Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Final Fantasy 7: The Assault on Midgar

Once the party learns that Holy has been summoned and that Sephiroth is just standing in its way, the path is clear: get to Sephiroth and stop him. Unfortunately, there's a barrier in the way, but Shinra has a plan for that problem.

Speaking of Shinra, I was happy to see Cait Sith finally tell Barret what I was thinking since the beginning: that regardless of Shinra's activities, AVALANCHE did horrible things and took innocent lives through their terrorism, so they don't really have the moral high ground as far as valuing human lives goes. Barret doesn't want to hear it, but it was cathartic to see it brought up; I'd completely forgotten about that.

Anyway, upon leaving the Forgotten Capitol two things become apparent: Junon's Mako Cannon has been installed in Midgar and had its name changed to Sister Ray, and a Weapon is descending upon the city. Cloud and his crew try to stop the Weapon, but it just kind of ignores them and fires a volley of energy at the city at the same time as the Sister Ray fires. The Sister Ray's beam shoots straight through the Weapon and continues on to the Northern Crater, where it destroys Sephiroth's barrier.

Meanwhile, the Weapon's assault strikes Shinra Tower, destroying the floor Rufus is on. (Apparently he survives, but there's no evidence of that in the game.) Thanks to Reeve we get to hear the power struggle as Shinra's executives vie for power after they learn that Hojo has taken control of Sister Ray. In the end, Scarlet and Heidegger decide to focus on martial law and plant to attack Cloud if he arrives while Reeve insists that they need to come and stop the mad scientist.

So, the party parachutes into the city, which is apparently the only way in. Cait Sith starts leading the way through the streets and the subway system to get to the Sister Ray.

Along the way, the party encounters the Turks one final time. They can either fight or walk away, particularly since the Turks aren't terribly interested in fighting anymore. Still, might as well fight for the challenge and to see Elena in action finally. No worries about killing them since, as always, when defeated they just sort of walk away from the fight anyway.

We also get to finally kill Scarlet and Heidegger once and for all when we destroy their Proud Clod mech. With that, Shinra is pretty much done. The only executive left is Reeve, which is as it should be, yet I don't think he'd keep the company together. He's seen enough as Cait Sith to know that mako energy is harmful in the long term, so I can see him intentionally disbanding the company.

The Sister Ray was reconstructed in Sector 8, the place Cloud ran through and met Aeris at after destroying Mako Reactor No. 1. Nice how it all ties back.

At the control panel, Hojo once again refers to Cloud as "the failure," though at this point it's quite clear that Hojo and Shinra had never actually mastered cloning, and that all of the "Sephiroth clones" were actually just regular humans altered after the fact. In fact, if Sephiroth is special due to his Jenova link, it's probably because, unless the rest of them, Sephiroth was infused with the cells while in the womb, affecting his development.

Hojo also shows surprising fatherly devotion, saying, "my son needs power and help." Sure enough, he's focused on firing mako energy directly into the crater, which would basically give Sephiroth all the energy he needs to become a "god" and take over the planet after Meteor hits.

Seeing Hojo like this, Vincent finally forgives himself for what happened to Lucrecia and blames Hojo for using her.

The battle with Hojo is like a condensed preparation for the battle with Sephiroth later: basically, three fights. The first is fairly familiar, the form of Hojo, though a bit zombified. The next is a strange abomination that looks like something out f Resident Evil. Then, finally, a cleaner, more alien form, much like Frieza's final form.

With Hojo defeated, Midgar is finally free of Shinra's influence. Mission accomplished, I guess.

Too bad that Meteor is heading right for the city, though.

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