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Final Fantasy VII


Speed Run FAQ / Walkthrough

by GarlandG

                    GarlandG's Speed Run FAQ/Walkthrough for

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                                 Version  2.24

This version of the guide is very outdated. During the last couple of months,
tons of new strategies have been found and we're still coming up with new ideas
and strategies that will improve the times dramatically. I'm currently working
on a MAJOR update (version 3.0), but as of January 31st, I haven't touched it
in a couple of months. I kinda needed a break from FFVII (been playing it way
too much) and I'm working on another FAQ as well.

I was originally going to start my final "perfect run" on February 16th, but it
has now been postponed until April 25th. If you have to know the reason, you
can find it in the Speed Run topic. Anyway, I'm going to do start a test run in
early April and that's when I'll complete the update, Version 3.0. I apologize
for this delay, but I can guarantee you that it won't be delayed again. Version
3.0 will be available before April 25th, so that anyone can join the the final
"perfect run". That's a promise.

You can still use this FAQ though, unless you're going for the perfect run.
It's more than good enough for first timers. It's just that you will get a much
better result with the new strategies. As known, my current record is 9:19:20,
and my new goal was originally to beat the game in less than 9 hours, but with
all the new strategies, it can probably be done in less than 8:30. We'll find
out after the final "perfect run" has been completed. I'm also going to record
this run and submit it to

In the meantime, you can take a look at the demo version of the new guide. It
covers the intro part and a complete walkthrough of Midgar, and as you can see,
it has gotten a small makeover.

Or if you have any questions, ideas or just want to discuss Speed Runs with me,
lolo26 and other speed demons, you can visit the message board and post the
General Speed Run Discussions Topic:

Oh, and when it comes to ideas and suggestions, please, professionals only!
Example: We know that you can skip Gongaga.

That's it. Stay tuned for version 3.0.

Table of contents:
Use quick find to easily find what you want. Ctrl+B in Notepad and Ctrl+F in
web browsers such as IE, Opera, Firefox and so on. To find a certain boss, just
type in the name while searching, and you should find what you're looking for.

1 - Important Stuff
* 1.1 <> Copyright

* 1.2 <> Intro

* 1.3 <> Gaming Info

* 1.4 <> Frequently Asked Questions

* 1.5 <> PAL and NTSC differences

* 1.6 <> Speed Game Record Run Results
  - Lolo26's PC Record Run

2 - Walkthrough Midgar
* 2.1 <> No. 1 Reactor -> No. 5 Reactor
  - Sector 8
  - Sector 7 Slums
  - No. 5 Reactor

* 2.2 <> No. 5 Reactor -> Wall Market
  - Wall Market
  - Sector 7 Slums (second visit)
  - Sector 6 & 5 Slums

* 2.3 <> Shinra HQ & Escaping Midgar
  - Shinra HQ

3 - Walkthrough: The Rest of Disc One
* 3.1 <> Kalm, The Flashback & Crossing the Marches
  - The Flashback
  - Part 2
  - Crossing the Marches

* 3.2 <> Mythril Mine -> Junon
  - Under Junon
  - Junon

* 3.3 <> Junon -> Mt. Corel
  - Shinra Boat
  - Costa del Sol
  - Mt. Corel

* 3.4 <> Mt. Corel -> Cosmo Canyon

* 3.5 <> Cosmo Canyon

* 3.6 <> Nibelheim & Mt. Nibel

* 3.7 <> Rocket Town -> Gold Saucer (second visit)
  - Learning Magic Hammer
  - Gold Saucer (second visit)

* 3.8 <> The Temple of Ancients

* 3.9 <> Bone Village & The Forgotten City

4 - Walkthrough: Disc Two and three
* 4.1 <> Corral Valley Cave -> Gaea's Cliff
  - Icicle Inn
  - Great Glacier
  - Gaea's Cliff

* 4.2 <> Gaea's Cliff and Whirlwind Maze
  - Whirlwind Maze

* 4.3 <> Junon (second visit) -> Mt. Corel (second visit)

* 4.4 <> Mt. Corel (second visit) -> Mideel (second visit)

* 4.5 <> Mideel (second visit) -> Underwater Reactor
  - Junon (third visit)

* 4.6 <> Rocket Town (second visit) -> Diamond Weapon battle
  - Cosmo Canyon (second visit)
  - Forgotten Capital (second visit)

* 4.7 <> Midgar (second visit)

* 4.8 <> Going Down

* 4.9 <> The last battles
  - A math lesson
  - The result

5 - Additional Info
* 5.1 <> Contacting Me

* 5.2 <> Version History

* 5.3 <> Credits

* 5.4 <> Final Words

                              1 - Important Stuff
I know that a lot of people skip this part, but do yourself a favour and read
it. I strongly encourage you to do so, because you will find tons of very
important info, and many of your questions will be answered. Just read it. As
simple as that. And don't forget the Copyright info.

                                1.1 <> Copyright
This guide is Copyrighted © to Audun Arnseth, 2004, and is for private use
only. It can be downloaded or printed if desired. The guide shall not in any
way be reproduced, sold or used to earn money in any kind of way. The guide
shall not be used on other websites without my approval. If this is desired,
send me a mail to [email protected] and ask for permission. If anyone should
get my approval, which you most likely will, my name must be showed and no one
can take the honor of the guide themselves. This also goes for magazines, books
and other types of media. All kinds of violation of copyright will be taken
very hardly. I will consider it an ethic violation and breaking of moral. It
also shows lack of respect for other people’s work. Never forget that copyright
violation is illegal and you can in worst cases come in conflict with the law.

Final Fantasy VII and everything that has to do with this game is copyrighted
(C) to Squaresoft, 1997 & 1998. Squaresoft and Final Fantasy are registered
trademarks (R) to Square Co. Ltd.

Most of this guide has been written out of my own gaming and experiences. Other
people helping out will be credited in any case. No other guides have been used
in the progress of making this guide. It's written entirely independent from
all other guides that may exist in this universe. Oh yeah, that's right, I used
my own Low Level Guide, but since I wrote that all by myself, it doesn't count.
The only things taken from other sources are simple technical data on enemies
and bosses, like their HP and MP. Since these are factual information, it is
not a copyright violation.

Simply put, break my Copyright and I will send my dog on you. That should be
punishment enough.

                                  1.2 <> Intro
A Speed Run is yet another challenge for FFVII, and probably the best challenge
there is for any game. You can Speed Run almost all the games out there. Your
main goal is simply to get through the game as fast as possible and save at the
bottom of the crater. This is the "Final Save", and this is the time that
counts in an FFVII Speed Run. This challenge is as difficult as you want it to
be, as you can set your own goal for the final save and try to beat it.

This guide will help you to do this challenge, and you will find all the info
you need to reach the final save in less than 10 hours. The walkthrough part is
very detailed, and it tells you exactly what to do in order to save as much
time as possible. You will find great strategies to all boss battles and other
mandatory fights. And on top of everything, you will find my record time and
recommended times for a 10 hours and a 12 hours run. If you read and understand
the guide, and have the skills needed, you should have no problem reaching the
final save in less than 10 hours. First timers should rather aim for a 12
hours run, and that's why I added the recommended times for a 12 hours run in
this update.

A Speed Game is similar to a Low Level Game in many ways, as you will only
fight boss battles and certain enemies to learn enemy skills. You will get
small amounts of EXP and you won't get any higher than level 40 at the end of
the game. You should at least have beaten the game on level 40 or less before
attempting this challenge. If you're not used to fighting at low levels, this
challenge could get far more difficult than you'd expected. Well, challenges
are meant to be difficult after all, so I won't stop you from doing this
challenge even if you've only completed the game once. Do what you want, but I
recommend you to do a Low Level Game first.

Many people deny the fact of this being a true Speed Run. They claim that a
true Speed Run is when you start a timer when you select "new game" and stop it
when the last Sephiroth is defeated. In other words, just like a marathon. Yes,
I get the point, but that is a completely different challenge. It's more lika
an ODINS (One Day In No Saves) just that you're allowed to save and you have to
be as fast as possible. I don't know what the challenge is called. It's indeed
a Speed Run, but completely different from this. You could still use this guide
for that challenge, and you might as well keep up with the recommended times,
but in that case, you have to be very skilled and pretty fast as well.

I have done five Speed Games myself. Here are the results:

1. Early 2003 - 11:04
2. Late 2003  - 10:14
3. April 2004 -  9:29
4. June 2004  -  9:46
5. July 2004  -  8:39

These are from my final saves. I wrote this guide, version 1.0, during my 4th
Speed Run in June 2004, and you can see that from the time. I found out a lot
of things that could've been done better and I quickly decided to start over
and re-write the guide. In the writing process, I had three people testing the
guide, KADFC, lolo26 and Bergqvist, and they found out a lot of things to do
better as well. That's why I started over, and the result was a near-perfect
record run I had never imagined was possible. Of course, it could never have
been done without the help from these guys, so I owe a lot of thanks to them.
This is simply an example of what experts can manage when they work together.

If you've played FFIX, you may remember what Amarant says before entering
Ipsen's Castle. 

"working alone beats working in a team any day, and I'm gonna prove it."

You know what? I just proved him wrong. Like I said, this amazing record would
never be possible without the other guys. Co-work rocks.

There is one more thing I would like to say in this intro. After completing the
third Speed Game in April, I made a topic on it, and people went crazy with
their OMG's and requests for evidence as most people didn't believe me at all.
I'll tell you something. Most of the unbelievers don't have a right to question
it at all. They have too less experience and knowledge about the game to do so.
We can easily tell from the good old arguments like "OMG, no way you can beat
the game that fast you will have a hard time beating the bosses at low levels
they will PWN you". Of course, they can't be blamed. Let's take an example.
When I was playing FFIX for the first time back in 2001, a guy told me that you
have to reach the end of the game in less than 12 hours to get the best weapon.
I didn't believe him at all, cause I spent like 60 hours beating the game. But
then, I did some thinking and found out that I had to less knowledge about the
game to question the challenge. That's my advice for all unbelievers. Don't
question anything when you have to less knowledge about the matter. Know that
there are always better players out there with tons of more experience. After
all, I didn't spend the summer writing a joke FAQ.

                               1.3 <> Gaming Info

There are a few rules for the challenge. Of course, cheating is not allowed,
and this shouldn't even be mentioned, as it's a golden rule for all challenges,
and only LOSERS cheat. Period.

- The final save must be placed at the bottom of the crater, in the area where
  you meet up with the party a last time before beating the final bosses. If
  you open the menu here, it will say "Bottom of Nothern Cave". That's right,
  another typo. Well, if you place it anywhere else, it will not say "bottom".
  Think of the area as a clock, and place the save point at 8.

- You must be able to beat the final bosses directly from the final save. If
  you can't, you have to get back to the surface and obtain the needed items
  or materia, and this will count in the final time, making it suck hard. Well,
  if you follow this guide, you shouldn't have to worry about this.

Random battles:
Escape all random battles. This is the most important thing to do. I can
guarantee you that the levels you gain won't make up for time lost by fighting.
Some times, you will escape a battle at once, but other times, all the enemies
might attack first, causing you to lose some seconds extra. These seconds turn
into minutes for the entire game, so restart if you get a lot of battles where
all the enemies get to attack first.

Skipping text:
Skip all text as fast as possible. This is the second most important thing. I
will tell you to [skip text] a million times in the walkthrough, so you better
get used to it. Whenever you see the [skip text] box, you simply have to tap
the action button until the talking is over. Many times, you'll have some
options to choose between, like when guards are chasing Aerith in the church.
If you have to select the first option, I won't bother telling you, so just tap
the action button until the talking is over. I will always tell you when
another option has to be chosen, so don't worry.

If you're fast, saving takes less time than battles in any cases. The battles
aren't random in this game, and they will come after a certain time no matter
what you do. Just take a run through the first reactor a couple of times, and
you'll understand what I mean. In many cases, saving will prevent the next
battle from coming, so we have to save a lot of times even though we just
saved. Just note that you have to reload the file first. On the world map, we
rather save than get into battles. Also, make sure you use a memory card with
no other FFVII files. The more files, the longer time it takes to load. Again,
don't worry, as I'll tell you exactly when to save in the walkthrough.

Using the menu:
You have to be fast, no matter what you do, but the most important thing is
equipping materia and weapons. You have to prepare the characters before most
boss battles, and in some cases, many changes have to be done. I know I always
tell you to do the equipping before saving, but you should actually save first
and then practice on the equipping until you can do it as fast as possible.
Yes, if you fail in the battle, you have to do it all over again, but that's
much better than wasting a minute to find the right equipment and materia
before saving.

