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Top 5 Mini Games in Final Fantasy VII

The Final Fantasy series is no stranger to Mini games or including scenarios that change up the main gameplay style. From card games, to underwater sports games, to even learning lines for an Opera performance these diversions added variety to the main narrative. Final Fantasy VII took these ideas to another level and added a plethora of mini games that were either ingrained in the main story or fun extras to earn rare rewards. Here are the Top 5 best mini games to distract you from taking down Sephiroth:

1. – Midgar Motorcycle Chase (G-Bike) –

After the climatic battle with Rufus at the top of Shinra HQ the party escape Midgar by stealing a truck and being chased down the highway by Shinra guards. Cloud follows on a motorcycle and the player is tasked with protecting the truck and slicing through the Shinra attackers. While initially part of the main game, the player can play G-Bike again at the Gold Saucer later in the game earing points for taking down other bikes.

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2. – Snowboarding (Icicle Inn) –

After obtaining the snowboard and map from the village at Icicle Inn, Cloud rides a snowboard down the mountain through various routes before landing in the Great Glacier. The paths you take result in where you start your trek through the Glacier. Later in the game Snowboarding can played at the Wonder Square in the Gold Saucer and Cid and Tifa can be controlled instead of Cloud. The player can compete in time trials and unlock different courses to race on.

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3. – Battle Square and Speed Square Shooting Rollercoaster (Gold Saucer) –

Final Fantasy VII had its own amusement park known as the Gold Saucer that housed numerous mini games itself. Each different Square of the Gold Saucer had different events to participate in, such as partaking in the medieval play on the date with Aeris, Tifa or Yuffie (you skip the play if you win a date with Barret). Although the biggest attractions are the Battle Square where you fight a set number of battles with increasing handicaps imposed upon you to gain rare items like Cloud’s Level 4 Limit Break; Omnislash and the Shooting Rollercoaster which plays like an on-rails shooter where you rack up point for hitting targets.

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4. – Chocobo Breeding and Racing (Gold Saucer) –

Your first encounter with a Chocobo will usually be when you can catch one to ride over the Marshes and avoid the Midgar Zolom or when you must come first in a Chocobo Race to win your freedom from Corel Prison. After that you can either bet on Chocobo Races or breed your own and ride them to win items and rewards. Chocobo Breeding is extensive and later in the game you can breed different colour Chocobos that have new abilities like crossing rivers and mountains to allow you to explore the World Map and find extremely strong Materia in hidden caves such as the Knights of the Round Summon and Quadra Magic.

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5. – Tower Defence (Fort Condor) –

Once you have access to Fort Condor you can help the villages defend the giant Condor that has makes its home above the reactor on top of the mountain. It is played again in the main game to stop the Shinra from gaining the Huge Materia. It plays like a strategy tower defence game where you buy different soldier types and place them on the field to defeat and block the advance enemy troops.

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What are your favourite mini games in Final Fantasy VII and how do you think they will be updated in the remake?

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Final Fantasy VII Remake

The reunion at hand may bring joy, it may bring fear, but let us embrace whatever it brings. For they are coming back…

Almost 20 years ago, Final Fantasy VII was unleashed on the original PlayStation and burned itself into the hearts and minds of many people. It is still a highly regarded RPG and looked back upon fondly by the millions that played it. Whether it was the 3D graphics, the impressive (at the time) FMV sequences, the sensational soundtrack, the atmospheric and intriguing world, the lovable and iconic characters, the strategic turn-based battle system, the emotional and quirky narrative or just a combination of all of those things and more, few games have the immense reputation as Final Fantasy VII. Now it is going to be remade anew!   

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Final Fantasy VII is my favourite game of all time and for years I often wondered what a remake would be like, honestly it brought equal parts excitement and fear. Final Fantasy VII is very much a product of its time, for both good and bad, but it’s what makes it what it is. By updating the game to modern standards it would no doubt look amazing… but, would voice acting destroy the beauty of the soundtrack? Would the battle gameplay be changed and the material system diluted? Would the narrative lose some of it’s more unique and bizarre moments? And would the lack of original creators like Hironobu Sakaguchi, Nobuo Uematsu and Masato Kato that no longer work at Square be sorely missed? These… these were the questions that I could never answer.

