A Sick Day Spent in Final Fantasy VII Nostalgia


Just ugh. I’ve been fight­ing a sore throat and sinus drainage thing this week, and today, I was fever­ish when I woke up so I stayed home from work. I hat­ed to do that as I have this com­ing Sat­ur­day off any­way, but I also want­ed to give myself a chance to just recov­er so that maybe, just maybe, this won’t last until Sat­ur­day. My wife and I have plans, see; it’s her b- b- b- birth­day weekend!

While not relax­ing with her after she had got­ten home from work today, I most­ly spent the day play­ing Final Fan­ta­sy VII. Well, I woke up to there being a two-hour delay for school, so my daugh­ter and I were able to spend a lit­tle time togeth­er this morn­ing pri­or to her going to school and back to her mom’s house this after­noon, which was nice.

In the game, I’ve been attempt­ing as com­ple­tion­ist a playthrough as pos­si­ble. I have the Playsta­tion 4 re-release of the game via the Playsta­tion Net­work, which as far as I can tell is faith­ful to the orig­i­nal Playsta­tion ver­sion but with some typos cor­rect­ed (“Off course!” and “No, way!” have been cor­rect­ed to “Of course!” and “No way!”, dis­ap­point­ing­ly) and added tro­phy sup­port. I was real­ly hop­ing to score every tro­phy on this playthrough, but I was­n’t famil­iar enough with the Gold­en Saucer dat­ing mechan­ics to land a date with Barret. 

I also man­aged to mess up my chance to end the game with four maxed-out ene­my skill mate­ria, and I just a few hours ago locked myself out of win­ning the umbrel­la (or para­sol) from the Speed Square game at the Gold­en Saucer. Aside from those and the dat­ing mishap, I think I’m on track to hav­ing every­thing completed.

Or at least I don’t think I’ve fudged up any­thing else from the “first disk” (the game orig­i­nal­ly played across three disks; the dig­i­tal re-release does­n’t have that mechan­ic); although, as I’m writ­ing this and cross-check­ing a cou­ple ref­er­ences, I notice that “com­ple­tion­ism” requires get­ting nine­ty-nine of every item, one of which is incred­i­bly dif­fi­cult to come by, save for a reli­able method at Fort Con­dor which I’ve already locked myself out of.

I remem­ber play­ing the game back on my orig­i­nal PlaySta­tion in the late 90s. I did­n’t have all of the Inter­net guides, and there was cer­tain­ly no Fan­dom wiki ded­i­cat­ed to the game which I could ref­er­ence. All I had was the BradyGames play­ers’ guide, as error-rid­dled as it may be. But with a lot of hard work, I man­aged to unlock at least most of the mate­ria, enabling me to assem­ble a team that had lit­tle to no prob­lem deal­ing with the endgame weapon fights. That’s one of my proud­est achieve­ments. But still, I’m sure I missed a lot, such as nev­er com­plet­ing the Bat­tle Square battles. 

I’m hop­ing this playthrough cor­rects that, but I’m not going to lie, hav­ing one-click access to a “3x speed” mode (all ani­ma­tions are sped up times three, allow­ing much faster grind­ing) and god mode (health and mag­ic replen­ish instant­ly dur­ing bat­tle, unless a char­ac­ter is killed in one hit; lim­it break meters also fill instant­ly upon use) is mak­ing it hard to play through the game legit­i­mate­ly — some­times I’m acci­den­tal­ly enabling these modes sim­ply because of how eas­i­ly their but­tons are pressed through nor­mal play.

Not gonna lie, I’ve relied on the god mode for a few things; I like it because it does­n’t make the entire game a cinch: you can still be affect­ed by sta­tus effects (all of which still affect you oth­er than poi­son), you can still be one-hit killed, you still have to win mini-games such as the escape from Midgar or Fort Con­dor bat­tles legit­i­mate­ly, and you can find your­self stuck in the final round of the Bat­tle Are­na attempt­ing to get the key­stone from Dio, turned into a frog with a bro­ken weapon and no access to items or mate­ria, doing 7 dam­age per turn (or 15 on crit) to an ene­my with over 2,000 hit points. Oh, and a cer­tain char­ac­ter still dies per­ma­nent­ly, in a scene that few games can rival to this day.

I saved my game out­side of Ici­cle Inn before quit­ting for the night, and I’m pret­ty sure I’m head­ing into what was my least favorite part of the game way back when. For­tu­nate­ly, once I get all the items from the next cou­ple of areas, I don’t think I have to return to them. Maybe.

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Rick Beckman