through.
I think if you go for W-Item when you first get to the tunnels, you'll miss out on the game's final fight against the Turks. To truly 100% the game, you need to fight them since they carry the best Bangles in the game.
= I like that you can visit Shinra Building, but it's optional this time. It's basically empty though, but there's a ton of good equipment lying around if you look for it.
Not to mention the final Turtle pub flier, which is missable as you cannot come back here once you're done for obvious reasons. At least all you'll be missing out on are a set of stat boosters and either an Elixir or a Megaelixir.
= Hojo is dead, Heidegger is finished. Even if we save the world, the massive super government is gone probably leaving some issues for later down the road. Or celebrations. ...I dunno. Anyways, I like how we're ready to take on Sephiroth till Hojo finally pops into the picture again. We know he's evil, and there's a lot of subtle drops that he's behind the entire mess despite his lack of screen time. He's a great "behind the scenes" villain.
To be fair, Shinra's just a megacorporation anyways, and shouldn't have been in any sort of government level position of power.
Of course, since corporations are people, you've effectively murdered one of the most influential and powerful individuals in the world.
= Yeah Cloud and Tifa totally boned
. She kinda really put the pressure (but dammit she shouldn't have to!!). She's like "Heeeey, it might be the last time we can be together.....y'knooooow?
". Well, more accurately, she's like: Bam-shicka bow-wow
But I like that there is the other, less impressive version if you didn't bring her affinity up enough where Cloud just suggests they get some sleep and Tifa's all like "...shit
I think later material did indeed retcon that into some kind of meaningless fade out (because Squeenix seriously cannot be bothered to remember just what the hell actually went down in this game).
Final [FANTASY] Note on things I forgot to talk about:
= I find gathering the Huge Mater strange. Do they really say why they do it? If Shinra was going to launch these mighty materia to space to destroy meteor, maybe we should have let them?? (it's not like we really needed a THIRD Bahamut summon)
I've always likened the gathering of the four Huge Materias as the gathering of the four Crystals in earlier FFs. Just that, instead of Jobs, you gain Materia for your efforts. One of the things I did like about FFVII was how it reconceptualized several mainstay elements of the series into elements of the plot like Meteor and Holy and the four Crystals. Also, even if Shinra had all 4 Crystals, they'd still fail in blowing up Meteor.
= Speaking of Cid. I think the Blackjack (FF6), complete with roulette table and card tables is about a billion times cooler than the Highwind. Vice versa for their respective owners, however. I actually think even the developers were happy writing and programming for Cid.
Outside of the pilot's ever increasing rank (which was completely superficial), I too felt that VI's airships were more interesting. Although that's probably because you had more party members around livening up the place versus later games.
= Speaking of Sephiroth, I actually kinda hate Vincent. He feels like a bad parody of vampires and zombies being all doom and gloom. And especially a bad contrast to how much fun the [current] Turks are. Did his "bishounen" role actually give him enough mileage to get his own title?? Granted, FF7 has an interesting game history, so I like that DoC uses Vincent in that respect, and FF7 AC gives us "Zack: The Untold Story".
Yeah Vincent was pretty lifeless in this game since all you really ever see him pre-bioengineered is that of some random Turk, even the other Turks have nothing to say about him. He's just a random Vampire/Frankenstein's Monster/Wolf Man/whatever lying around. Even his brief interactions with Lucretia are massively brief and only really conveys the fact that she's Sephiroth's biological mother (and I guess she wants him stopped for both of their sakes since she hands him his final weapon). Unfortunately, DoC does neither of them any service whatsoever.
Also, isn't that supposed to be FF7 CC that gives us "Zack: The Untold Story
" instead of FF7 AC?