What would it be like to go back to 1997, buy a PlayStation One, and boot up Final Fantasy VII for the first time? You are likely never to find a comparable substitute for the impact this game made on video game fans across the world, during that time. Hours, upon hours, were spent running around its beautifully pre-rendered environments, looking for items, and investigating what its lovely NPCs were all about. From the characters to the battle mechanics, you would be hard pressed to find a more engaging JRPG upon the release of Final Fantasy VII.
The game is huge and full of so many hidden gems (both intentional and unintentional). There are oodles of hidden details that casual Final Fantasy VII fans have missed, not because they weren’t diligent, but because they couldn’t possibly have witnessed them all in their first play-through. These players included many strategy guides, who hadn't caught all of the nuances, glitches and buried code that would surface over the next twenty years.
Many of these are discoverable without help, while others require an extra hand. So, saddle up to a Chocobo and get ready to breeze through these very hidden moments. Here is a list of 25 things you've probably skipped over if you haven't been going out of your way to find them online.
25 The Special Lucky Sevens
Not to sound too gauche, but this is very weird. If your characters (through levelling up or taking damage) ever hit an HP of 7,777 their names will flash in rainbow colors. This will trigger a combo, allowing them to attack the enemy 64 times doing damage of 7,777.
This will continue until their HP changes.
You could go through several play-throughs of Final Fantasy VII and never know this Easter Egg existed because it was completely left up to chance. Some players have found ways to circumvent the random aspect of Lucky Sevens and reach the number intentionally. These people are insane.
24 Turning Around To Get An Advantage In Battle
Oh, no! You’ve entered into a random encounter, but your back is turned to your enemy, leaving you completely vulnerable. Now, you must wait until each enemy is done attacking your party before facing them properly, right?
Wrong! Simply tap the 'shoulder' buttons. This triggers the “run away” animation, which resets your characters to their normal positions. This way, each attack will do the usual amount of damage. This is a glitch, but a very useful one indeed.
23 A Return To Sector 5
In Disc 2, once you regain control of your party and are allowed to free roam, you might be tempted to go back to good old Midgar for some slum-fun. Unfortunately, there might be a locked door preventing you from further exploration. Go to Bone Village and dig around for the “Key to Sector 5.” This will allow you to re-enter the city and explore to your heart’s content.
Bonus: There are many great collectibles, but ultimately the most rewarding one you’ll find is the flash of Aeris taking care of her beloved flowers. Aw!
22 Indulge This Random Guy And Get A Reward
This is feature is small and easy to miss. If you approach the old man standing outside of the shop in Rocket Town, he will ask you to look at the rocket with him. Do it! Just for spending a moment of your time gawking at the majestic flying machine, he will give you a free Yoshiyuki sword which is actually pretty good. Yes, this is a weird exchange and an even weirder reward, but it doesn't mean we shouldn't take advantage of an old man's kindness for a sweet blade. Plus, the camera work as it scales the rocket ain't bad for a 1997 production.
21 How To Take A Trip To The Ancient Forest
The first encounter with Ultimate Weapon happens outside of Mideel in Disc 2. This tower-sized monster runs away like a scared baby after you beat it, taking to the skies. Most players avoid it at all costs because it’s huge, rude, and hard enough to beat the first time.
If you bump into it in the Highwind several times, it will land over an area of the map that you cannot get to by foot or by vehicle.
This is where the final showdown will commence. After giving Ultimate Weapon a proper flogging, you will have access to The Ancient Forest.
20 A Hidden Character To Make The Journey Better
Let's discuss Yuffie and her functionality in the game. She is hidden (for sure), but many players know of her existence because she is in the instruction manual. However, if you haven't read through it, you may have completely missed her during your play-through. Yuffie hides in certain patches of forest around the world and you may come across her at random. After defeating her, you must answer a series of questions correctly in order for her to join your party. For its time, this was a novel concept that really helped expand the world of Final Fantasy VII. This feature made it seem like anything was possible.
19 A Hint Of Your Escape Car
Your escape car is the like the Chekhov's Gun of Final Fantasy VII. You'll usually see a vehicle early that you will be escaping in later. After entering the Shinra building for the first time, you should notice two vehicles on display while running through the lobby. Later, after rescuing Red XIII, your entire party (minus Cloud who is on a motorcycle) will jump into one of those same vehicles and speed off. It's a small detail, but it's something that many fans wouldn't have noticed the first time around.
