FFVII - Walkthrough - 2.4 The Crater & Whirlwind Maze

Items in This Area
Ribbon, Javelin, Elixir, Fire Armlet, Megalixir, Speed Source, Enhance Sword, Dragon Fang, Neo Bahamut materia, Ether, Hi-Potion, Kaiser Knuckle, Reflect Ring, MP Turbo materia, Poison Ring

Once you've had your fun in the snowfield, return to the old man's house and heal up or save your game if you need to. Then, go north from the shack to arrive at the slopes of a icy mountain. Keep in mind that you can't explore this area at any time other than right now in Disc 2, so make sure to get all the items and other stuff.

Now, get ready for some finger-smashing fun! The meter that appears on screen when you're outside is your body temperature: it goes down because of the cold climate. To keep your temperature up, you need to rapidly hit the S button. The highest temperature you can get to is 38, while the lowest is 27. Any less than that (26), and you pass out and find yourself back in Holzoff's shack. It sounds like keeping your heat up is easy, but you can only increase it when you're on one of the ledges, not while you're climbing up the rock face. So for those long climbs, you have to max out your heat and climb as quickly as you can. Luckily, your heat doesn't go down during a battle. Remember, it's not how hard you press the S button, but how fast you press it, so try to get in as many presses as you can to max out your temperature.

I had made a GameShark code for this part of the game in the Japanese version of FF7, because it was so hard. But in the US version, you'd have to really mess up to have your temperature dip below 34, even. That's right, here's another example of Square making an easier game even simpler. In the Japanese version, you destroyed your fingers trying to keep your rapidly-decreasing body heat up. ^_^;

In this area, there's nowhere else to go but up, so climb along the rock face until you arrive at the cave entrance, pausing at each ledge to restore your body heat. Always keep an eye out for the red flags; they indicate which part of the wall you can climb. Inside, go through the two archways into the next cavern. Here, climb up the stairs and go through the south exit. In the adjoining area, walk all the way to the right to find a hidden chamber with a chest; inside it is a Ribbon. Then return to the main path and head north, then west, through the entrance. Cross the icy bridge in the third cavern and press the SELECT button to bring up the cursor; it'll help you navigate through the twisting passage before you. Once you reach the top, examine the boulder and choose the top option when it presents itself. This will make you push the boulder and free up the blocked passage beneath you. You can still move while the boulder is rolling--notice that you can stand right where it falls and you will recieve no damage (then again, Cloud is the same guy who can run around in the cold wearing a sleeveless shirt and not die of hypothermia...must be those corn flakes).

Go back to the other room (where you got the Ribbon), and open the purple chest to the northeast; there's a Javelin lying inside it. Now, return to the room that you exited from the south (the one with the formerly blocked passage), and go north along the passage until you reach another exit. This leads to the upper path above the chest with the Javelin--keep following it and you'll find yourself outside.

Build up your temperature, then climb up the wall. After going a short distance, you're given a choice (up, down, or right). Pick the top option (up), and head up until you reach a ledge. Keep climbing upward, and you'll be prompted with another choice (right or down). Pick the top option and head right to arrive at another ledge. Then climb up until you reach the next ledge; it has a path going left and an unmarked path that goes to the right (i.e. there's no flag by it). The right path is a dead end, so take the left path and keep climbing up along the wall (you'll find another ledge on the way) until you reach a second cave entrace.

This large cavern is pocked with holes. There's an exit and a treasure chest, but they are too high to reach, at the moment. Don't miss the Save Point between the chest and the exit. Nab the other chest in the lower right corner of the room (there's an Elixir inside of it), then go north from the chest to find a passage that leads outside. Once you're out in the open again, head north, then go around the bend and head south and east.

In the next room, examine the area immediately to the right to find a chest with an Fire Armlet inside. There are four huge icicles here that you need to knock into the holes in the lower cavern. This is done by 'fighting' them. Each icicle is guarded by several yellow bats.

LV 30 HP 3000 MP 300 Weak Against Fire, Earth, Gravity
LV 28 HP 740 MP 45 Weak Against
The Icicle can counter with an Icicle Drop attack. It will do this to any person who attacks it, tries to steal from it, or the like. You don't have to kill the bats in order to win the battle (all you have to do is 'kill' the icicle), but since they can Silence your characters and recover HP when they attack you, you may want to get them out of the way before attacking the icicle. Or, use Beta to inflict damage on all of them at once. Killing the icicle is worth 500 exp, 0 AP, and 0 gil, so if you want some AP and gil, you may want to kill the Evilheads too (which, incidentally, you can Morph into Holy Torches).

Each time you win a battle, you'll be given an option. If you pick the bottom choice, you'll drop down to the room below, while picking the top choice lets you stay where you are (so you can continue to 'fight' the other icicles. After knocking down the last icicle, choose to stay where you are so that you can get the chest on the far left (it has a Megalixir inside*). Then, go back along the path. Just before you reach the door, an option appears; pick the bottom choice to jump down to the room below.