Limit breaks:
Limit breaks are priored before anything else in this game. This is something
most people find out on their first playthrough. When you activate a limit
break, this will be the next move in any case, except for certain enemies'
double attacks. If Demon's Gate decides to use a double Rock Drop, he will drop
two rocks before the limit break is used.

Of course, we can take great advantage of this beautiful system. In most cases,
all characters get to attack once between the enemy's attacks. But with limit
breaks, we can get more. To activate a limit break as soon as you get it could
in many cases be stupid in this challenge. To take fully advantage of the limit
break system, we have to wait until the third character has started his/her
move before we activate the limit break. This way, we can get as much as six
turns between the enemy's attacks. This will, of course, prevent the enemy from
attacking as many times as it normally would, and this again will of course
save us some expensive time. Take fully advantage of the limit break system
during the whole challenge. It will be mentioned many times in the guide as
well, so don't worry.

To do or not to do:
You can only do the necessary things to proceed with the story. You have no
time to visit places you don't have to, like the Chocobo Farm, Gongaga, Shinra
Mansion and so on. And you can only pick up the necessary items like the Fire
Ring, Bolt Armlet, Ribbon and so on. We will do some shopping, but for items
and some materia only. You will never buy new weapons and armor, as you'll find
what you need. And besides, we're not supposed to do a lot of regular attacking
anyway, so you won't need new weapons all the time. There's still no need to
worry, as I will, like always, tell you exactly what to do in the walkthrough.

Speed is the key:
This is a Speed Game, so speed is the key to success. If you play racing games,
you should know that you have to cut every turn as correctly as possible in
order to save time. Think racing in the fields and take the shortest course.
Doing so could prevent a battle and saving you 20 seconds, if not more, so this
is not for perfectionists only.

Patience, my friend. Patience.
You need a lot of patience to do this quest. You may have to replay many areas
over and over again to get the best time. And in many cases, there are loads of
things to do between a save and a boss fight that you have to do over again if
you screw up. Carry Armor is a good example, as you have to fight two battles,
watch some cut scenes and skip a small amount of text. Just take my word and
don't attempt this challenge if you have no patience at all.

                    1.4 <> Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What's the best time possible for the final save?

A: From my knowledge and experiences, I would say 8:30 if you're unbelieveably
   skilled, faster than the lightning and have more luck than you could
   possibly imagine. Then, you could defeat the 8:30 mark. Of course, you must
   have a huge amount of patience to do this, as you can only save where you do
   it to avoid a random battle. You will have to play long parts of the game
   over and over again until you only get battles you can escape at once, and
   so on, and so on. Myself, I could manage 8:35, cause I know about a few
   things I could have done better and faster, and I made a few unnecessary
   saves. I will play my final Speed Run some day and put all my effort into
   making it as perfect as possible, but until then, you can try beating 8:39
   yourself. Good luck and have fun! :D

Q: What's the best time possible for beating the game?

A: For beating the game, I would say it should be possible to break the 9 hours
   mark with an extreme combination of skills, luck and patience, as described
   above. Beating the game in less than 9 hours has to be one of the hardest
   challenges in the history of FFVII. Like I said above, I will do my best to
   accomplish a perfect run, and when the time comes, we will know if the game
   can be beaten in less than 9 hours.

Q: Just how good is your record?

A: It's pretty damn good, actually. To be honest, it is very good. Like I said,
   I'm a perfectionist, and I wanted this run to be as perfect as possible. I
   restarted for every single little mistake, even though it only would've
   costed me a couple of seconds. I only accepted the very best result. If I
   knew that the last part I played could be done better, I played it over
   again until I got the best result. However, it's not perfect. I know about a
   couple of things I could've done better, but I found out too late, so there
   was nothing to do about it. Also, I did that mistake with the memory card,
   that I mentioned above here, that I used a memory card with a lot of other
   FFVII-files. Simply put, you will have a hard time beating my record.

Q: Why don't the last battles count?

A: Well, they don't count in the final save because the final save is made
   before them. The final save is the main goal for this challenge because this
   it the time that is the easiest to prove. When you make the final save, you
   will always have it, and you can show it to everyone whenever you like. When
   you beat the last bosses and you get the final time, you can note it down or
   whatever, but you can't prove it unless you videotaped it. The final save
   and the final time are two different things. When people ask what my Speed
   Run record is, I say 8:39, but when they ask how fast I beat the game, I say
   9:19. They both count in different ways. That's how it is.

Q: When do you consider the game beaten?

A: Many people would say after beating Safer-Sephiroth, but I disagree. There
   are still things to do after that, like skipping some text and beating the
   final Sephiroth, and this will, of course, affect the final time. And in the
   last battle with Sephiroth, you have the choice between using Omnislash and
   counterattack, so nothing's declared before this guy is beaten. Then we have
   the argument that the first FMV and all other FMVs and cut-scenes counts, so
   the last ones should as well. I get the point, but they don't count.

Q: Is there any way to skip dialgues, cut-scenes and FMV's?

A: I don't know if you can do this even with a gameshark, but you're not
   supposed to anyway. We only use fair playing in this challenge, meaning that
   you play the game as it is and skip text by tapping the action button. All
   cut-scenes and FMV's are to be watched normally. I know you can skip the
   FMV's in FFIX by opening the hatch/disc tray, but this is just plain
   cheating in my opinion. And no, it doesn't work with FFVII. Thank God.

Q: Will the timer stop if I pause the game in battles?

A: Yes, it will. If you need a break, and haven't saved in a long time, then
   pause the game during battle. There are no other ways to stop the timer.
   Don't ever leave the game if you're in the middle of a dialogue. My phone
   rang once at Aerith's house, listening to Elmyra's story, and I had no other
   choice but to leave the game and lose time. Make sure nothing will interrupt
   you when you do this challenge. You can also pause the snowboard minigame.

Q: How do you get the seconds for your save times?

A: After saving, I note the seconds shown when I get back to the menu again.
   If you load a file, and open the menu at once, it will show three seconds
   more than this time. After saving at the end of discs, the seconds are taken
   from the menu when you open it at once after loading the file.

Q: What about Cait Sith's Slots. Can I use them to instantly kill all bosses?

A: There has been some discussing on the matter lately, and some people have
   decided to test this challenge. lolo26 is one of them. Using the Slots is
   a completely different challenge, and you couldn't compare the times you
   get with the ones in this guide. You could probably beat my times, but that
   doesn't necessarily mean you're better than me. You get the point, right?
   I'll come back to this after the challenge has been done, and I might add a
   section about it to the guide. We'll see.

Q: I don't have a PS. Can I use the PC version for this challenge as well?

A: Yes, you can, but take note that the PC version is WAY faster than the PS
   version. Even thought the clock is correct in it, you'll have no problem
   beating my times. It could depend on how fast your PC is as well, but I'm
   not sure. Well, you're free to use the PC version, but you have to make
   sure you play at low resolution. According to lolo26, 60 seconds on the
   clock will actually be 145 if you play on high resolution. I don't want any
   emails from people saying they've made it in 4 hours... :p

Q: What's a perfect run?

A: As a matter of fact, the perfect run doesn't exist. A true perfect run would
   mean only necessary saves (and saves to avoid battles), the least amount of
   random battles possible where every single one were escaped within no time.
   All these would have to be pre-emptive or side attack when possible. You
   would also have to beat all bosses in the shortest time possible, and so it
   goes on. You couldn't do this even with all the luck in the world.

   The perfect run I talk about in the guide is just near-perfect. This is a
   far more difficult challenge than a regular Speed Run, and only true masters
   should attempt it. You also need a lot of patience to do this quest, as you
   have to restart and play parts of the game over and over again until you get
   it as perfect as possible. And don't forget that you have to do a lot of
   thinking on your own. Like I said before, there's no way you can write a
   guide for a perfect run.

Q: Why do you call her Aerith? Her name is Aeris!

A: This is very optional. There's been tons of discussions on this matter the
   last seven years, and it now turns out that both are correct. When I first
   started playing the game three and a half years ago, I was told that Aeris
   was a mistranslation, so I started calling her Aerith, and I got used to it.
   Also, they changed it back to Aerith in Kingdom Hearts, and there's gotta be
   a reason for that, don't you think? Anyway, I won't bother explaining this
   whole thing, but like I said, both names are correct, and you can't complain
   if people are calling her the other name. It's your choice. Just get used to
   me calling her Aerith in this guide.

If you have a question you think should be added here, read section 5.1 for
info on how to contact me. Only good questions will be added.

                        1.5 <> PAL And NTSC Differences
The differences between PAL and NTSC cause so much trouble for this challenge
that I decided to give them an own section. I'm not planning to go into details
explaining what PAL and NTSC is, but I can tell you as much as that PAL is the
system used in Europe and NTSC is the system used in the US. I believe Japan
uses NTSC as well and Australia uses PAL, but I'm not sure about that. Just
take a look at your game. It should say PAL or NTSC in the upper left corner.

Now let me tell you what exactly causes the trouble. PAL runs on 50 Hz and NTSC
runs on 60 Hz. I'm not going into details here either, but at least I'll tell
you what causes the trouble. Because of the frequency differences, the PAL
version is 1,2 times slower than the NTSC version. At first we didn't think
this was such a big deal. Alright, so the PAL version is 1,2 times slower. It
only means that PAL gamers spend more time playing than NTSC gamers, but there
is no way you can tell from looking at the clock in the game.

But then Bergqvist mentioned something about the FMVs. He found out that the
FMVs are run at the same speed in both the PAL and NTSC version. Now that is a
problem. In the PAL version, the FMVs are run at NTSC speed, while the clock is
still 1,2 times slower than the NTSC version. This gives an advantage for PAL
gamers, as they can achieve a better record than NTSC gamers, but that's not
fair for the NTSC gamers.

I then had to calculate how much time PAL gamers gained from this, and thanks a
lot to Mr. Yonaz for giving me the complete list of all the FMV lengths. Now I
could do the calculations, but I completely forgot about the whole thing for
months, until I got back to it last month. I did the calculations, and found
that PAL gamers have about a 3 minutes advantage. I do not have the exact time
yet, but we can say 3:15 for now. It should be pretty much correct. This, of
course, means that my record is not as good as it looks. Damnit.

But that's not all. After you make the final save, and especially after you
beat Jenova-SYNTHESIS, you no longer have a game clock to tell you the time.
From then on you have to use a stopwatch to find out how much time you spend
beating Bizarro, Safer and the final Sephiroth. Like I said, the game is not
considered beaten until Sephiroth himself is defeated. Anyway, NTSC gamers can
simply add the time shown on the stop watch to their final save time. It's not
that simple for PAL gamers. They have to divide the time from the stopwatch
with 1,2 to be able to add it to the final save time. I will get back to this
in the "math lesson" at the end of the guide.

God, why do the different continents have to have different systems? It makes
things so damn complicated. I say the whole world should have used NTSC. It's
not fair that Europeans must play games 1,2 times slower than Americans.

                      1.6 <> Speed Game Record Run Results
This is simply a list over my save times in my record run. You'll find them in
the guide as well. I'm playing the PAL version, and all times before Bizarro
Sephiroth are game times.

Before Guard Scorpion                                                      6:40
Reactor 5, after placing the bomb                                         30:05
Sector 5 streets, after escaping the church                               41:04
Wall Market, after sleeping at the Inn                                    49:05
Wall Market, before climbing up to SHinra HQ                            1:17:39

Shinra HQ, 67th floor, before HO512                                     1:36:50
Reached world map                                                       2:01:30
Halfway through the marches                                             2:23:19
Junon, before marching                                                  2:36:30
Mt. Corel                                                               2:57:33

Corel Prison, before flashback in house                                 3:10:19
Cosmo Canyon, before entering Cave of Gi                                3:30:56
Mt. Nibel, before fighting Materia Keeper                               3:44:10
World map, just outside Mt. Nibel                                       3:48:12
World map, Wutai Area, before learning Magic Hammer                     4:00:40

World map, south of North Corel, before going back to Gold Saucer       4:02:41
World map, south of North Corel, after Gold Saucer visit                4:15:??
Temple, before Red Dragon                                               4:23:44
Temple, before Demon's Gate                                             4:32:15
Before entering Rocket Town                                             4:47:44

Disc 1 beaten                                                           4:59:56

World Map, halfway between Corral Valley Cave and Icicle Inn            5:02:32
Gaea's Cliff, before Icicles                                            5:17:40
Gaee's Cliff, before Schizo                                             5:25:54
Whirlwind Maze, before Jenova-DEATH                                     5:32:52
Whirlwind Maze, after Jenova-DEATH                                      5:41:49

Before entering Mideel for the first time (forgot to note this down)    ?:??:??
Mt. Corel (Fort Condor has been visited)                                6:24:53
Outside North Corel, after train battles                                6:35:07
Before Carry Armor                                                      7:04:43
In the submarine                                                        7:14:08

Before Diamond Weapon (did some shopping in Wutai after saving)         7:43:25
Before Turks in Midgar                                                  8:02:27
Before Hojo                                                             8:16:23
Disc 2 beaten                                                           8:33:05
Final Save                                                              8:39:48

Before Bizarro Sephiroth                                                8:49:33

Started stopwatch from that exact time.