18 Buying Yourself A Place To Rest
Did you know you can buy a house in Costa Del Sol? That's right, the small beach town is not just a great place to kick-it; it's also a hotbed of Final Fantasy real estate. Talk to the sleeping man in Costa and he will charge you 300,000 gil for a property in the town. There is no real reason to do this as it's a waste of money. In fact, we recommend you avoid it early on in the game when money is tight. However, owning property is about peace of mind, so buyer beware.
17 Revisiting The Mini-Games You Might've Missed
Final Fantasy VII was known for having a handful of mini-games that seemed a little out of place at the time. Looking back, they were majorly out of place! Like, why does Cloud snowboard, and how is he so already good at it?
That being said, some of them were actually fun.
Unless you meticulously scraped through every room in the Golden Saucer you might not have realized you can replay all of the mini-games in Final Fantasy VII. You can ride motorcycles and battle submarines to your heart's content.
16 Using Flytraps To Hurt... Or To Heal?
Once you are able to get into The Ancient Forest you will be introduced to a myriad of convoluted puzzles that don't make much sense. They mostly involve bugs and take forever to solve. There are various flytraps that will whittle your health down to nothing, should you continue stumbling into them. However, due to a "bug" within Final Fantasy VII itself, if you are already dead and jump into a fly trap, it will revive you back to 1 HP. Who needs a Pheonix Down when you have a villainous garden?
15 Because One Hidden Character Wasn't Enough
Again, much like our Yuffie entry, Vincent Valentine is another secret character that is completely optional in Final Fantasy VII. Most people know who he is. He even received his own PlayStation 2 game. To get Vincent you had to perform a series of side tasks in the Shinra Mansion, including opening a safe and beating a pretty difficult boss. You then wake him up out of his coffin in order to have him join your party. He is the most edge-lord in a game filled with edge-lords. Skipping him would be tragic, but it happened all the time because people simply didn't know where he was.
14 The Trick To Handling A Baby Chocobo
Upon arriving in Mideel for the first time you will find a baby Chocobo in one of the houses. This baby is going positively WILD! It's cute and it needs you to tickle him behind his ears. If you feed him the proper greens (Mimet Greens) and tickle his ears you will receive Contain Materia. This high-level, powerful magic is useful until the game's end. If you didn't finish this side-quest before the town was destroyed you won't be able to get it again. There were no indicators or tutorials for feeding this baby, so most players did not obtain Contain Materia, which is a shame.
13 Finding The Hidden Town
Wutai is one of the most beautiful towns in Final Fantasy VII. It's got lots to do and awesome music. It is also the home of Yuffie, providing her backstory and motivation. You are given an opportunity to complete this side quest in Disc 1.
This quest is very easy to miss, on account of it being hard to find, with no directions to get there.
After leaving Rocket Town, you will now have a Tiny Bronco that will allow you to traverse in shallow water. Find a beach with dark soil close by and head up a small hill, where Yuffie will steal all of your Materia. Once the quest is finished you will have not only bonded with Yuffie but claimed some great prizes!
12 Find The Flyers, Gain A Reward
The Turtle’s Paradise is the hippest establishment on this side of Wutai. Did you also know that this place has a mini-game attached to it? Their marketing department must be pretty decent as you might have spotted it on a number of flyers around the world. If you can find all of the flyers, the server will give you prizes that boost your stats. This collectathon does not yield great rewards, so finding all of these hidden ads is a task best suited for the completionist.
11 Taking Control Of The Submarine
During the submarine portion of the Junon mission, you will be tasked with piloting a grey-submarine and hunting a red submarine. The red submarine is carrying the Huge Materia on board. This mission is so easy that nearly all players see this through to success. However, if you intentionally lose the mission and let your grey sub get destroyed you can return to Junon and commandeer the red submarine. Why would you do this? There is no reason, but you can, and that's the point.
10 So... We Can Leave?
The North Crater is where it all goes down. At the end of Disc 2, Sephiroth is sitting, waiting for your arrival. It is the point of "NO RETURN," except, you can leave anytime you want.
If you retrace your steps back and enter the cave at the top, you'll notice that the lighter part of the cave wall is actually a ladder.
Most gamers missed this because the cave wall doesn't really look like something you can climb. But, alas. You can!
