FFVII - Walkthrough - 1.15 Gold Saucer

Items in This Area
Silver Armlet, Ramuh materia

There's some merchants here at North Corel and an inn. You can also learn more about Barret here, whether he's in your party or not. When you're done shopping and chatting, go to the ropeway. After Barret has a flashback about his friend Dain, take the lift up to the Gold Saucer. You can return to the World Map by heading right from the bottom area of the town, but there's nothing to do out there (aside from saving your game or riding around on a Chocobo).

You'll see a Save Point in the background of the first area of the Gold Saucer, but you'll need GP (not gil, like what you've been using) to activate it. Pay the man to get in (the first choice is for a one-visit entry free, the second choice gets you a 'Gold Ticket', which lets you enter the Gold Saucer as often as you'd like), and then choose the path of your choice after your companions separate. You can take a pal with you by talking to them.

If you try to leave the Station Square (the area where you're at; all the areas in the Saucer are divided into 'squares'), Aeris will join you. As you explore the rest of the Gold Saucer, you'll discover that Shinra soldiers are snooping around, looking for Sephiroth. When you're ready to move on, go to the Wonder Square. Here, you'll meet Cait Sith, a would-be fortuneteller. He'll automatically join you since you only have two members (you and your friend) at this point.

Go to the Battle Square and you'll find a bunch of dead bodies; the handiwork of 'a man with a gun on for an arm'. As you're talking to the one person who is still alive, Dio, the proprietor of the Gold Saucer, shows up and promptly blames you for the carnage. Cait Sith makes a dash for freedom, but after following him, the party is trapped. Dio and his henchmen then summon three large robots that throw you and your allies through the 'Gateway to Heaven' to a desolate area, the Corel Prison, which lies at the base of the Gold Saucer.

Here, you'll find Barret. After he runs away, examine the dead body and talk to the other guy before going though the southern gate. There is a treasure chest here (in the chamber at the base of the ladder), but it's already opened (anyone know if there's supposed to be something in it that you could have gotten earlier?) In the Japanese version of FF7, this is the place where you could have (supposedly) fought Test Zero, (not that it's important now).

In the second area, talk to everyone here. The building to the far southeast is a bar, and a man inside will sell you items, and you can sleep in the front truck part of the big rig. After looking around here, enter the building to the east (it doesn't matter which entrance you take). Barret will show up once you're inside, as will Tifa and Aeris. After Barret's flashback (in which his best friend falls down a gorge and North Corel is razed to the ground), reassemble your team and go back to the first area. Examine the guard (who is dead), then either leave through the gate. If you exit by going through the area between the gate and the building to the right, you'll end up wandering around in a wasteland until a caravan (the same one that Tifa was captured in) shows up. When it does, pick the top option to get a ride back to the area beyond the gate or choose the bottom option to stay where you are (in the middle of nowhere...you'll have to keep wandering around until the caravan shows up again).

Anyway, once you've gone past the gate, talk to the man out here and go to the _right_. Any other direction leaves you stranded in the desert (read the above paragraph again if you want to get back on track). This takes you to the caryard. Go up from here and you'll run into none other than Dyne (the guy from Barret's flashback). He tells Barret about Eleanor and Marlene (who is actually his daughter), then decides to attack Barret. In the battle, you're forced to fight using just Barret, so make sure you equipped him with good stuff beforehand.

LV 23 HP 1200 MP 20 Weak Against
The easiest way to kill this boss is simply let him hit you; his attacks increase your Limit meter quickly. Use the Restore materia to restore lost life, then hit him with the Big Shot Limit Break when your meter maxes out. A summoning Materia (like Shiva or Ifrit) is also a good way to inflict added damage. Just make sure you have all the MPs you need, and you can win in no time. The boss can pull off a final attack before dying, so keep your life up (but he can't do it if you kill him fast enough). You get a Silver Armlet for beating him.

After Barret's friend dies, you'll find yourself back in the trailer. After talking to Mr. Coates, you'll be invited to become a Chocobo racer. In the elevator shaft, choose the top option to have the racing process explained to you, or pick the bottom one to skip it. In the room with the other men, check the alcove by the Chocobo poster for a red Summon Materia (Ramuh). Then, talk to the girl in pink (Ester) to start racing.

Your controls as a Chocobo racer are:

S Speed Up
X Speed Down
O Dash (uses up your Dash Meter)
Select Switch between Automatic and Manual control
R1+R2    Hold these buttons to refill your Dash Meter

The more you Dash, the slower your walking speed is, so conserve your Dash Meter for when you really need it. You have to keep racing until you win, so get good fast! Ester will explain the controls to you again prior to the race if you choose the top option, or you can conclude your conversation with her and start racing by choosing the bottom option. If you can't get the hang of it, then just keep racing using the Automatic Sequence mode until you get first place.

Important: Remember this! You can refill your Dash Meter slowly by holding down R1 + R2. You can increase your Chocobo's walking speed by holding L1 + L2 in addition to R1 + R2. Keep this in mind if you ever decide to become a chocobo jockey later on in the game.

After winning, you'll receive the Buggy as first prize, and can now roam freely about the overworld and even pass through shallow rivers! (Look for lighter-shaded fords along the rivers.) Your controls are set up in the following manner:

X Enter buggy
O Main Menu
Select/Start World Map (press repeatedly to enlarge/hide map)
L1/R1 Rotate view (or return to side view if in overhead view)
L2/R2   Change view

You can run into enemies in the buggy, so be careful. Also, you can only return to the Golden Saucer if you take the ropeway from North Corel Town; you can't get there using the buggy. If you go across the river south from the Golden Saucer and look around, you'll find a house on a peninsula; you can't explore it yet, so ignore it for now. BTW, you can return to the desert if you get in the buggy, enter the desert surrounding the Saucer, and touch the houses at the base of the Saucer. However, you'll find that there's nothing to do here but wander through the desert--do so long enough and the same cart that Tifa was abducted in will pull up and offer you a ride back to your vehicle. Choose the top option to accept and the bottom option to stay where you are. And as the help menu indicates, it's possible to return to Junon Town and take the Buggy with you. After you've completed the scenario with Cid and gotten the Tiny Bronco, you can explore the house on the peninsula; you can also get Aeris' Level 4 Limit Break manual at that point in the game.

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