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Despite these reservations, I cannot deny my excitement for this remake. To revisit this world again and see it in a completely new light. The moody and sombre Midgar, the mysterious and eerie City of the Ancients, the wild and wacky Gold Saucer, the intimidating Junon, there are so many fantastic locations in Final Fantasy VII to explore. The details were exceptional on the pre-rendered backgrounds and they were really highlighted by the cinematic camera angles. The remake has a great opportunity to really breathe new life into this world and amaze the player with its scope and diversity.

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I also can’t wait to see how they adapt the story, both the truly emotional and heartfelt moments, but of course the funny and weird ones just as much. Final Fantasy VII deals with some harsh and realistic themes. Aeris’ death scene, Dyne’s mass murder at the Battle Square and emotional exchange with Barret before his suicide, Zacks original brutal and stoic death, Shinra dropping the Sector 7 plate and killing thousands, juxtaposed over the heroes blowing up the Mako reactors and killing innocent civilians themselves and of course Sephiroth losing his mind and setting Nibelheim ablaze and walking through the flames.

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In contrast it also has plenty of funny moments that really give it an identity all of its own. I hope we get to see scenes like Cloud dressing up as a girl to infiltrate Don Corneo’s Mansion, Tifa slapping Scarlet on top of the Junon Cannon, Red XIII disguised as a sailor walking on two legs (and Barret dressed as a marshmallow), Aeris and Cloud participating in the Play on their Gold Saucer date (or Tifa, Yuffie or… Barret), Cloud trying to get into the Shinra Parade unnoticed and especially Cid telling everyone to sit down and drink their God damn Tea!

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Sure, changes will be made. The battle system will be changed to something more modern and adopt a turn-based, real time hybrid, some story segments will be altered, voice acting will be present and some of the mini-games may be cut. But based on the latest trailer Square Enix and Tetsuya Nomura look to be staying as faithful as possible and aiming to recapture the vibe and soul of the original game. We will always still have the original Final Fantasy VII that we can go back and play anytime, but I am happy to embrace this reimagining of Cloud’s journey and be excited to discover everything all over again…
Besides, there ain’t  no getting off this train we’re on, so… Let mosey!

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Top 5 Boss Battles from Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII will be remembered for it’s great characters, atmosphere and narrative, but another aspect that really stands out is the memorable boss battles. All the way from the Guard Scorpion at the very beginning of the game to the final showdown in the Northern Cave you better be ready for action. Here are the Top 5 Boss Battles from Final Fantasy VII:

  1. – Rufus Shrina –

The opening hours of Final Fantasy VII is filled with more memorable moments than most games have in their entirety. You bomb two Mako Reactors, meet Aeris, dress in drag in the Wall Market to sneak into Don Corneo’s Mansion, narrowly escape the plate being dropped on Sector 7 and then infiltrate Shrina HQ to find the President murdered by what appears to be Sephiroth. This all leads up to an epic one-on-one showdown on the roof of Shrina HQ between Cloud and the President’s son Rufus. The introduction of Rufus, his speech and the fight all make up a fantastic experience. If you didn’t know much about RPGs you could have been mistaken into thinking this was nearing the end of the game, when in fact it had only just begun!

Final Fantasy VII Cloud Vs Rufus Battle

  1. – Jenova LIFE –

Final Fantasy VII has an unparalleled knack of building up tension and then throwing an epic boss battle at you when your emotions are high. There is no better example of this, than after working your way through the mysterious City of Ancients in search of Aeris, to then witness her sudden death at the hands of the heartless Sephiroth, to then be confronted with an intense battle against another form of Jenova. You hardly get a chance to catch your breath or comprehend what just happened when you are forced to fight for your lives. The emotional rollercoaster is complete when you realise the normal boss battle music when fighting Jenova is not playing, but rather the beautiful Aeris’ Theme instead, a spectacular design choice from the developers.

Final Fantasy Jenova LIFE

  1. – Sephiroth –

After battling your way through the Northern Cave and one last gathering of the party, it’s time to face the final challenge: defeat Sephiroth and release Holy to allow it to try and save the planet. Sephiroth’s first two forms are the real challenge and the angelic second form utilises the lengthy cinematic Super Nova attack that destroys entire planets just to try and stop you. The final battle is just Cloud and a human Sephiroth facing off as Cloud unleashes his ultimate attack, Omnislash to end Sephiroth once and for all. Even though the last battle is unlosable, it is every bit as satisfying as you can feel all of Cloud’s anger, sadness and resentment spill out as he finally settles the score after all those years.