Bizarro Sephiroth beaten (real time / 1,2)                              + 10:05
Safer-Sephiroth beaten (real time / 1,2)                                + 22:59
Sephiroth himself beaten (real time / 1,2)                              + 26:32

Final time, after beating Sephiroth himself:                            9:16:05

PAL Gamers Penalty (bah)                                                 + 3:15

FINAL TIME:                                                             9:19:20

Since I played the PAL version, I had to divide the last times by 1,2 to be
able to add them to the rest. Also, since I played the PAL version, I had to
add the "PAL Gamers Penalty" to be able to compare my time with NTSC gamers.

---------------------------- Lolo26's PC Record Run ---------------------------

Yes, I decided to move his record times here for the new update, since this is
the record run section after all. Like I already said, the PC version is much
faster, so you can never compare your PC times with PSX times. If you play this
challenge on a computer, you should come here and compare them to lolo26's, as
he's got the best known (and only) record on the PC version.

We have no idea exactly how good this record is, as we have nothing to compare
with, but knowing that lolo is a perfectionist like myself, it should be pretty
damn good. Have fun beating his times and not least, good luck! :)

Before Scorpion:                                                           6:16 
Before AirBuster:                                                         30:08 
Before HO512:                                                           1:31:41 
Outside of Kalm:                                                        1:54:38 
Outside of Junon:                                                       2:17:56
Before Dyne:                                                            3:01:30 
Cosmo Canyon:                                                           3:18:34 
Mt.Nibel:                                                               3:31:45 
Outside of Rocket Town:                                                 3:36:22 
End of Disc 1 (i didn't save in the Temple):                            4:46:46

Before Schizo:                                                          5:10:05 
After Schizo :                                                          5:16:52 
After Jenova Death:                                                     5:24:51 
North Corel (on the bridge):                                            6:02:42 
Before Diamond Weapon:                                                  7:24:05
Before Turks:                                                           7:41:32 
Before Hojo:                                                            7:55:15 
Bottom of the Crater:                                                   8:19:05

Lolo told me that 10 minutes on his game clock was actually 10:13. He's using
an Athlon 2200 (1,8 GHz, he thinks) and he's got 512 DDR RAM. I have a P4 2,66
GHz with 512 DDR RAM as well, and 10 minutes on my clock was 10:12,0 exactly.

                             2 - Walkthrough Midgar
An important note before you start:

Read and understand the walkthrough for each area before you play so you know
exactly what to do when playing. Pause the game in battles if you need to read.

If you're ready, select NEW GAME and watch the intro FMV.

                     2.1 <> No. 1 Reactor -> No. 5 Reactor
When you get to control Cloud, quickly open the menu and set ATB to active and
all the speed gauges at the fastest. Then run straight ahead and the first
battle will soon be a fact.


Battle: MP x2
Just hold down the attack button until the battle is over. You could be
attacked one, two or three times, depending on how much the ATB-gauge is filled
when the battle begins. I've played this battle at least 10 times today, and it
was more than halfway filled all the times.


Leave the Platform through the open door and head straight over to the members
of Avalanche. Talking will start automatically.

[skip text]

This includes naming Cloud and Barret. To name a character, quickly push the
start button followed by the action button. You'll get used to it. Cloud will
automatically move on to the next area. Get through this area by going right.
You should know where to go if you're doing this quest. Next comes the bridges,
and we'll go right at the intersection as always. The first random battle will
come in this area. Most likely just after the intersection. In the next area,
run over to Barret and the talking will start.

[skip text]

Talk to Biggs to open the first door and Jessie to open the second and the
elevator. Quickly push the button inside the elevator to move down. If you're
fast, you can push the button and get the message "switch on" before Jessie
tells you to push it.

[skip text]

Run out of the elevator and follow Jessie down the stairs. You can pass her if
you're fast enough, but she'll be in front of you in the next area either way.
Here, follow her and talk to her before jumping on the ladder. Then climb all
the way down without picking up the Potion. Save at the bottom.

My time:          6:40
Recommended time: 7:37

If you don't save here, you'll get 3 battles on your way back up, but if you
save, you'll only get two. A battle takes, in most cases, more time than
saving, so we gain a few seconds on saving here. Now head for the core, pick up
the Restore Materia and move on until the talking starts.

[skip text]

The first boss, Guard Scorpion, will attack. Big surprise.


Boss: Guard Scorpion (800 HP)
You need both Cloud and Barret to have limit breaks after this battle. I've
made a good strategy for this. Barret must get limit break before GS lowers the
tail, and for that to happen, GS must attack Barret on both of the first
attacks. There's a 25% chance for that to happen, so you might have to restart
a few times. Doesn't matter, as you just saved. Note that GS might hit Barret
with Scorpion Tail on both turns. If he does that, Barret won't survive two
Tail Lasers. Restart if that happens. There's a very low chance, though. Never
happened to me. Same goes for critical hits.

Always have Cloud cast Bolt and Barret attack in this battle. They'll have four
turns each before GS raises the tail. On the fourth round, you must have Barret
attack first. If you don't, you can't take advantage of the limit break, and
you'll screw up the strategy. Then have Cloud cast Bolt as usual and activate
Barret's limit break as soon as possible. This will be the last move before GS
raises the tail.

After raising the tail, have Cloud cast Bolt. GS will counter with Tail Laser.
No big deal. Now comes the most important part. Have Cloud cast Bolt again and
push the action button once at Barret's attack command. This will place the
cursor on GS. Barret will get limit break, but he can still attack regularly
since you chose the command before he got limit break. When GS lowers the tail,
have Barret attack and Cloud cast Bolt to finish the battle.


Head back up as fast as you can. Save your game if you want to. Pick up the
Potion and talk to Jessie. Then follow her back up and push the button inside
the elevator. Talk to Jessie to open the first door and Biggs the second. After
this area, the game will continue automatically until you get to control Cloud
in Sector 8. Just make sure to skip the text.

*********************************** Sector 8 **********************************

Head to the next area and Cloud will go and talk to Aerith. Tell her to get out
of here to save time. Just push O, as it's the upper alternative. Follow her to
the next area and just run further down till you encounter the MP's. Pick up
the Potion if you want to. Of course, you don't have time to fight these guys,
so choose LATER. You have to do this three times before Cloud jumps on the

[skip text]

Inside the train, you get to control Cloud again after Jessie cleaning his
face. Run down to follow the others.

[skip text]

When you get to control Cloud again, go talk to Jessie. In a rush, it is a
little tricky, as you might talk to Wedge or attempt to enter the next car.
This will make you lose a few seconds, but it's no big deal. After her lection
about Midgar, run towards Barret and the game will continue automatically until
you arrive at the station.

[skip text]

******************************** Sector 7 Slums *******************************

When Cloud jumps off the train, run directly down to the rest of the crew.

[skip text]

Move into town and talk to Barret when all the others are inside. He will not
let you in before that. Tifa is the last one to enter.

[skip text] (includes naming Tifa)

Run directly to the door and Barret will come running in.

[skip text]

Go down the elevator to the hideout and approach Barret.

[skip text]

Start moving back and Tifa will come.

[skip text]

Then take the elevator upstairs and move just ahead towards the exit. Tifa will
soon come up for some talking. This includes the flashback and Barret giving
you the money.

[skip text]

After sleeping, Cloud will wake up in the basement. Head back up and talk to
Barret. You have to be careful now, because Barret will ask you to give him a
materia tutorial, and you have to select the bottom alternative to prevent
this, meaning that you can't just push O like crazy to skip text. This is what
Barret says:

"Our next target's the Sector 5 Reactor. Head for the station first. I'll
fill you in on the train. Yo! Cloud! Before the next mission, I got somethin' I
wanna ask you! I, uh, ......I don't really know how to use Materia! I'll give
you that Materia you found. Just teach me how to use it!"

You'll get to select options after this, and make sure you select the bottom

After all the talking, you get to control Cloud again. Get out and leave town.
Then enter the train.

[skip text]

Run over to Tifa, and talking will start automatically.

[skip text]

The alarm goes off, and it's time to escape. If you're fast enough, you could
leave this car before the timer shows up at all.

[skip text]

We're leaving the train now. Open the menu when you get a chance to and remove
the Ice Materia from Cloud. Also equip Barret with his Assault Gun. When you
exit the menu, the timer should be close to 0, and you'll be forced to exit.

[ship text]

******************************** No. 5 Reactor ********************************

Outside, head directly north and you'll find the security sensors. To save a
few seconds, head right. The way to the other screen is much longer if you
follow the wall on the left side. Find the ladder and select to climb down,
which is the second option. Barret says one line before you get the option.
Pick up the Ether and climb further down till you reach the large area. Climb
up the first ladder and crawl through the shaft. In the area with Jessie, run
to the left and climb down the ladder to the next area. Here, run straight
ahead and climb up the ladder to enter the reactor. You should know this area
well, so just head down to the core.

[skip text]

Plant the bomb, go to the save point and open the menu.

My time:          30:05
Recommended time: 34:40

                     2.2 <> No. 5 Rector -> Sector 6 Slums
Head back up after saving. You know where to go. After riding the elevator,
pick up the Ether and enter the next room to open the door. You'll have one
line to skip here first. Well, this is the first tricky challenge in the game,
that can cost you plenty of time if you keep screwing up. You need to learn
exactly when to push the action button for the major run. For me, counting to
5, pretty quickly, works well. Anyway, you have to figure this out on your own,
but for your information, it takes 1,5 seconds from when you skip the line
until Barret and Tifa push the panels. How come Barret and Tifa always push at
the same time anyway? Are they able to read each others minds or something.

It's pretty easy when you learn it. Just move on to the next area and run until
the Shinra guards appears. No, we're not saving here, as we just did two
minutes ago. That means, if you screw up on Air Buster, you have to do it over
again. No big deal when you have full control of it.

[skip text]

The President will, as usual, send Air Buster on you.


Boss: Air Buster (1.200 HP)
Have Tifa attack, Barret use limit break and Cloud use limit break. In this
order. This will only fail if the enemy counters with rear gun, but so far, he
has not done it to me. Make sure not to activate the limit breaks until AB has
turned around. You must get the limit breaks from behind to be able to deal
more than 500 damage.


[skip text]

Talk to Aerith. Oh, and don't worry, you won't be rude to her if you select the
upper alternatives only. I added this because I know it's important to a lot
of people.

[skip text]

Talk to her again. You have to name her this time. You'll lose a few seconds if
you have to call her Aerith, like me. Your choice anyway.

[skip text]

Approach Reno and Aerith will say some words. Head back and talk to her again.

[skip text]

Now run until Reno and his men attacks.

[skip text]

Aerith will fall and the soldiers will attack. Tell her to run the first time,
which is the third option. Then head to the upper barrel and wait there. When
Aerith is attacked again, tell her to hold on, which is the first option and
have Cloud push the barrel over. Then, tell her to run again the last time.
Thanks to Bergqvist for this info. In fact, after playing this part of the game
more than 20 times, I've never had Aerith run before.

Then you'll just have to wait until Aerith reaches the top. The screen will
change to another view when she gets there, and you'll have one line to skip.
Then the screen will change again, and you can leave the church.

[skip text]

Control Cloud through all the scrap by pushing the left direction button.
Aerith will fall behind and you have to wait for her.

[skip text]

Run left, and you'll end up on the streets. Aerith says one line before you can
control Cloud.

This save is perfect run only. We're saving here because we're just about to
have a random battle, just like in the first reactor. Run ahead, and the battle
will come. Reload, and you'll find out that this battle won't come anymore.