9 Keep On Battling At The Battle Square (It's Worth It)
This is another Gold Saucer exclusive side-quest, but you can actually return to the Battle Square and compete for prizes. In fact, you should definitely do this. Some of the best items in the game are locked behind a BP (Battle Points) paywall. W-Summon and Cloud's final limit break "Omnislash" are included in the spoils. It is not easy to obtain these, and getting BP can be a real pain. Since you've already had a pretty big story beat in the Battle Square, there is really no reason to return to this place after leaving it. This is probably why a lot of people get to the end of the game without some of these high-powered winnings.
8 Lost In Translation
There is a lot of reading in Final Fantasy VII, so the tendency to miss minor mistakes is vast. While rummaging around through the Midgar slums, with Aeris in your party, you should find a pipe. When entering the pipe, Aeris will stop you, and say "This guy are sick." Maybe you didn't notice the mistake, or maybe you were just cutting the game some slack, but it's there. Oh, and by the way, this guy definitely are sick. He just mutters to himself. Freaky!
7 Chocobo Breeding? This Guy Can Help
There are no directions to get to him, but this old hermit will sell you some greens for your Chocobo, and that's about it. He does serve a purpose come breeding time, but after going so far out of your way to reach him, you almost wish there was more to it.
He seems like some Gandolf-ish relic of an older age.
You might hear Chole from the Chocobo Farm mention him, but that's about it. If you aren't too keen on exploration, or if you just happen to explore in other areas (not around the mighty Sage) you would easily miss him.
6 A Hidden House In The Middle Of Nowhere
There are a ton of creepily unexplained features hidden throughout Final Fantasy VII, but one that stands unique is the Weapon Seller's house. You can find it out on the peninsula, close to Rocket Town. Depending on when you arrive the Weapon Seller himself might not be there, which gives his home an extra layer of spooky. The whole point of the Weapon Seller is to obtain Aeris' final limit break from by giving the seller Mythril. The only issue is that he is usually gone before you have a chance to do it. His whole existence is very strange, so maybe it's for the best that he remains hidden.
5 A Strange Backstory For A Hidden Character
There is no one more mysterious than Vincent Valentine. Once a Turk, now a vampire, he is a nightmare of metaphors wrapped in several analogies. You can actually see moments from his past if you find Lucrecia's Crystal Cave. Lucrecia is a lost love. From a plot-loving point of view, this is actually a great moment in the game, if you can find it. However, it's also quite hidden. Take your submarine up to the Costa Del Sol area and search for a circular inlet underwater. You'll then emerge from the depths to find a cave, where you can enjoy the ride.
4 This Date Is... Different
You might remember going on a date with Aeris, Tifa, or Yuffie in the Gold Saucer just before the final act of Disc 1.
What you probably don't remember is getting up close and personal with Barret.
This was actually hard to do. It required you being very mean to all three women in your party. This is was hidden because not many people alienated the female characters in their party enough to get a date with the big man himself.
3 Mastering The Materia
You could attain Master Materia by mastering one of the different types of Materia in the game. To get Master Magic, for instance, you needed to master all of the Magic Materia. Sounds like a lot, right? It is!
What you probably didn't know, is that you can actually get all three right away, but it comes at a high cost. You need to defeat Emerald Weapon under the sea, which is infamously one of the toughest bosses in the entire game. If you can manage, then you'll have three brand new pieces of Master Materia waiting for you, courtesy of the Kalm Traveler.
2 This Hidden Summon Is The Strongest Of Them All
There are a few caves around the world that are very hard to access. Each one of them requires the use of a different kind of Chocobo. Mime Materia, for example, can be found with the use of Green, Black, or Gold Chocobo. The most powerful Summon in the entire game, Knights Of The Round, is found in one of these caves. It can only be found with the use of Gold Chocobo, which is quite a process to attain in itself. It would have been easy to miss these as the cave to get Knights Of The Round is not located anywhere on the map.
1 Flashing Back... To A Later Spin-Off
Zach Fair is a character in Final Fantasy VII that is revealed during Cloud's flashback sequences in Disc 2. He is the real Cloud! Whoa! All of Cloud's memories were somehow tangled up with Zach's, and coming to grips with this surprising moment.
If you go back to the Shinra Mansion in Disc 3, you will find there is a little more to the story of Zach.
Returning to the basement of Shinra Mansion triggers a sequence of flashbacks that fill in the gaps for how Cloud made it to Midgar. It ends with Zach's passing in a very touching scene. This part of the game was so good that it inspired another game called Crisis Core on the Sony PSP.