*  Note that it says you get a 'Last Elixir'! Yes, this is the power of the Square translators at work. 'Last Elixir' was the Japanese name of the Megalixir item, and if you look at your menu, you will have gotten an extra Megalixir, not a new item called 'Last Elixir'. Didn't they do a good job on the translation? :)

When the icicles drop down here, the floor of the cavern is 'raised'. After knocking down 3 of them, you can reach the exit, knock down all 4 and you can get the chest on the ledge in the upper left corner of the room (which contains a Speed Source). When you're ready, go through the now-avalible exit by hopping across the stones. This leads to the left side of the outer path. Be sure to examine the chest that's here to get an Enhance Sword, then follow the path as it curves back on itself and leads to the lower passage in the icicle room.

Keep following the path, and you'll find yourself on the side of the mountain yet again. Grab the rock face and climb to the right. After a while, three options will appear (up, left, or right). Pick the bottom choice and keep holding right to make Cloud ascend the side of the mountain. When you reach the next ledge, raise your temperature and take the path that leads to the left. As you're climbing, another set of options will appear (up, down, or right). Choose the top option and keep climbing up. Once you've made it beyond the second ledge, you'll find a final cave entrance.

This area has a hard-to-miss Save Point in it, and if you examine the nearby pool of light, your HP and MP will be completely restored, and all dead characters will be revived. Now is a perfect time to stock up on goodies--you can use the pool to stay healthy while fighting the enemies for exp, AP, and gil, and you can learn Smelly Breath from the Molbors just outside (be sure to wear a Ribbon!) Plus, you can win Dragon Armlets from the Blue Dragons in this cave, which will halve damage taken from Fire, Cold, or Lightning attacks, and win M-Tentacles from defeated Molbols. There's a boss encounter coming your way, so make sure you're ready to do battle, then exit the chamber by going to the far right.

In the adjoining hallway, you'll see one of those shrouded creatures (similar to the ones in Nibelheim) be thrown to the floor. Before you have a chance to examine it, you'll be attacked by a two-headed boss.

Schizo (Right)
LV 43 HP 18000 MP 350 Weak Against
Schizo (Left)
LV 43 HP 18000 MP 350 Weak Against
In case you're confused, the 'right head' is the scaly one, and the 'left head' is the one with horns. Anyway, you should have the Aurora, Bolt, and Fire Armlets equipped on your members to reduce damage from the scaly head's Fire breath and the horned head's Ice breath. The Bolt Armlet will defend you against the heads' final attack, which damages all members for 1400 damage. Use MBarrier to up your defense, then Haste yourselves. Try using Earth and Comet spells, as well and summonings, like Alexander, Leviathan, and Bahamut to soften the boss up. However, don't use Poison (which does no damage) or the Kjata summon spell (which will heal both heads). Ice works well on the scaly head, and Fire works well on the horned head, but don't confuse the two since you will heal a head instead of hurt it. You may also want to use Elemental and attack a Fire or Ice materia attached to your weapon in order to attack with that sort of element (but don't attack the other head, for the same reason). In addition to breath attacks, the boss can also use a dual Ice/Fire breath attack, it can cast Quake 3, and has the previously mentioned final attack that it uses once when each head dies (and if you kill both heads at once, you'll still lose if both final attacks kill you off. When it's defeated, you'll get a Dragon Fang from the boss.

If you were badly beaten during the fight, you can always return to the room with the pool to heal yourselves. Otherwise, continue down the passage; it leads outside (Cloud sure moves slow out here, doesn't he?) Then climb the icy wall up to the top, where an automatic sequence will play. After it finishes, head along the side of the inner crater. In the next area, Tifa will talk with you if she's in your party; if she isn't, she'll promptly appear and insist on coming with you, which means you'll have to kick a member out of your current group. Head to the left.

In the next area, climb down to the lower path and look for a red materia (Neo Bahamut) near the bottom edge of the screen. You can't do anything about the shrouded guy leaping off-screen, so ignore him. After getting the materia, you can hop up to a small island of rock where there is a Save Point. When you're done there, jump again to return to the top path, and walk to the left. You'll see a short intermission with the three heads of Shinra and several scientists heading towards the Crater in the Highwind, the airship you saw back in Junon Town.

Once the intermission is over, walk left and you'll reach the first of three 'shield' screens. Talk to the two shrouded men, and they'll each leave behind an item when they die (an Ether and a Hi-Potion). To get past the flickering shield that's in front of you, stand as close to it as you can, then wait until the green aura is almost gone. Now, quickly run through it or you'll be knocked back when the shield's aura grows stronger. If you mess up, you'll be repelled by the shield and will be attacked by a monster:

Wind Wing
LV 36 HP 1900 MP 350 Weak Against
For starters, you can steal a Hi-Potion from the Wind Wing, and you can transform it into a Phoenix Down. Even better, you can control it using a Manipulate materia and make it attack itself! In other words, this is an easy battle.

