One of the wackier points of the games when Cloud has to cross dress to save Tifa, aka Potential Girlfriend A.
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Aeris, Potential Girlfriend B, suggests this course of action, as it is the only way the pair can rescue Tifa from the lecherous Don Corneo .

What follows is an amusing series of mini-games and treasure hunts, as you put together Cloud’s outfit. If you go the extra mileage, and you should, to get the fancier items, it is well worth it.  The goal for was to get the necessary items for Don Corneo to pick Cloud as his special lady for the evening.

Yes.  That is correct: the goal is to cross dress so well, that Don Corneo will think Cloud is a woman. I was successful in my quest, as I gathered the proper dress, wig, perfume, make-up and underwear to convince the Don.

I can’t recall what my feelings were about this when I played through this unique scene as a sixteen year old. I’m sure I thought it was a bit strange, but I don’t remember it freaking me out or anything like that. Even today, it is one of the funnier parts of the game, which is good considering what happens next.

After this bit of Some Like It Hot fun, you find out Shinra is going to crush the Sector 7 slum with the metal plate above. The cut scene is killer and kind of scary. The shot of the citizens looking up at the plate about to crush them is pretty serious.

This game has plenty of “low”s when it comes to its story. I think I pay more attention to images and stories now that I’m older, and I imagine studying film and animation is another reason.

A perk of playing this as an adult is that I am more aware of strategy and better at managing my team. I spent a bunch of time using the Steal material to get some better equipment and to add to my stock pile of items, like Ether.  That $&%! is expensive this early in the game. I was also able to steal some handy items, like weapons and armor.

There are a couple of aspects of this game that irk me, however. Mainly, only having three members in your party. I was spoiled as of late by Final Fantasy IV, where I could have five members. Five! I get tired of always having to swap out different characters, or deciding who or who-not to use. One of my favorite parts of Final Fantasy X was the ability to swap characters in mid-battle. I loved that.

And then we have the materia.

I’m old school in the sense that I like having characters with set abilities. It makes it easier to pick my party or even to have strategies for fights. But, in FFVII, I have to spend several minutes deciding whom gets what materia.  It can be a bit annoying and time-consuming, especially once you get weapons with double AP growth.

“If I give Red XIII the Long Range materia, then I can put him in the back row and give him lots of Magic materia. But…crap…Yuffie needs some kind of magic too. Cloud’s sword has double growth, but none of the slots are linked, and I need someone with Restore-All…”

And so on.

The materia aspect was, and still is, interesting. It evens everything out for your party when it comes to abilities. Now, anyone could be a magic user (yes, there were precursors to this in Final Fantasy VI).

But, for as annoying as it can be, it does help that any of your characters can be the “white” or “black” mage. For example, I gave Cloud a Restore-All combo, since I usually rely on his physical attacks, leaving him plenty of magic points to heal the party.

I’m keeping an eye on how I’m “growing” my materia this time too. I didn’t really pay attention to that the last time through.

The story is picking up as well, and I’m getting sucked in. The advantages of playing through again, and age, make this complex story a bit easier to understand. I have clear memories of not understanding the plot too well in my youth.

New characters!

Red XIII – A giant talking dog! What’s not to like?

Yuffie – A ninja girl. She’s handy with the Steal materia.

Where You At? – I just crossed the ocean to another continent after leaving Junon. I scored high enough in the send off to get Cloud’s Force Stealer sword (with double materia growth). Woo hoo!

Disc: 1

Location: Costa Del Sol

Cloud’s level: 23

Timer: 17:10

More next week!


I originally wrote this series in 2010 for my other site, Ginger and the Geek, as well as guest writer for The Idler. It appears here as a back-up with some minor edits.

 

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Daniel J. Hogan is a geeky cartoonist and writer living in Michigan. Daniel is available for freelance writing and cartooning commissions (Contact Daniel). This post contains affiliate links, unless it doesn't.

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