Final Fantasy VII Cloud Omnislash

  1. – Ruby/ Emerald WEAPON –

Final Fantasy VII has a few optional boss battles, but none come close to the complexity of these two WEAPONs. While some of the other battles on this list are memorable because of the storyline that surrounds them, Ruby and Emerald WEAPON are here because of the challenge they present and the strategies needed to cover come them. Final Fantasy VII has a deep and rewarding combat and customisation system and you need to have a strong grasp of how to master it if you are to have any chance of being victorious in these battles. Both offer different tricks such as Ruby being able to permanently knock party members out of the fight or Emerald’s attack that hits harder depending on how many materia you have equipped on each character. The ultimate boss battles in Final Fantasy VII.

Final Fantasy VII Ruby Emerald WEAPON

  1. – Demons Gate –

Fought in the Temple of Ancients, this is a terrifying and difficult boss battle. It is likely the toughest battle at that stage of the game and will really challenge the player’s ability. The design is intimidating and there is a real sense of urgency to the fight as Demons Gate is fast and has some devastating attacks such as Demon Rush. It is a great accomplishment to see the end of this battle and it feels like the start of many more challenging bosses to come.

Final Fantasy VII Demons Gate

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Analysis of Gameplay Diversity and Mini-games in Final Fantasy VII

The experience of Final Fantasy VII has stayed with me for a number of reasons. It has a complex narrative, great atmosphere, interesting characters and an intuitive battle system. It shares these traits with many other well received RPGs and it’s why it’s considered one of the best of all time. Although there is another aspect of it’s game design that always gets me excited to replay this great adventure. More than any other RPG I have played, Final Fantasy VII was created with the knowledge that it is meant to be fun to play, and it’s reflected in the diversity of it’s gameplay and the addition of mini-games spread consistently throughout the main storyline.

The main character Cloud is on a quest of discovery and ultimately to save the world. With all the situations the characters get themselves in, it’s only natural to think that there would be room to provide unique gameplay options. Final Fantasy VII capitalises on this and provides plenty of opportunities to break up the standard RPG mechanics.

During the main storyline there are a few major sequences that could easily have been used as a concept to create a whole other game. Not only are these sequences fun and well designed, but they fit into the plot and are not just there as side missions. After infiltrating the Shinra HQ building and trying to escape from Midgar, Cloud steals a motorcycle and the remaining party members jump into a truck. Instead of just showing a FMV of the sequence, the player assumes the role of driving the motorcycle and having to fend of enemies on other bikes attempting to stop your escape. As you speed down the highway knocking Shrina soldiers off their bikes with your sword, it’s one of the most memorable events in the early hours of the game and it’s not even a gameplay style you would associate with the RPG genre.

As only a taste of things to come, soon you have to command an army in a tower defence simulation, later in the game when making your way done a snowfield, instead of just hiking down, you borrow a snowboard and use it to cruise down the mountain. After that, you pilot a submarine and have to locate and destroy the enemy subs. Not only do these changes to the gameplay formula keep the game exciting and fresh, but they help to add to the sense of adventure and action in the story. Smaller events also occur such as a having to sneak past guards, performing CPR to resuscitate a girl, pretending to be a soldier in a Shrina march and of course disguising Cloud as a woman to rescue Tifa in the seedy Wall Market. If you were really on a quest to save the world you too would get yourself into some extraordinary situations.

As if that wasn’t enough, one of the locations you visit along the journey is a giant amusement park known as the Gold Saucer. It has a collection of mini-games such as Chocobo racing and betting, an interactive roller coaster shooting game, basketball, arm wrestling, battle arena and more. You can easily spend hours here just trying to win prizes such as items, new equipment and materia.

While RPGs are known for telling fantastic stories and engrossing players in epic boss battles, at the end of the day we play games to have fun and it’s additions like these that can greatly increase the enjoyment of the journey. Since Final Fantasy VII not enough RPGs have included elements like these to expand on the standard formula of the genre.

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