If you happen to touch the shield from the other side, you'll get knocked back to the front of the screen, so be careful.

In the next screen, more of those shrouded creatures are running around and dying. Ignore them, but don't miss the chest near the first left turn of the path; there's a Kaiser Knuckle inside it. Follow the path until you reach the next screen. The second shield is here, but unlike the first one, there's a surge of energy traveling along the shield that will knock you back even if the shield's aura is almost gone. So, wait until the energy surge has passed and the aura is nearly invisible, then dash across. If either defense knocks you back, you'll have to fight a second Wind Wing (see the above strategy).

Beyond the shield, Sephiroth awaits. He'll cut down two more of those black creatures before turning invisible and toying around with Cloud. After he attacks the party, he'll summon a second version of Jenova to kill Cloud and his friends.

LV 55 HP 25000 MP 800 Weak Against
Jenova will try to Silence your members from time to time, and uses a Red Light attack often (usually after being attacked with magic). It causes little damage, but too many of these will really mess up your party. Jenova's last form of attack is a spurt of fire bubbles (even weaker than the Red Light attack). As you can see, this battle is not hard at all; just hack away with physical attacks, or if you think you have enough HPs, use Comet and cast Bahamut, Neo Bahamut, and Alexander. It's advisable that you wear the Fire Armlet or Dragon Armlet, since Jenova's attacks all cause Fire-based damage. Give the Fire Armlet to your best spell caster, and you can knock out Jenova and gain life back at the same time :) You'll win a Reflect Ring when the battle's over.

After the boss is killed, you'll get the Black Materia back (and it's actually black this time :)) Once you're back in control of Cloud, he confesses that since Sephiroth was able to manipulate him last time, he might try it again. Therefore, someone else should hold the Black Materia and stay here while Cloud and the others follow after Sephiroth. The first time I got here, only Red 13 would take the Black Materia. This second time, only Barret would. In the US game, they both offered to keep it...! ^_^; Well, just give it to whoever will take it--simply choose the top option when it is available (you won't get an option if that character refuses to take it). Finally, talk to Tifa.

When you're in control of Cloud again, head north. There's a materia here (MP Turbo, but notice that it's yellow when you pick it up!), as well as a Save Point and a chest containing a Poison Ring. If you go north from here, you'll run into the third and final shield. In addition to having all the defenses of the previous shield (the glowing aura and the moving energy surge), bolts of lightning will strike the ground repeatedly. Since the lightning strikes in short bursts with long pauses in between, wait for the shield's aura to fade, the energy surge to pass, _and_ wait for a pause in the lightning strikes before attempting to pass through the shield. If you're hit by any one of those defenses, you'll have to fight a Wind Wing again (refer to the strategy section above). Once you're past the shield, head along the path. It leads to an exact replicate of Nibelheim.

This next scene is sorta like a 'semi-interactive' flashback. You get to see Sephiroth run around in Nibelheim, but this time, there's another guy following him (Zack, the guy you heard about in Gongaga Village). Talk to your other party member, then to Tifa. In the next scene, Zack will look around Nibelheim (which has been reduced to smoldering rubble), and chat with Zangan, who was Tifa's mentor. (BTW, you can go to the Main Menu while Zack is running around. It's pointless, but I thought it was sort of amusing :)) Then, your party appears in a flaming building, and Sephiroth appears. Instead of attacking, he talks to the party. When you can move, talk to Sephiroth and he'll teleport around the room. When you're in control of Cloud once more, talk to Tifa twice. Sephiroth warps around some more, then shows Cloud a picture of him, Tifa, and Zack. After that, Cloud has another fit, and the screen fades out.

In the next scene, Rufus, Scarlet, and Hojo (the scientist) arrive at the crater. Before them is a monster encased in ice. It's one of the five 'Weapons', which awakens and watches them, then starts moving. Following that, Sephiroth appears in the guise of Tifa and knocks out the other characters, then tricks whoever is guarding the Black Materia to go to the center of the crater. Your party will appear in the area where the Shinra members are at, and the person with the Black Materia gives it to Cloud, who then flies to the structure where Sephiroth is at (though you can move around up here, the game takes over your controls in a few seconds anyway). Once Cloud's given the Black Materia to Sephiroth, the whole crater starts to break apart and your party (sans Cloud) escapes on the Highwind along with the rest of the Shinra crew. Notice that the FMV will suddenly switch to the five Weapon monsters escaping; this is new to the US version of Final Fantasy. The remaning FMV has also been altered (five streaks of light representing the Weapons shoot out of the crater). Gee, I dunno, I kinda liked the Japanese FMV better (really!)

< Previous
Take Me To The Next Page [ 2.5 Junon Town Attacked! ] >