Ever since the Final Fantasy franchise made its iconic debut in 1987, there have been all manner of rumours with regards to just what a player can and can't do from game to game. In FFVII, these rumours range all the way from resurrecting the most famous character of Aeris, and using her for the entire duration of the game, to playing as the most infamous character of Sephiroth, thus able to destroy anything and everything in the game with a single swipe of his deadly masamune.
They even go as far as to say that the Holy materia can be plucked from the pool, and turned into an incredibly glorious character, aptly called Holy, who is the apparent epitome of goodness, and light (this one for sure does not exist). And there is brief mention of the revival of the flashback character of Zack (though there is no reason to actually want him alive again anyway).
Another fun rumour is that of the Onyx Weapon (because Diamond, Ruby, Ultima, and Emerald weren't enough). Onyx can be found where one fights the Midgar Zolum, but only after one breeds the elusive White Chocobo, who can dive into the pond for the boss battle... All poppycock!
Regardless of all the fake reports of what could be amazing elements of this game, below is a list of items, actions, videos, locations, and characters one might not have been in the know about when first playing through this most incredible of Final Fantasy games... so enjoy!
15 The 1/35 Soldiers Can Be Used For Combat
There are those who will say that the 1/35 scale soldiers that can be found strewn about the world of Final Fantasy VII serve absolutely no purpose whatsoever. It turns out that that is false. The twelve that a player can collect (Without getting up to 99 at Gold Saucer), from different spots in the game came in more handy than one may think. First, apparently, if one was to buy the vacation home in Costa Del Sol, one would see the soldiers on display there. But that isn't incredibly useful, nor certain. However (at least in the PSX Platinum version of the game), should a player collect these soldiers (as well as the Super Sweeper), and go to defend Fort Condor, one may notice some extra defence. The soldiers and Super Sweeper appear, and protect the reactor. This is also based on the amount of gil one has on hand, but it's a fun little segment where the player doesn't have to worry about fighting either the soldiers, nor the Sweeper, for a change.
14 You Can Get Back To Midgar
This one may be largely known to any of those gamers who bought the FFVII game guide all those years ago, or who simply decided to have a field day on the internet (since the web was really just starting to come into its own with this sot of info when the game debuted). By disc three, should a player decide to traipse on over the Midgar, there will be a man standing by the gate. Upon speaking to him, he will reveal that he lost a key during tour of Bone Village. Heading to Bone Village, if one was to order an excavation by the tent at the top of the area, one will find a key to Sector 5 (this may need to be done more than once before finding the item). Regardless, returning to Midgar, the player will be able to enter Sector 5 through Aeris' church, and wonder Sector 6 as well. When one does enter the church, one may catch a brief glimpse of Aeris, caring for her flowers, before she disappears. A sight for sore eyes, to be sure.
13 There Is A Hidden Island Of Cactuar
Near the desert prison of Corel, one may have come across (every so often) a Cactuar. This elusive enemy will only appear once in approximately every seven or eight battles. In addition, he will tend to flee from battle, leaving the party with nothing to show for the hunt. Should he be defeated, however, there is a reward of 10,000 gil. But given that the rate of appearance is so low, one may wish to seek out Cactus Island. Taking to the skies in the Highwind, flying directly south of Cosmo Canyon, one will discover an island (that is not shown on the world map). Here one will come across the infamous Cacteur: the stronger cousin of the Cactuar. Attacking with his 1000 Needles skill, this creature can be a pain, but is more than worth taking on. Cactus Island is the only place the Cacteur can be found, and while he does not yield gold in abundance, he is easily morphed into Tetra Elemental (for absorbing and protecting against certain elemental attacks).
12 Acquiring The Chocobuckle Enemy Skill
Perhaps the most difficult and non-intuitive Enemy Skill to get in the game, the Chocobuckle skill requires a specific list of items. The Enemy Skill 'Lvl 4 Suicide' must be learned (taken from either Mu or Trickplay enemies), and one 'mimett green' must be present in the player's inventory. In addition, the Chocobo Lure, and Sense materias must be equipped. One must then head out into the field to find a chocobo battle. Once engaged, Sense must be cast on the creature to discover if it is a level sixteen (or some number that is a multiple of 4). If so, then feed it the 'mimett green', and cast Lvl 4 Suicide on the bird. Instead of waiting for the countdown to its own death, the chocobo will retaliate with the Chocobuckle skill, attacking the person who cast Lvl 4 Suicide; granting the Enemy Skill to the player. One can see just how unthinkable the specific method is to acquire the skill, but Squaresoft couldn't make everything easy and intuitive.
11 Extra Easy Chocobo Racing
For those who had no idea when first playing through the game, trying desperately to win races, and breed better chocobos... well there was always an easier way to deal with this. Throwing greens out like candy, and hoping that one's chocobo remained in the race with high stamina, was always a faltering, vain sort of hope (or at least a big drain to a player's wallet). However, there is a simple, inexpensive method by which one can recover a chocobo's stamina during a race. By simply holding down the L1, L2, R1, and R2 buttons at the same time, one will discover that the tiring bird's stamina will rise. Cutting the wallet drain by at least half, a smaller number of greens, and a bulked up stamina boost, should help a player win race after race, in an effort to win prizes, and work toward breeding that infamous Gold Chocobo (though if one were to kill Ruby Weapon... one is simply given a Gold Chocobo).