My time:          41:04
Recommended time: 47:00

Then move into town and enter Aerith's house.

[skip text]

Then run upstairs.

[skip text]

After sleeping, pick up the Potion and Phoenix Down in the bag and walk slowly
out of the room and downstairs. Stay away from Aerith's door, or she'll bust
you. Before leaving town, it's time to buy some Grenades. Enter the camping
wagon and go right for the weapon seller. Sell all your Ethers and buy 48
Grenades. You should have 320 Gil left now. Then leave town and find Aerith by
the gate to Sector 6.

[skip text]

Get through the next area as fast as possible.

[skip text]

Then go talk to Aerith again.

[skip text]

********************************* Wall Market *********************************

Now, head directly to Honeybee Inn and talk to the fat man standing in front of
the entrance. Ask him about Tifa, which is the first option, and he'll tell you
she's at Corneo's. Go there and talk to the man by the entrance.

[skip text]

OK, we're gonna have Corneo choose Cloud as his date for tonight. Why? you
might ask. Because it's faster. lolo26 did a test and found that it was 10
seconds faster to get Cloud chosen. Then, thanks to lolo26 for that. This is
what to do in numberic order:

1. Enter the Boutique and talk to the girl behind the desk.

2. Enter the Materia Shop and talk to the man. Just skip all the text, and
   you'll agree to do the favour.

3. Eat at the restaurant and tell them the food was all right. You'll recieve
   a Pharmacy Coupon.

4. Enter the Pharmacy and exchange it for the Digestive, which is the third and
   bottom option.

5. Sleep at the Inn and buy the 200 Gil drink. It's the second option.

My time:          49:13
Recommended time: 56:30

6. Get back to the Materia Shop and give it to the man. He'll give you the
   Diamond Tiara.

7. Enter the Bar and give the Digestive to the girl at the toilet. She'll grant
   you the Sexy Cologne.

8. Talk to the owner of the Botique and choose the second options when he asks
   what kind of dress you want.

9. Head back to the Boutique and talk to the owner. He's behind the desk.

10. Enter the Gym and beat Big Bro in squats. You have to make sure you choose
    the second options both times when talking, and the second time is very
    important. If you screw up and choose the first one, you'll get a 30 second
    practice time, and you don't want that. Restart if you screw up, of course.

11. Head back to the Boutique and enter the changing room. Cloud will now
    change into Miss Cloud.

[skip text]

Get out and head for Corneo's mansion. Talk to the man outside.

[skip text]

Go upstairs and directly down to the basement to find Tifa.

[skip text]

Pick up the ether and go talk to Tifa.

[skip text]

Head back up and enter Corneo's office. Run ahead and to the right and talking
will start.

[skip text]

Cloud will be chosen and taken to Corneo's back room for some quality time with
Corneo. Yeah, right. Well then, you'll have one line to skip before you can go
talk to him. Select the second option twice to get things happening.

[skip text]

Head over to the girls when you get to control Cloud again.

[skip text]

First, open the menu and place Cloud and Tifa in back row. Then place Grenades
at the top of your item list. When it's done, talk to Aerith and Tifa and Aps
will attack.


Boss: Aps (1.800 HP)
Just throw Grenades until he dies. No need for healing.


Get through the sewers and climb up the ladder to the train graveyard. Don't
forget to pick up the Steal Materia.

************************ Sector 7 Slums (second visit) ************************

[skip text]

You don't have to save here if you know exactly how to get through the Train
Graveyard, but if you don't, you must save and do some practice first. I'm not
so good at describing this, so you'll have to figure it out on your own. It's
not that hard. Just pass through the area a couple of times, and you'll learn
exactly where to go and what to do.

In the next area, jump into both locomotives to move them. Then climb up the
ladder and go left to leave. You'll eventually end up in town.

[skip text]

Climb the tower and talk to Barret at the top. Reno will arrive and activate
the bomb, and as always, you'll have to fight him.


Boss: Reno (1.000 HP)
First have everyone throw Grenades. Reno will use Pyramid as his first attack
either way. On the second round, have someone hit the Pyramid to destroy it and
the other one throw a Grenade. Now just throw Grenades until the battle is
over. He might use Pyramid again, but just ignore it. This will happen so late
in the battle that the other two will finish Reno off.


Talk to Tifa after the battle and push O by the control panel.

[skip text]

Talk to Barret when you get to control Cloud again. He will find the wire, and
they'll jump off and land in the Sector 6 park.

****************************** Sector 6 & 5 Slums *****************************

[skip text]

Cloud will go on alone in the next area, and just move ahead. You can pick up
the Sense Materia on your way back, but there's no need, as you get one from
Nanaki anyway. Barret and Tifa will catch up with you pretty soon.

[skip text]

Now, head back to Aerith's house, and Elmyra will tell you about Aerith and her

[skip text]

Approach the door and Barret will come running down. Thanks to lolo26 for
finding out that you don't have to go talk to Barret upstairs. Why didn't I
test this out myself? *feels stupid*

[skip text]

It's time to enter the Shinra building, but before that, you'll need some more
Grenades. Enter the weapon shop, sell your Ethers and buy 24 Grenades. Then
move on to the Wall Market. Never mind the Sense Materia in the park as you
will get one from Red XIII when he joins the party. Not that you need one
anyway. When you get there, find the save point and save.

My time:          1:17:39
Recommended time: 1:30:00

                       2.3 <> Shinra HQ & Escaping Midgar
Now, if you want the Elemental Materia on the 62nd floor, you should go all the
way there first, taking as long time as you want and find out what the password
is. This way you know what the password is for the major run. This will save
you time for not guessing the wrong answer, and you get the Elemental Materia.
Remember, you can't reset the console, as the password will change. Just do
this and get the Elemental Materia. You both save time and make some fights
easier when you have it. How come I didn't think of this? Thanks to KADFC for
this info.

Well then, if you don't know exactly how to get through the climbing, you'll
need some practice first. You can take advantage of the first climbing to learn
exactly what to do before the major run. Make sure to learn exactly when to
jump on the swinging wire. You have no time to screw up here on the major run.
Load the game when you're ready and enter the weapon shop. Buy the batteries,
exit and follow the kids to the next area.

[skip text]

Then there's only on thing to do. Climb. You know where to place the batteries.
The trickiest part is jumping on that swinging wire. You should know when to
jump by now. It's your problem if you don't. Reload if you screw up. After
climbing, Cloud will automatically run through the next area and end up in the
front of the building.

[skip text]

If you think you'll screw up before the 67th floor, you should save now.
Getting past the guards at the 60th floor is a bit tricky, but if you know you
can handle it, just move on.

********************************** Shinra HQ **********************************

We're taking the stairs. Go left and you'll find them, just in case you didn't
know. You'll have 117 stairs to climb, separated into 9 different areas. You'll
find an Elixir on the 5th area. Never mind the dialogues. You won't have to
skip them, as they go automatically, except when Barret stops at the 6th area.
When you finally reach the 59th floor, you'll have some text to skip as well.
Cloud will automatically walk out the door to the next area. Run ahead and the
three Mighty Grunts will attack.


Battle: Mighty Grunt x3
Throw two Grenades at each of them. Make sure to take out one at a time. Very
easy battle.


Pick up the key and enter the elevator to the right. Push the button and select
the 60th floor which is the third alternative. Then talk to Barret and Tifa.
At the 60th floor, run straight to the room on the left side.

[skip text]

Here's another tricky part. You know how this works. If you're spotted by the
guards, you have to fight two Might Grunts attacking from both sides. You don't
want that to happen, so you have to sneak past them when they're walking. The
first part is easy, as they're only walking, but they're pretty fast on the
other side. The first and last part here is easy, as you can run past them when
there are no guards in front, but in the middle, there's always a guard. You
have to be quick and push the action button as soon as they start running.
Reload if you screw up. Yes, you have to climb the stairs again if you do.

[skip text]

The man that will give you the key to next floor is walking around the room,
and you'll find him to the left of the elevator when you enter the floor. Find
him and select the second answer. He will give you the key after some talking.
Next, you have to get the 65 key from Mayor Domino at the 62th floor. Just talk
to him and tell him the right password. You get the key and the Elemental
Materia. Move on.

Just ignore the 63rd and 64th floor and start replacing the Midgar Parts at the
65th floor. You have to be stupid if you don't understand this excellent art.
Pick up the parts in this order and place them in the middle room that's not
included in the model, but you don't have a right to live if you don't know
where it is.

|                            |       |
|                            |  [5]  |
|                            |       |
|--------                    ---------
|  [3]  |
|       | 65th floor of t3h Shinra HQ
|  [1]  |
|  [2]  |
|       |
|  [4]  |

OK, you have to place the parts in a certain order for this to work. Start just
to the right and then continue counter-clockwise around. Thanks to lolo26 and
Defcon999 for info on this.

Next we have the 66th floor. Run down the hall and enter the toilet. Choose to
climb up, which is the second alternative. Then crawl down the shaft and do a
little spying on the Shinra.

[skip text]

Head back down and move on to the 67th floor. Cloud will stop at the corner,
and you can't go further before Hojo leaves the floor.

[skip text]

Run down the hall to the room with Red XIII and Jenova. You know where.

[skip text]

Now run towards the elevator and pick up the Poison Materia.

My time:          1:36:50
Recommended time: 1:52:00

Enter the elevator and run down when you arrive at the 68th floor.

[skip text]

You have to name Red XIII and make sure Tifa runs away with Aerith, but that's
the first alternative, so don't worry. Sample:HO512 will attack.


Boss: Sample:HO512 (1.000 HP)
Throw 8 Grenades. That's all for this battle. Never mind if you get poisoned.
Just restart if someone should get killed.


After the battle, you get to form a party, but never mind and just push the
action button. Pick up the Enemy Skill Materia and talk to Hojo's servant to
get the 68 key. Then follow him through the corridor. Head back down to the
66th floor and enter the elevator. Push the button and Rude will arrive. You're
now brought to the President for some talking.

[skip text]

You'll wake up in a cell at the 67th floor. Go to the door and "wonder how
Aerith's doing" It's the third alternative.

[skip text]

Approach the door and choose to get some sleep now. The cursor will be at this
alternative either way, so you just have to tap the action button. When you
wake up, the door will be open. Go examine the guard and head back to tell
Tifa. She will run out to the guard. Follow her and talk to her. Then go talk
to Barret or Red. Now, they will go examine the guard. Talk to Barret and then
Tifa or Aerith. A party of Cloud and the girls will be formed. Follow Red and
keep going up till you find the killed president. Save on the 69th floor if
you want to.

[skip text]

Rufus arrives after a while. Go out the door to find him.

[skip text]

Cloud will stay with Rufus, and the others head back down.

[skip text]

You don't have to do anything with Cloud's materia as he doesn't have any. Just
open the menu and place Barret and Red in back row. Then give the All-Restore
combination to Barret.


Boss: Hundred Gunner (1.600 HP)
Just throw Grenades until the battle is over. Shouldn't be any problems at all
in this battle. Heli Gunner appears when Hundred Gunner is beaten.

Boss: Heli Gunner (1.000 HP)
This fight is harder. You could get poisoned by C Cannon and put to sleep by
AB Cannon. Firing Line can inflict both. If someone should fall asleep, just
have one of the other hit that character. Throw Grenades to damage the enemy.
Have Barret Cure-All if necessary. I didn't have to.


After beating Heli Gunner, the scene will change to Cloud. Just push the Start
button to start. No need to prepare for this battle.

[skip text]


Boss: Rufus (500 HP)
Throw three Grenades and then use limit break to quickly end this battle. On
Rufus, that is. Attacking Dark Nation would only be a waste of time. No need
for healing in this battle. If you don't have limit break, just throw another
Grenade on your fourth turn. Thanks to lolo26 for this easy strategy.


After the fight, head back down to the 69th floor and talk to Tifa. The scene
will change to Aerith at the first floor. Run towards the exit.

[skip text]

After skipping the text and watching the kickass FMV, just push the Start
button to begin the minigame. Make sure that the soldiers don't damage your
party too much. Aerith and Red don't matter. Whacking the orange riders is
easy, but you can have a hard time beating the red ones. I'm not an expert at
this game, and you might do a lot better than me. Motor Ball will come from
behind and attack at the end of the road.


Boss: Motor Ball (2.600 HP)
Have Cloud cast Bolt and the others throw Grenades. There's only one attack to
fear in this battle, but if you're fast enough, you can end it before MB gets
to use that attack. After a while, he will pack himself together and use Twin
Burner, a Fire attack that hits the party for 80 damage. No big deal. But then,
when he packs himself out again, follows an attack called Rolling Fire, causing
200 damage to the party. Make sure to use the Cure-All after Twin Burner. I, of
course, managed to beat him before Rolling Fire. Thank God.


[skip text]

When you get to control Cloud at the ground, run to the bottom of the screen
and choose to carry on. Second alternative.

[skip text]

This includes forming a party of Cloud, Aerith and Barret. This will be our
main party for the rest of disc one. Why, you may ask. Simply because Barret
kicks ass and we don't want Aerith to be underleveled in the temple.

Congratulations, you made it to the world map. Getting here was pretty easy,
but I promise you it will get harder. And the harder, the better, right? This
isn't supposed to be an easy challenge after all.

My time:          2:01:30
Recommended time: 2:20:00

Well, lookey here. I beat my Midgar record with 7 and a half minute. This is
going to be very interesting.

                     3 - Walkthrough: The Rest of Disc One
Well then, you're ready for some more action? Good. It's getting far more
interresting from now on. Well, the first thing to do is getting to Kalm. It's
possible to get there without getting into any battles, so restart if you're

               3.1 <> Kalm, The Flashback & Crossing the Marches
When you get there, skip the test and enter the Inn. Head straight to the
second floor and the talking will start. You have to run over to the crew after
someone (I can't remember who), saying you're late.

******************************** The Flashback ********************************

First, you'll have some text to skip inside the truck. The Dragon will attack
after a while. Sephiroth will take care of it as usual. Perfect runners must
take note of this battle. If Cloud gets killed, Sephiroth may revive him,
causing you to lose valuable time, and you don't want that, do you? If you're
playing a perfect run, you can only accept that Sephiroth beats the dragon in
two attacks.

[skip text]

When you arrive in Nibelheim, Sephiroth will tell you about his parents, and
you'll get to control Cloud. Just run ahead into the city and Barret will

[skip text]

In Nibelheim, you get to control Cloud after Sephiroth telling you that you may
visit family and friends. You've got no time to do that, so enter the Inn and
head straight up the stairs and talk to Sephiroth twice. The second time, you
have to choose the second option when he asks if you you're ready to sleep.
Cloud will wake up in the morning and run to Sephiroth. Talk to him.

[skip text]

Next, you'll get to control Cloud at the bridge. Talk to Tifa and then follow
her. The bridge collapses and you'll fall down to another area.

[skip text]

Run to the right, enter the cave and run ahead.

[skip text]

Keep running down to the exit. You could get into fights here, but I didn't the
last time. This time, though, I got one fight. Sephiroth will handle the
enemies anyway.

[skip text]

You get to control Cloud again in front of the reactor. Run a few inches ahead.

[skip text]

You know where to go inside the reactor, right. Just follow Sephiroth and talk
to him in front of the Jenova room. Then, go close the valve and talk to him

[skip text]

The monster will brake loose and the scene will change back to Kalm. After four
boxes of text, Barret will ask if you want to take a break and save. Make sure
to select the second option.

************************************ Part 2 ***********************************

Cloud will run out from the Inn and enter the mansion. Just head down to the
basement and find Sephiroth.

[skip text]

Head back out the door when you get to control him again. Text will go
automatically. Cloud will wake up at the second floor in the morning. Head back
down and find Sephiroth.

[skip text]

Follow him back up, leave the mansion and head over to the burning village.

[skip text]

Enter Cloud's house.

[skip text]

The next time you get to control Cloud now is inside the reactor. Go down to
find Tifa.

[skip text]

Follow her to the next area.

[skip text]

Go help Tifa and follow Sephiroth to the Jenova room.

[skip text]

This will end the flashback and the scene will change over to Kalm again. Make
sure to select the second answer when Barret is leaving. Go downstairs and Tifa
will give you the PHS. You're free to leave now. 

***************************** Crossing the Marches ****************************

Leave town and head for the marches. Stop and save your game after running for
about 10 seconds. This will make the crossing a lot more safer. It doesn't
matter if we save here, even not in a perfect run, because you can load up your
file and continue to the marches without getting into a battle. You know, the
same trick as we've already used a couple of times in Midgar.

You have to run as long as you can into the marches before you save. When the
Midgar Zolom appears, you have to open the menu at once. You have no time to
waste. Opening the menu takes more than a second, and he will attack if he's
close enough. Even if you already pushed the menu button. This happened to me
the last time, and I had to go through the flashback again. No, I had not saved
after the flashback, because I wasn't aware of the trick back then.

My time:          2:23:19
Recommended time: 2:45:00

                          3.2 <> Mythril Mine -> Junon
The serpent will attack once you exit the menu, but just let it destroy your
party. Load the game and run over to the other side. Keep running till you
enter the little area with the killed serpent. Cloud will run ahead, and you'll
have one box with text to skip. Then, run up-left to exit this area. Enter the
mines and go directly left. Then run down, left, up and left again to enter the
next area where you meet the Turks.

[skip text]

Climb the root and exit the cave. Head directly for Junon, but stay away from
the forests. You can also get through here without getting one single battle.
Just save about halfway through the area and load the file. It doesn't matter
if you fail and run too far, as you just saved in the marches. Also note that
Zemzeletts have a long-lasting attack, so perfect runners should restart if you
run into this attack. Give the Poison Materia to Cloud and equip Aerith with
the Mythril Armlet and Fire Materia (in the weapon) before you enter town.

********************************* Under Junon *********************************

You'll have one box of text to skip here first. Then, enter the shop to the
right and sell the following accessories: Star Pendant, Talisman and Protect
Vest. Now buy so that you have 40 Grenades. Then head down to the beach.

[skip text]

The next boss, Bottomswell, will attack after some talking.


Boss: Bottomswell (2.500 HP)
Have Cloud cast Bio to poison the enemy. Keep trying until he gets poisoned.
You can only accept one try on a perfect run. If he doesn't get poisoned after
three attempts, you should restart either way. Anyway, just keep throwing
Grenades until he dies. Bottomswell will use Waterpolo at least once, so have
Cloud or Aerith cast a magic spell on it to remove it. You can use limit breaks
as well in this battle. They should be just a bit better than the Grenades.


[skip text]

It's time to revive Priscilla. You need 41 breaths to revive her. You have many
options. You can fill the gauge completely four times and take a final breath,
or you can go with a 9-9-9-9-5 strategy. As long as you only breathe into her
five times, it doesn't matter.

[skip text]

Go talk to the old woman in front of the house.

[skip text]

You're given a chance to sleep. Well, you have to sleep for the story to
proceed. Select the second option to do so.

[skip text]

Leave the house and go climb the stairs to Priscilla's house. Cloud will stop
on the second staircase and Priscilla comes down.

[skip text]

It's time to enter the actual city of Junon. After all, this place is called
"Under Junon". Just head down to the beach.

[skip text]

When Priscilla asks if you want to jump with Mr. Dolphin, choose the second
alternative, "sure". Don't move at all in the water. Just push the square
button twice to get up. Run up-left to the ladder and you'll get to see the
cut-scene with the Highwind.

************************************ Junon ************************************

You'll get to control Cloud again at the airport. Run down to the next area,
ride the elevator down and enter the building.

[skip text]

Now enter the room to the left. It's actualy up-left, but Cloud will go that
direction if you push the left button.

[skip text]

Find the uniform in the second locker and choose the second option to change.

[skip text]

After getting a demonstration on what to do, you have to select the second
option to proceed. This is the fourth time you have to select the second option
in a row. Leave the room and you'll se a cut-scene with the president. Head
down and find the save point when you get to control Cloud again.

My time:          2:36:30
Recommended time: 3:00:00

                           3.3 <> Junon -> Mt. Corel
OK, so it's time to do some marching. We're going to buy as many Molotovs as
possible in North Corel, and for that, we need money. If you score 50% or more,
your prize is 5000 Gil, and you do want that, don't you? Yes you do, so you're
going to have to score 50% or more. If you don't know how to get a 50% score,
you have to read the following description to understand what to do. Then, you
can try and fail until you manage to score 50% and more.

Garland's "How to get 50 percent or more on the marching" strategy:
Many people screw this up because they do like the other soldiers and run to
the back to reach the open spot. Well, you can't do that. Instead just run
straight ahead, "through" the other soldiers, and you'll easily get to the open
spot. Simply put, just hold down the X button and the direction down button
when you get to control Cloud. Very simple. Then, when you have reached the
open spot, it's time to start marching. That's very simple as well, as you just
have to walk. Let go of the X button and hold the direction left button down,
and Cloud will march in the same tempo as the other soldiers. Finally, you have
to push the action button when the numbers start popping up. This will increase
the percentage dramatically, and if you're fast enough, you should have no
trouble reaching 50%. With some practice, you will find out that this is easier
than you ever imagined. You can easily get 60% when you get good at it.

If you absolutely can't manage to score more than 50%, you'll be glad to hear
that you win 6 ethers if you score between 40 and 49. They can be sold for 4500
Gil later. This is of course not accepted in a perfect run.

[skip text]

Go talk to the captain and enter the alley.

[skip text]

Then we have the marching. Just do like I told you and hold down X + down when
the captain says "charge". Cloud will run downwards, through the other soldiers
and find the open spot. Well, just do like I told you and score 50% or more.
My personal record is 63%, but this depends on what the percentage is when you
enter the area. It could be at 30 and it could be at 25. It varies all the
time. Anyway, this is very important, so keep restarting until you can make it.

[skip text]

You're then brought back to the changing room.

[skip text]

First, the soldiers will show you what to do, and then you get to do some
practice yourself. You can just watch, but make sure to choose the second
alternative when they ask if you've got it.

[skip text]

Head for the docks. We need the second Enemy Skill materia, so enter the fourth
entrance and go get it. It's in the basement, and you have to talk to the man
in front of the entrance to enter. No big deal. Just pick it up, leave and head
for the docks again.

[skip text]

When posing for the president, make sure to score 60 points. You get 10 points
for pushing the right button in the right position. The final pose is worth 30.
You get the HP Plus Materia if you score 60-90 points, and it will come in
handy. Enter the boat when you're done posing and skipping text.

********************************* Shinra Boat *********************************

Pick up the All Materia. Then go talk to Tifa, Red and Aerith, in that order.
Then go find Barret and talk to him twice. The alarm will go off. Head back to
the large open area and the crew will gather for some talk.

[skip text]

Form the usual party of Cloud, Aerith and Barret. Replace Clouds Lightning
Materia with Steal. I'll tell you why later. Then head down, enter the door and
approach the soldier. Sephiroth will appear.

[skip text]

As always, Sephiroth has arranged some company for us. Time to fight Jenova.


Boss: Jenova-BIRTH (4.000 HP)
Grenades are our key to victory as usual, and use limit breaks as well, but
make sure to time them perfectly. Jenova might stop one of the characters for a
short period, but you won't lose much time because of the fast battle speed.
Her attacks can cause some trouble, and you might have to heal towards the end
of the battle. Keep in mind that you have to do everything in Junon over again
if you lose this battle, but don't worry, you most likely won't.


[skip text]

Select the second option to prevent Cloud from explaining what Sephiroth meant
with "The time is now". Then leave the boat. No, you don't need Ifrit. You have
to skip a few lines before Cloud leaves. 

******************************** Costa del Sol ********************************

[skip text]

Leave the docks. Rufus and Heidegger will appear.

[skip text]

First, enter the villa. It's straight ahead from the bridge. Go downstairs to
the basement and pick up the Fire Ring in the treasure chest. Pick up the Motor
Drive as well. It's the white item next to it. Never mind the blue one. Then
leave town and head for Mt. Corel.

********************************** Mt. Corel **********************************

Get to the save point and make sure to replace Barret with Red. If you have
Barret in your party, you will lose some time when you enter North Corel. No
other changes. A good reason to save here is because you might encounter three
Cocatolises on the bridge, and they attack from both sides. That means trouble.

My time:          2:57:33
Recommended time: 3:25:00

                        3.4 <> Mt. Corel -> Cosmo Canyon
Keep moving. When the floor breaks, tap the action button like crazy, and Cloud
will jump over. Restart if you fail. Just note that you have to skip some text
inside the shack when lowering the bridge.