10 Lucky Seven Attack
Now this little piece of infamy certainly began more as a rumour than anything else (aside from perhaps the notion that one can play as Sephiroth, or fight as some special 'Holy' character). Regardless of the steady production of the rumour mill, it turns out that this Lucky Sevens business is entirely true. Which makes absolute sense. The number of references to the number seven, in the seventh (not technically) instalment of Final Fantasy, is indeed exorbitant... so why not play up the stereotypically lucky number some more? If a player should manage to bring a character's hitpoints to 7777 (regardless of which character, or all three in the party), a text bar will appear to say 'Lucky 7s!' or 'All Lucky 7s!' (depending). The character(s) in this state will become frantic, attacking at random, but always hitting for 7777 damage. There is a drawback however. If one remains in this state until the end of the battle, their hit points will subsequently be reduced to 1hp. While this is a quick fix, if consecutive battles are being fought, this can be dangerous.
9 Overflow Damage Glitch
There are a few specifics that are needed for this burst of intense damage, but it does have a worthwhile result... instant death of even the toughest of enemies in a player's path. One must first have either Vincent's 'Death Penalty', or Barret's 'Missing Score' weapons. Now each weapon mechanic is different, but the whole point is to accrue heavy damages. In Vincent's case, one must kill upwards of 60, 000 enemies with 'Death Penalty'. As for Barret, one must equip near 8,000,000 AP worth of materia onto his 'Missing Score'. There is, of course, some wiggle room, but the optimum numbers are above. Once Vincent and/or Barret are thusly equipped, seek out a battle. Because of the extreme damage caused under these conditions, the game will interpret the high damage as high healing, which it in turn interprets as a glitch and kills off the enemy outright. This will also happen with any enemy or boss, making it very handy against enemies like Ruby or Emerald Weapon. But make sure not to have HP Absorb equipped by any means, as the glitch will then also effect the player, and kill them.
8 You Can Play As Sephiroth... In A Way
This has been perhaps the biggest rumour ever since the game first debuted in January of 1997. Sephiroth has been the epitome of video game villain, and thus every gamer's dream to play for his incredible insanity, fearsome focus, and scintillating style... and his vies on humanity aren't actually too far off, in spite of his methods of dealing with the issue. That all being said, it is possible to play as Sephiroth... though not quite how one might like to, unfortunately.
Aside from the little bit of flashback, when Sephiroth repeatedly saves Cloud's ass, there is another way, albeit a risky one. Should a player happen to have a Gameshark for the PS One, there is a code to unlock an USO option in the regular game menu. Once USO has been placed into the game menu, it is found by scrolling with the cursor, until it sits atop a blank space (this is where the magic begins). Characters are numbered (Sephiroth is number 10), and can be put in any one of the three characters slots. Leave cloud in the first spot, and ensure Sephiroth is in the third spot. Sephiroth will then be in your party. You will not be able to control him in battle, but he will take damage, level up, and you can change up his materia (and still keep his initial spells). But don't have him in the party during flashbacks, or during disc 3 gameplay: the game will freeze. A bittersweet Sephiroth.
7 Get Quadra Magic Without A Chocobo
Now this little trick is actually surprisingly easy, and does not require any Gameshark or other actual cheating methods. One should have to have a chocobo that can traverse the mountain ranges by the cave in which one finds the Quadra Magic materia... but that is actually not necessary. Instead, one can simply hop in the Highwind, and fly up to the cave area. All one need do is position the Highwind appropriately (one can play around with this or find the screenshot online), and make an attempt to land. Whilst in the process of landing, make to shift the airship to the right of the cave. If done correctly, Cloud will be able to walk the rest of the way to the cave, and retrieve the materia. This can sometimes be tricky though, and will often result in Cloud being stuck between the Highwind, and the hill atop which sits the cave. Simply hope back into the airship, and try again. Considering the amount of time it takes to breed a chocobo sufficient for reaching the cave, taking a few minutes to try and land correctly is hardly a chore at all.
6 Test 0 Battle (Japanese Version Only)
Yes, sorry, this is specifically available in the Japanese version only, but one will understand why in a moment, and one can always purchase a fairly cheap translator for the game as well. The Test 0 enemy was likely a simple trial opponent when working on developing the game. However, it was deleted improperly, and still remains in the original Japanese version. In the well at the Corel Prison, the Test 0 enemy will appear as a random encounter. Should one come across this villain, it is very much worth the fight. Yielding 100AP, 1,000EXP, and 10,000 gil, it is the perfect enemy to seek out for level grinding at a relatively early stage of the game. Given that it was an enemy designed for testing battle mechanics though, it does have 30,000HP, which means the battle may last for some time, but again, the rewards are worth it. One should make sure to have already beaten the Corel Prison area though, as once the enemy is defeated, the game will transport the player to the last visited spot on the world map. If meant to be elsewhere, this will cause the game to glitch for breaking the coded protocol, and could result in a ruined game file.