When you get to the bridge, you have to steal a Right Arm from a Bomb. This
item will kill Dyne instantly, saving you a lot of time. For a perfect run, you
should restart if you can't steal it in one attempt, but don't use too many
attempts anyway. Now you know why we had to equip the Steal Materia. Thanks to
lolo26 for finding out. Anyway, when you reach North Corel, you have to run a
few steps ahead for things to happen.

[skip text]

Go talk to Barret. After talking, it's time for some shopping. Grenades are
out and Molotovs are in. The weapon shop is to the far left. Sell off the Power
Wrist, White Cape, Motor Drive and any Grenades you may have left. Then buy
Molotovs for all your money except the 3000 we need to enter Gold Saucer. You
should get almost 40, and that's just enough for the coming battles. The
Molotovs should be at the top of your item list now, after selling off the
Grenades. Then enter the railway station and move over to the party.

Go buy the ticket and enter.

[skip text]

Talk to Tifa and choose to go with her. Then jump down to Wonder Square. It's
the second hole from the right.

[skip text]

You have to name Cait Sith as well. Jump down to Battle Square after talking.

[skip text]

You get to control Cloud again after talking to Barret in Corel Prison. First
open the menu and remove materia and the Silver Armlet from Cait Sith. Give him
a crappy Bronze Bangle in exchange. Then move down and find the save point. If
you're not playing a perfect run, you can save after the house.

My time:          3:10:19
Recommended time: 3:39:30

Enter the house.

[skip text]

Form the regular party and go find Dyne. You know where he is. Don't worry if
you're attacked on your way there, cause Barret will always start the battle
fully recovered. Just make sure the Bandits don't steal anything important from
you and runs away with it. Especially not the Right Arm. They seem to only be
stealing the best items all the time. In any case, restart if they do.

[skip text]


Boss: Dyne (1.200 HP)
Simply throw the Right Arm and the battle will be over. The Right Arm is
located at the bottom of your item list.


[skip text]

This one goes until you get to control Cloud again in the chocobo racers
waiting room, but can't just go on tapping the action button like crazy. In the
elevator, Ester will ask if you want an explanation on chocobo racing, and you
sure don't want that. Select the second alternative to prevent it. Then, in the
waiting room, just move around until the other jockeys leave and Ester returns.
Never mind Ramuh. You won't need it.

[skip text]

Now make sure to select the second option again, cause you don't want that
explanation. Winning the race ain't hard. Switch to manual steering with the
select button and hold down R1, R2 and square until you reach the top of the
spiral. Use the O button from now, and you're guaranteed success. Of course, if
you should fail, you have to restart.

[skip text]

You get to form a party now, but you just have to push the cancel button. Well,
congratulations on a new vehicle. The buggy is ours now. Set course for Cosmo
Canyon and make sure to stop before you pass the village, because you lose time
if you have to watch the buggy breaking down. Just leave the vehicle outside
and enter.

                              3.5 <> Cosmo Canyon
Climb the stairs and Red will come running, telling you that this is his home.
Go talk to the man and choose the second answer, No!

[skip text]

Open the menu and give the Silver Armlets to Cloud and Barret. Then go talk to
Red and follow him all the way up to Bugenhagen. Talk to Red again when you get

[skip text]

Climb back down and enter the far right door. Talk to Cait Sith and form a
party of whomever. Head back up, enter the door and talk to Bugenhagen.

[skip text]

Now go all the way back down to the candle and talk to Tifa, Barret, Aerith and
Red in that order.

[skip text]

Bugenhagen will come, and it's time to visit the Cave of the Gi. Form a party
of Cloud, Barret and Red. Then get to the save point and save.

My time:          3:30:56
Recommended time: 4:03:30

OK, we need another HP Plus Materia. Enter the Materia Shop and sell the
Transform Materia you got from Cait Sith. If you don't have 8000 Gil now, sell
the Titan Bangle and all Potions you may have. You can't have less than 8000
now, so buy the HP Plus Materia and go talk to Bugenhagen. 

Climb all the way down and enter the cave to the left of the entrance to the
next area. Break it open. If you don't know which cave I'm talking about, find
out, restart and do exactly what I told you on the major run. Approach the

[skip text]

Keep running to the next area. Just run and never mind any of the chests. You
will stop for some talking again in front of the entrance to the next area.

[skip text]

Keep moving and enter the second of the five openings. Next comes two battles
with Stingers.


2x Battle: Stinger (2.200 HP)
Throw six Molotovs and finish them off with a limit break. Cloud's Braver works
well and should inflict enough damage to kill them.

If you haven't learned Cross-Slash yet, you have to do it now. Stinger will
counter with Sting Bomb on the ones throwing the fourth and fifth Molotovs
either way, so make sure Cloud throws one of them. Sting Bomb reduces the
current HP to 25%. Then have Cloud finish the battle with Braver.


Move on and Bugenhagen will interrupt you again.

[skip text]

Enter the final area and move ahead.

[skip text]


Boss: Gi Nattak (5.500 HP (doesn't really matter))
Throw the Elixir at him and the battle will be over. Phoenix Downs works as
well, but not guaranteed. I missed with all three Phoenix Downs two times in a
row, so you can't rely on them. Just throw the Elixir.


Pick up the Gravity Materia and enter the next area for the most touching part
of the game in my opinion.

[skip text]

You get to control Cloud again at the Cosmo Candle, but you have to form a
party first. As usual, go for Cloud, Aerith and Barret. Head for the exit and
Red will come running.

[skip text]

Then leave and head for Nibelheim.

                          3.6 <> Nibelheim & Mt. Nibel
Just run ahead and talking will start.

[skip text]

After skipping the text, you should be out of Nibelheim within 10 seconds.
That's right. Leave town as soon as possible and head for Mt. Nibel. Just get
to the cave without getting killed. If you're left with critical HP after a
battle, you have to Cure. Barret still has the All-Restore combination. Inside,
enter pipe number two (from the right), and you'll end up just next to Materia
Keeper. Pick up the item, jump down and enter the save point.

Give both Enemy Skill and both HP Plus Materias to Cloud. Aerith must have the
Elemental-Lightning combination in her armor. And finally, Cure everyone to
full health. Then you can save.

My time:          3:44:10
Recommended time: 4:19:00

Go get Materia Keeper. Unlike the Stingers, you have to push the action button
to activate this battle.


Boss: Materia Keeper (8.400 HP)
This battle is easy if you know what you're doing. This is completely different
from the last version, but now you have to restart until he opens the battle
with Trine. This will, in fact, make the whole thing easier. Now, have Cloud
cast Bio, Barret Cure-All, Aerith Healing Wind and Cloud Cross-Slash. Note that
MK has to get poisoned on the first Bio, but don't worry, there's more than 50%
chance he does. At least for me. Well, MK gets paralyzed from the Cross-Slash,
and now you can simply have anyone use Defend. Now, they will take half damage
from all physical attacks until you have them do something else.

Now you just have to keep everyone alive for the rest of the battle. Use Clouds
Cross-Slash whenever he gets limit break to paralyze the enemy, and make sure
to use Defend again as soon as possible. If you paralyze him now and then, he
most likely wont use Trine again, and the same goes for Cure2. I fought him
four times where he never used the attacks at all. All I did was Curing and
Cross-Slash him whenever Cloud got limit break. Make sure to Cure whenever the
HP should fall below 210, and don't forget to use Defend again afterwards.

You can still fight him if he doesn't open the battle with Trine, but then you
have to make sure to be on full HP when MK's HP falls below 4500. This battle
will be much harder and last longer, since you have to Cure more often.

Thanks to KADFC for the tips on Defend. It really comes in handy.


Pick up the materia, leave Mt. Nibel and save as soon as you get out on the
world map. Why save here and not outside Rocket Town? Because we can't accept
getting into any battles before we get there, and you might as well get into
one if you don't save. Just listen to me and save here. I know what I'm talking

My time:          3:48:12
Recommended time: 4:23:00

This is just great. On my 9:29 record run, I saved outside Rocket Town on 4:00.
Like I said, this can get interesting, and it sure did, and we're not even
halfway through the game yet. I wonder.... will the 9 hours mark fall?

                3.7 <> Rocket Town -> Gold Saucer (second visit)
Finally Rocket Town. I both love and hate this place. Let me explain why. I
love it because we finally get new weapons for Cloud and Barret. But then, I
hate it because we have to go through almost 10 minutes of dialogues if we fail
on Palmer. God I hate it.

Alright, we'll have two lines to skip before you can go talk to the man outside
the item shop. Talk to him twice to get the Yoshiyuki. Then enter the shop and
sell off the Wizer Staff, Powersoul and Jem Ring. Buy the Barrier Materia and
spend the rest of your money on Phoenix Downs. You'll get about 25, and that
should be enough for the rest of the game for an expert.

True experts don't have to buy the Barrier Materia, so buy Time instead. And
please take me seriously, this is for true experts only. If you think you're an
expert, you should make the last save a backup and start saving on another
place from now on.

Whatever you choose to do, go find the Tiny Bronco in Cid's backyard when
you're done shopping. Shera will come for some talking.

[skip text]

Now go find Cid inside the rocket. You have to talk to him twice. The first
time includes naming him and you have to ask him about the rocket the second 
time, but don't worry, it's the upper alternative.

[skip text]

Climb back down and enter Cid's house. Move just ahead for talking to start.

[skip text]

Finally, you will get to control Cloud after Cid goes out the door to talk to
the president. Follow him out the door.

[skip text]

Shera will take you back in and tell you to go talk to Palmer in the backyard,
as he seems to be stealing the Tiny Bronco. Before you go, enter the toilet and
pick up Barret's Drill Arm from the chest. Then open the menu and equip Cloud
and Barret with their new weapons and Aerith with the Fire Ring. Remove the
All-Restore combination from Barret and give it to Aerith, and give the
Manipulate Materia to Barret. That's all. Now you can go kick some Palmer ass.
You have to skip a line and go talk to him for the battle to start.


Boss: Palmer (6.000 HP)
Palmer has two attacks. Mako Gun and slapping his ass. You don't have to worry
about the last one, as he's only wasting a turn to tease you. Mako Gun casts
either Bolt2, Fire2 or Ice2, and they inflicts about 450 damage. Whenever he
use Mako Gun, you just have to make Aerith Cure to survive this battle. If you
succeed doing this, you can't lose either way. Palmer is vulnerable to Poison,
so have Cloud cast Bio until he gets poisoned. Have Barret throw Molotovs and
Cloud as well after Palmer is poisoned, of course. Cross-Slash will paralyze
him just like Materia Keeper, so use it whenever Cloud is hit by Mako Gun.

Now this is truly incredible. Aerith has the Fire Ring, causing her to take no
damage from the Mako Gun if it hits her with Fire2. Well, first off, there's a
1/3 chance he'll hit Aerith. Then it's a 1/3 chance it'll be Fire2. And would
you believe it, he managed to hit Aerith with Fire2 three times in a row. You
know what the chance of that is? 1/243. Yes, it's true. This happened to me the
last time. Not now. He only attacked Cloud and Barret this time.


[skip text]

Well then, the Tiny Bronco is yours, and we're going back to Gold Saucer, but
we have to learn Magic Hammer first. Learning this enemy skill has been in my
mind since my first speed run, but I never bothered with it. Then, when I
fought Schizo and Jenova-DEATH on my last speed run, I knew Magic Hammer was
gonna save us some serious time, and I had lolo26 test it out. Well, it worked
great, so thanks to him for testing it and a punch in the face with a frying
pan for me. Should've tested it way earlier. Well, nothing to do with that now.

No, you don't have to go all the way to Wutai. If you had to do that, I would
never tell you to learn this enemy skill. Simply go southwest to the end of the
peninsula, and you'll find a small green spot. Just take your time to save
before you go there. We don't want anymore than one battle here.

My time:          4:00:40
Recommended time: 4:37:00

**************************** Learning Magic Hammer ****************************

Your friends for this battle are the Razor Weeds. They come in groups of four,
but you can also encounter two of them in company with a Tail Vault. We'll go
for the group of four, as they give the highest amount of EXP. And in case you
didn't know, yes, we have to kill the enemies and win the battle to learn the
enemy skill. If you run away, you won't learn it. Simple and plain.

Well then, when you get the right battle, have Barret Manipulate one of them,
Cloud cast Trine and Aerith Cure the one Barret manipulated. It doesn't matter
if he fails to manipulate the first time. On the second round, have Barret
manipulate again if he failed, and Cloud cast Trine again to kill the other
three. If he fails again, you have to restart. Then have Barret use Magic
Hammer on Cloud and finish off the last enemy with Cross-Slash or Molotovs.

Okay, now you can head for Gold Saucer. Head east first and then northeast
towards Nibelheim and follow the river through the continent. Leave the Tiny
Bronco just after the mountain ends and the river turns south. Thanks to
Bergqvist for this info. We're saving again because we can't accept any battles
on our way to North Corel. Walk north for about 10 seconds first.

My time:          4:02:41
Recommended time: 4:41:00

Get to North Corel without being attacked. Head directly to the railway station
and board the tram. 

************************** Gold Saucer (second visit) *************************

Buy the ticket, enter and go find the keystone. You'll find it in Dio's
showroom, which is located by the battle area. Enter the third hole from the
right to get there. Dio will appear when you find it.

[skip text]

Next, you'll have to fight at the battle arena. If Cloud is already KO'd, the
battle will end before it starts. If not, you can simply escape. Thanks to
Bergqvist for this info.

[skip text]

Leave and go talk to the man in front of the tram.

[skip text]

It's time for the date. Who will appear? Most likely Aerith. Well, it doesn't
really matter.

[skip text]

You get to control Cloud again when Cait Sith runs off with the keystone. Go to
Chocobo Square, go around the circle and leave. Talking will start on the
outside. Thanks to KADFC for finding out that you don't have to chase him all
the way.

[skip text]

Pick up the Elixir in the locker and leave the room.

[skip text]

You get to form a party and we'll go with the usual party one last time. Just
push the cancel button. Then leave Gold Saucer. Back in North Corel we have to
do some shopping. Sell the Edincoat and buy so you have 32 Molotovs. The weapon
shop is still to the far left. Then leave town and head south for about 10
seconds before you save.

My time:          4:15:??
Recommended time: 4:54:00

Get back to the Tiny Bronco and head for the temple. Playing this challenge,
you should know where it is. After the riveres reach the sea, you have to go
south a little bit and then east until you get there. Leave the Tiny Bronco on
the beach and enter the temple. You can't accept any battles here either, so
restart if you get one.

                         3.8 <> The Temple of Ancients
Move just ahead and Aerith will interrupt.

[skip text]

Climb the stairs and enter.

[skip text]

Now place the keystone on the altar.

[skip text]

Go downstairs and climb down to the next area. Open the chest and go down the
stairs to climb the next wall. Follow the creature and go through the opening
where you see an item in front. Pick it up and follow this road. Open the chest
as well. After climbing up a wall, go left and enter the next area. This is
where you have to dodge these rolling stones. Just don't screw up. It's not
that hard after all.

[skip text]

Move on to the clock room. Yes, we're going to get the Ribbon. Move the minute
hand to five and go get it. Then, choose to spin the arms and stop them when
the hour hand is at 9. It should stop at 5. If you're lucky, as I was, the
minute hand'll be at 6, but if not, you'll have to move it yourself. Enter the

[skip text]

You have to catch the creature to unlock the door. Pretty easy. Enter the first
door and jump down to the bottom. Open the chest and enter the second door on
this level to catch the creature. The door is now unlocked, and you get to rest
or save your game. Before you do anything, you'll have to prepare for the
coming battle with Red Dragon, the hardest battle this far. Yes, it's a tough
battle, but you know who's next right?

Anyway, let's start with equipment. Remove all of Aerith's materia first. Then
equip Barret with his newly acquired Rocket Punch and give him both HP Plus
Materias and the All-Restore combination. Give the Elemental-Fire combination
to Cloud. He still has the Poison Materia, and he's keeping it for this battle
as well. Then have Barret Cure-All to put everyone on full health.

My time:          4:23:44
Recommended time: 5:05:00

Now enter the fourth door on this level to get back up. Then enter the main
door that leads to the room with the murals. A lot of text-skipping awaits.

Skip text, move ahead, skip text, move ahead, skip text, move ahead and skip
text again. If you lose the battle or screw up, you have to go through all of
this again. God, I hate it. Red Dragon will attack after some hours.


Boss: Red Dragon (6.800 HP)
Actually, this battle isn't that hard, but you'll need some luck to survive.
Aerith is of no use in this battle, so just have her Defend ASAP. Cloud is, as
usual, the one to cast Bio, and you have to poison him on the first one. I did
it three out of four times, so you shouldn't worry. No attacks except critical
hits can kill Cloud on full HP, but have him Defend after poisoning the enemy.

Then we have Barret. He should have 868 HP for this battle. Just enough to
survive Red Dragon Breath. The most he ever lost was 861, so Barret has to be
on full HP all the time. Barret is the one to Cure in this battle, and you need
him to Cure whenever Cloud or Aerith's HP falls below 300. If Barret is hit, he
has to Cure himself, but he will most likely lose more HP than he's able to
Cure, so have Cloud use a Hi-Potion on him. I had three of them in this battle,
and so should you. I never told you to use them anyway, so don't complain if
you don't have them. Make sure to have Cloud Defend again afterwards.

After poisoning the enemy, you just have to keep everyone alive and make sure
nobody gets knocked out. You'll need some luck, but that's how it is in this
challenge. The only thing you're allowed to attack with is limit breaks. Cross-
Slash will, as always, paralyze the enemy. Big Shot will deal some fair damage
as well. Just don't throw any Molotovs. You'll find out what happens if you do.


[skip text]

Pick up Bahamut and move on to the next area. Yes, to the right.

[skip text]

Then leave the room. Well then. How far have we come now? I think it's time to
go fight a certain boss. What was the name again? Hmmm...... Oh yeah, it's
Demon's Gate, my favorite boss. This nice little fellow will treat us with care
and hopefully let us survive the whole battle, while we're doing our best to
reduce his 10.000 HP to 0. Well, you wish.

True experts that didn't buy the Barrier Materia in Rocket Town will get a true
challenge here. I won't bother writing a good expert strategy, as it's too
difficult and complicated. All experts will have to figure out the best way to
defeat this enemy for themselves. Just take a look in the below strategy and
learn about the Demon Rush technique. That's your key for this battle.

Players that bought the Barrier Materia can use this strategy. Well, we have to
prepare the characters first. Replace Cloud's Silver Armlet with the Dragon
Armlet and give the Silver Armlet to Aerith. Then, give the All-Barrier
combination to Cloud, and make sure to give him the level 2 All. Give Bahamut,
All-Restore and HP Plus to Aerith and Sense to Barret. This is what you need
for the battle. Finally, you're gonna have to turn the battle speed all the way
down to the slowest. Don't worry, we won't lose much time doing that at all.
Now talk to the creature, rest and save.

My time:          4:32:15
Recommended time: 5:14:00

Then there's only one thing to do. Go get Demon's Gate. You have to skip a few
lines before he attacks.


Boss: Demon's Gate (10.000 HP)
Before we start, let's take some time and learn how this monster fights. You
have to read this and understand it so that you know exactly what to do when
you fight. You can't be reading the guide as you fight. And remember, one push
on the pause button can ruin your concentration and the whole battle as well.

First, let's take a look at his attacks. He's got four different ones.

1. Standard physical attack. He drops a rock on one character, so we'll call it
Rock Drop. Does about 750 damage in back row. Reduced to 375 with Barrier.

2. Cave-In. Ice elemental physical attack on all characters. Does 400 damage in
back row. Reduced to 200 with Barrier and 100 with Cloud's Dragon Armlet.

3. Demon Rush. He starts waving his arms before this attack, so you'll know
when he's about to use it. Does 600 damage to all in back row, but is reduced
to 300 with Barrier.

4. Petrif-Eye. Gradual Petrify on one character. Countdown from 30. This is the
only attack that demands MP. I've got several questions on the subject, so I
thought I might as well mention it.

Demons Gate attacks with Rock Drop in series between Cave-Ins. He will most
likely do two Rock Drops in a serie, but he might as well do three. Cave-In
will always follow after a serie of Rock Drops. No exceptions. Then, he'll most
likely start another serie of Rock Drop, but this is the time when he can use
Petrif-Eye as well. If he does, he'll do a serie of Rock Drops afterwards.

About Demon Rush, I found out a very interesting fact this time. After two
limit breaks, he's forced to do it. I tested this out, and he did it five out
of six times. That's right. Demon Rush hit Cloud and Barret for almost 600
damage, which of course caused them to get limit breaks. To take advantage of
the limit break system, I had Cloud Cure and Barret throw a Molotov before I
activated them. Then, after the limit breaks, he started waving the arms again,
and a new Demons Rush was ahead. In a perfect file, we have to take advantage
of this fact to beat him as fast as possible.

The most dangerous situation is when he starts doing Rock Drop series of 2x2.
This means he'll drop two rocks in a row, and you won't be able to do anything
in between. Then he could drop two in a row once more, but you might be lucky
that he only drops one. He most likely won't do this until late in the battle.
Finally, we can't forget the fact that Demon's Gate has an incredible amount of
luck, causing him to critical hit about 1 of 4 times. If he critical hits you
in a 2x2 serie of Rock Drop, the battle will be over. Period.

Now for the strategy. He will most likely open the battle with a serie of Rock
Drops, and if he does, just let him kill you. Restart until he opens the battle
with either Cave-In, Demon Rush or Petrif-Eye. But what if you get your turn
first? Trust me. You won't. Maybe 1 of 20 times, you might be lucky to get one
attack on him before he gets to do anything, but if so, the ATB gauge has to be
almost full and you'll need to be quicker than hell. There is one exception,
though, and that's if he's going to use Demon Rush. Otherwise, just forget it.

If he opens the battle with Cave-In, have Barret Sense, Aerith Cure-All and
Cloud Barrier-All. Then use the limit breaks before he gets his turn again. You
have to take fully advantage of the limit breaks and the fact that they are
priored. If he opens with Petrif-Eye or Demon Rush (that is, if he starts
waving his arms in the beginning), have Barret Sense, Aerith throw a Molotov
and Cloud Barrier-All. Make sure to use a soft on the petrified character.

Under Barrier, you're safe for a long time. On full HP, nothing will kill you
unless he gets a critical hit with Rock Drop. If he does, make sure to revive,
Cure and get that character under Barrier again as soon as possible. This may
be much harder than it sounds, and you might have to restart. Getting killed at
the wrong time can ruin the whole battle.

Now, under series of rock drop, have Aerith Cure and the others throw Molotovs.
Use limit breaks and like I said, use them at the right time to take advantage
of the fact that they are priored. Between the enemy's turn, all characters get
one turn, so make sure to activate a limit break when the last character starts
doing his/her move. After Cave-In, just make sure the characters have more than
400 HP for the coming serie of Rock Drops. If you had full HP before this
attack, and he didn't get a critical hit, everyone will have more than 400 HP,
and you can just throw Molotovs and use limit breaks. Always save Aerith's
limit break for Demon Rush.

Now, if he starts waving his arms, just have everyone throw a Molotov until he
does the attack. Make sure you start with Aerith. Then, after doing the attack,
have Aerith use Healing Wind as soon as she gets her turn. The others can
follow up with their limit breaks as well, as they'll most likely have limit
breaks now. On full HP, no one will get killed by a critical hit from this

The hardest part of the battle could be when you have to cast Barrier-All
again. The two Barriers will last through the whole battle unless you're
unlucky. You have to be careful when you cast the next Barrier-All. You can't
do it as soon as the gauge reaches zero, as they'll still have the Barrier for
a while. Anyway, you have to let the enemy attack first. Then have the others
activate their moves, but let Barret and Aerith do their moves first. That way,
the Barrier will guaranteed be gone by the time Cloud gets his turn. If you
screw this up, the whole battle could be over in short time. It's kind of hard
to describe exactly what to do in this situation, but you should learn exactly
when to cast the Barrier-All if you try and fail some.

When his HP falls below 1300, have Aerith summon Bahamut to finish him. That's
it. You should have enough MP, but if you don't, just keep fighting until you
beat him. I hope I made myself understandable with this strategy and I hope you
won't have that hard of a time beating this boss. I wish you good luck, and
don't give up if you can't beat him, even after many attempts. The key to
victory is in many cases to try and fail, and I believe it is in this battle as
well. After fighting him a certain amount of times, you'll get the hang of this
battle, and it'll become much easier. Just take your time, try and fail, and
you'll eventually succeed.


Well, that's it. This was my best Demon's Gate fight EVER. Thanks goes to the
fact that he's forced to use Demon Rush after being attacked by two limit
breaks. Truly amazing. I can't believe I haven't found it out before now.