5 Turtle's Paradise Flyers
Whether or not every gamer who's gone through FFVII has known just what they were for, every gamer has at least acquired several of these Turtle's Paradise flyers. It is avoidable, but anyone who cares to explore surroundings has come across at least a couple. These flyers, if all six are found, yield a great prize: one of every type of source in the game (Power, Guard, Magic, Mind, Speed, Luck). Now, it would be just too nice to explain exactly where each of the flyers are to be found, but a proximal idea should suffice. The first flyer is found in the Sector 5 neighbourhood (some of the flyers cannot be retrieved later in the game, so do start early). The second flyer can be found in the Shinra headquarters, on the first floor (so either bust in the front door, or take the elevator down before continuing the story). Number three is in the Ghost Hotel in Gold Saucer. Four and five are found in Cosmo Canyon. The final flyer is found in Wutai (where one first hears about the contest to retrieve the flyers). Though the materia side quest must be at least started before the sixth flyer can be obtained.
4 Fill Inventory With Elixirs
Elixirs are perhaps the most handy item in the entire game, completely rejuvenating a character's health and magic points. Much handier than scouring near Wutai to find 99 X-potions for health, and buying up as many Turbo-Ethers as possible for magic. That being said, in the ice field there is a cave, in which sits a single Elixir. Now, as the above screen shows, when one typically receives an item, a text box will appear to say so. Normally a player cannot move when this box appears, and must hit X to acknowledge the acquisition. In this screen, however, one may move about, while the box is active. Without cancelling the text, all one must do is simply walk out of the cave, and back in again, and the Elixir will have remained untouched... but there will still be an extra Elixir in the inventory. This can be done over and again until one has 99 Elixirs. But word of warning: if the text box is removed at any time before exiting the cave, the Elixir will disappear from the cave, and the duplication process will not be possible.
3 W-Item Duplication Glitch
Speaking of item duplication, here is a method in which one can duplicate any item that can be selected during battle (including the Elixir— should one find themselves running low after previously filling their inventory). In order for this trick to work, one must have the W-Item materia, which allows the user to employ two items in a single turn. However, instead of selecting two items, and continuing in battle, there is a way to repeatedly, and easily duplicate items. Simply enter the items menu in battle, select the first item to be used, and a target. Following this, select the second item to be used, and then cancel... and do this as many times as one may wish. The first selected item will be cloned each time the second item is cancelled. For an easy way to acquire Sources from enemies, and clone them, one may work around the "battle items only" restriction. If a paltry item is placed in the top left of the inventory screen, and a battle ensues: one need simply injure an enemy, morph it, and before the morph is complete, select the potion with W-Item, and a target. Once the morph happens, the potion will be replaced in the inventory position by the newly acquired item, and one may then use the first method for continual cloning.
2 Save Anywhere!
This will not work with the Northern Cave Save Crystal, though there is a way to clone the Save Crystal that one receives while in the cave (but that is not the topic being discussed here). Here's how it works: when loading a saved game (that was saved at a save point, and not the crystal, or the world map), attempt to move in any direction during the black screen between load, and game. If the player manages to move off the save point before the game screen itself fully loads, one will find that the menu acts as though the player is still at a save point. To quickly check that one has succeeded in this little glitch, one bring up the menu, and attempt to save, or use the PHS. Easy enough, and if not successful the first time around, one need only reload to try again. If successful, one must be wary of touching save points, as this will cancel the glitch, having returned to a proper save point. Of course resetting the game will also cancel this glitch. But the luxury of being able to save anywhere, at any time between the loading of a game, and the subsequent touching of another save point is mighty convenient.
1 Post-Credit Sequence
These days people are well attuned to the post-credits teasers, common now in so many games and films (many thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe for making this a staple in the industry). Back in 1997 though, this practise was not necessarily popular or widespread by any means. That being said, if one hasn't yet, do beat FFVII one more time, and let the credits roll. Ending the game with Meteor wreaking havoc, and Holy coming to the rescue is just not enough for some people (this author included). If one watches until the end of the credits, one will find Nanaki (Red XIII) running with several fiery kittens, running up a rocky hillside. Once at the top, the camera pans over an overgrown Midgar. For some reason, many have said this to be the setup for Advent Children... This author thinks FFVII had no such future in mind. In fact, this final ending of the game seems to suggest that while Holy did stop Meteor from destroying the Earth, it does also bring balance to the Lifestream by ridding the world of humanity. Nanaki and his kin are present. A glorious flock of birds is present... not a single humanoid makes an appearance. Both the black and white materia come together to save the planet— the very thing AVALANCHE wanted— by ridding it of its biggest parasite: humankind. It's incredible how philosophically deep this game actually is when one really thinks while playing through it.