[skip text]

This one goes until Cloud wakes up in Gongaga, but you have to make sure not to
push the action button like crazy when Cloud gives the black materia to
Sephiroth. You can control the small Cloud when he does that. When he's given
it to him, keep tapping until you wake up in Gongaga. Pick up the X-Potion and
get out.

[skip text]

Leave Gongaga, but first, Cloud will stop and look at the ruined reactor. Very
annoying. You'll have to skip a line as well. On the world map, head directly
south to find the Tiny Bronco. Where to next? Bone Village. You have to follow
the river back through the continent to get there. Then follow the shoreline
until you get there. Open the menu in front of the village and switch Tifa for
Cid. This is the regular party from now on. Cloud, Barret and Cid. So if I tell
you to form the regular party, you know what to do. Also, make sure to set the
battle speed back to the fastest if you turned it down before Demon's Gate.

My time:          4:47:44
Recommended time: 5:32:00

                    3.9 <> Bone Village & The Forgotten City
Another fifteen minutes, and we'll be done with disc one, but first we'll have
to get to the Forgotten City. Enter Bone Village and dig up the Lunar Harp.
Well, first, you'll have to find out exactly where it is. It's impossible to
tell you exactly where it is in a text-based walkthrough, but I can tell you
that it's located to the left of the tent on the second level. Place some
searchers in that area and find out exactly where it is. Then, reload and go
directly to that point without oredering any search on the major run. Keep
reloading until you find it.

Note to regular players: If you're short on Phoenix Downs, you should buy so
you have 25 of them. Just talk to the man and select the second option to shop.

Move on into the forest and pick up the Water Ring in the third area. You have
to go under that hollowed three to find it. Then, move on to the Forgotten
Capital. Go right and enter the second house. Climb the ladder and move just
ahead for talking to start.

[skip text]

Then approach the bed and choose to have some sleep, which is the first option.
Cloud will wake up in the middle of the night.

[skip text]

Pick up the Enemy Skill Materia behind the bed and the Elixir in the chest on
the first floor. Then get out and go find Aerith. You know where she is. Never
mind the Comet Materia. Before you enter the altar, you have to prepare for
the battle. The only important one here is Cloud. Place him in front row, equip
him with the Water Ring and give him all three Enemy Skill Materias and Time.

After jumping over to the altar, the screen will change and you can control
Cloud. Run towards Aerith and he will stop a few seconds and do some strange
things. Then go talk to Aerith and things will start happening.

[skip text]

Sephiroth puts an end to Aerith's life and the boss battle will soon be a fact.


Boss: Jenova-LIFE (10.000 HP)
First of all, she has to open the battle with Aqualung. Restart if she doesn't.
Well, after she does, you can just attack her until she dies. If you have limit
break, it'll be a little faster. Use Cross-Slash, Magic Hammer twice and Haste
to boost your speed. Jenova will run out of MP in no time, and you're free to
do what you want without getting interrupted. Just attack until she dies.


[skip text]

That concludes disc one.

My time:          4:59:56
Recommended time: 5:46:00

This is what the timer shows when I load the file and open the menu at once.
What can I say? I've completed disc one 18 minutes faster than my last record
run. Only 12 minutes left now, and the 9 hours mark can prepare for a long
sleep under the ground. This feels so damn good.

                      4 - Walkthrough: Disc Two and Three
Well then, we should be about 5/9 ways through the game now, but we still have
some challenges ahead. If you're ready for more action you can load your file
and continue playing. Anyway, you'll start up outside a house in the Forgotten
Capital. Move ahead, skip some text and follow Sephiroth to the next area.

                   4.1 <> Corral Valley Cave -> Gaea's Cliff
You have to climb some walls in the second area, and we're getting both the
Bolt Armlet and the Megalixir. First, climb the second wall and jump off to the
left. Then climb the next wall, jump off and climb further up to find the Bolt
Armlet. Climb back down and jump off to the right after getting it. Then go all
the way across the screen and climb the wall here. Jump off to the right and
pick up the Megalixir. Then jump back to the wall and jump off to the left. You
just have to climb the next wall and the ladder to reach the top now. When you
reach the world map, move towards Icicle Inn for about 10 seconds and open the
menu. Many things have to be done here.

First of all, revive Barret and Cid. Then place Cloud and Cid in back row.
Equip Barret with the Fire Ring and Cid with the Bolt Armlet. Then replace two
of Cloud's Enemy Skill Materias with Fire and Bahamut. Give the Enemy Skills to
Barret and Cid and make sure Barret has the one with Aqualung only. Give the
All-Restore combination to Barret, and have him Cure everyone back to full HP.
You must be careful and not waste Cloud's MP at all, as you need it for the
Icicle battles.

My time:          5:02:32
Recommended time: 5:49:00

Yes, we're saving because of the battles. You can only accept one battle before
you reach town. You can also save again, but then you can't accept any battles
at all. As I said earlier, saves takes less time than battles in most cases.

********************************** Icicle Inn *********************************

Enter the first house on your right hand and go take the map. Choose the second
option to get it. Pick up the Hero Drink and Vaccine behind it as well. Then go
talk to the man in front of the snowboard course. Elena will appear.

[skip text]

Just push the left direction button to aviod her punch. It always works for me.
Then go talk to the boy in the middle house and pick up his snowboard. You
don't have to talk to the man again. Thanks to lolo26 for telling me that.

Well, nothing to do but go snowboarding. Push the direction up button to start.
Try not crashing to much, and restart if you spend more than 4 minutes. Go
right in both intersections. My time was 3:12,22 and I only hit some moogles.
The hardest part is getting through the forest. You have to do some practice if
you suck at this minigame. Yes, you suck if you ever pass 4 minutes.

******************************** Great Glacier ********************************

[skip text]

You have four ways to go from here. Downwards, directly to the right and a
t-cross at the top of the screen. Go right in this cross and follow this path
to the next intersection. Here you'll have three more ways to go. Two leading
left and one in the top-right corner. This is where we're going. You will find
the Added Cut Materia in the second area and the hot springs in the third.
Don't bother picking up the materia, as you won't need it. Following this path
will lead you to the wide open area where you have to place markers.

[skip text]

At the wide open area, go north and place markers all the time. A blizzard will
mess up the camera angle, but you'll know where to go thanks to the markers.
You'll find the cave, but never mind it. Just keep heading north and you'll end
up at Mr. Holzoff's hut. Just keep moving. You don't have to stop by here. I
just remember that I did on my record run. God. Now I have yet another reason
to start over. Dagnit. And well, I did start over.

********************************* Gaea's Cliff ********************************

OK, Cloud will pass out on 26 degrees. Make sure he doesn't. If you're quick,
you can get through this climbing without reaching 26, but I think you should
stop and recover a couple of degrees just to secure that won't happen. There
are no intersections here, so just climb until you reach the cave.

                                 IMPORTANT NOTE                                
You should know that we're supposed to learn Magic Breath. Stilva will teach it
to us, and you will encounter one inside the cave either way. I have never gone
through here without encountering any. Stilva can use Magic Breath as the first
attack, and Cloud will get killed if she does. Have Barret revive Cloud with a
Phoenix Down and have Cid cast Magic Breath on Stilva. Pray Cloud won't get
killed again and have him finish the battle with Aqualung. If Stilva doesn't
start the battle with Magic Breath, have Cloud cast Aqualung and Barret be
ready to revive Cloud. Then, when she uses it, have Barret revive Cloud and Cid
cast Magic Breath to end the battle. In a perfect run, we can't accept to wait
forever before Stilva uses the attack, so restart if you have to wait too long.
It's a good idea to Cure everyone back to full health after this battle.

Inside, move ahead and enter the first opening. Climb the stairs and enter the
next opening. Now, go down and then right until the road turns again, but just
keep going right, through the wall, and you'll find the chest with the second
Ribbon. Move back and keep going up till the next area. Here, go through the
tunnel and kick the rock at the top. Amazing how Cloud can kick such a big
rock, right? Anyway, just head back to the area with the stairs and follow the
path that was blocked before. This will lead you to the next climbing session.
And BTW, you don't have to watch the rock break the ice.

You can get through here without recovering as well, but you should still offer
the 3 seconds it takes to recover a few degrees. You'll have one intersection
here, on the first climbing, and choose to climb up. The right path is dead
end. Then just keep climbing. I don't know why, but you have to choose to go
right on the second climbing. After entering the cave, go straight to the save
point and open the menu. First of all, equip Cloud with a Ribbon. Give Cid back
his Gold Armlet and give the Bolt Armlet to Barret. Remove Cid's Enemy Skill
Materia and give it to Barret. And finally, give the Enemy Skill Materia with
Aqualung and Magic Breath only to Cloud. Then save.

My time:          5:17:40
Recommended time: 6:06:00

                     4.2 <> Gaea's Cliff and Whirlwind Maze
It's time to go beat the Icicles. Just get there. Pick up the Fire Armlet and
have Barret Cure from the menu if someone got hurt on the way.


3x Battle: Icicle (3.000 HP) and Evilheads (750 HP)
Thank God this isn't a Low Level Game, and we're allowed to beat the Evilheads.
Quickly have Cloud cast Aqualung to get rid of the bats. With all his materia,
he should be able to deal more than 1100 damage. Then you can finish off the
Icicle with three Molotovs. Never heal during the battle, and of course,
restart if someone gets killed. Have Barret Cure everyone back to full health
after the battle. The Fire Materia will level up after the first fight, and you
can use Fire2 in the next battles if you're short on Molotovs.


Choose to jump down after beating the third one. It's the second option. Thanks
to the icicles, you can now reach the door in the back. Go there and follow
this path to the third climbing session. You can get past here without
recovering temperature as well, and this is the easiest one. But take the 5
seconds to recover. You have to fight the Icicles again if you fail. There are
some juntcions, but just go up, and you'll be fine. Inside the cave, you find a
save point and a recovery spring. The battle with Schizo is just ahead, and we
have to prepare.

First of all, replace Cid with Tifa. We have to do this because Tifa will come
running and force herself into the party before the Whirlwind Maze if you don't
have her in the party already. This will make us lose some time. Equip her with
the Fire Armlet and give her the Elemental-Ice combination, Fire and the last
Enemy Skill Materia. Make sure Tifa has all her materia in the armor. Remove
all materia from Cloud except HP Plus and Enemy Skill. He should have around
1287 HP now. Then use the recovery spring and save.

My time:          5:25:54
Recommended time: 6:16:00

Go get Schizo. There's one line to skip when you enter the next area.


Boss: Schizo - left & right (18.000 HP each)
Thanks to Magic Hammer, this battle got 10.000 times easier, and we can beat
them in less than half the time.

On the first two turns, have Cloud cast Aqualung while Barret and Tifa use
Magic Hammer on the left head. Make sure nobody dies. The left head is Ice-
elemental, and Ice is the most dangerous attack here, but don't worry, everyone
will survive one Ice attack. Cloud will survive two, but he also takes damage
from Fire. Well then, with the left head out of MP, you're pretty safe. Have
Barret and Tifa use Magic Hammer on the right head for two turns to remove his
MP as well. Don't have Cloud attack now, as the enemy will counter with Quake3.

With both sides out of MP, you can simply cast Aqualung until the battle is
over, but you will run out of MP as well. Give an Elixir to Cloud, and he can
cast another five Aqualungs, which is just enough to kill them. Now, both of
them will use the LIGHTNING-elemental (why do so many think it's earth-based?)
final attack. Tifa gets killed, Barret is healed and Cloud will survive with
very critical HP. He could get killed as well, because the first attack caused
647 damage for me, and if both attacks do that much damage, he will die.
Luckily, the second attack only caused 609, and i survived with 31 HP left.


That's it. We never needed the Aurora Armlet after all, so we saved about a
minute not picking it up. You may wonder why we had to give the Fire Materia
to Tifa. Well, if we hadn't, she'd have only 2 MP left now, and not enough to
use Magic Hammer on Jenova-DEATH. I found out when I was about to fight her.
Thank God I made the save before Schizo a backup. I also did three seconds
better. That's great. Anyway, climb the last part and things will happen
automatically when you reach the top.

[skip text]

Move down, but take note that you can't heal at all. You don't have enough MP
left. Don't worry, you most likely won't get killed. I just remember, the last
time, I got attacked here, and then, after escaping, I got attacked again
within ONE second. Can you believe that? Reminds me of the older games. Anyway,
just move on to the next area and talk to the caped man for him to disappear.
Since Tifa's already in the party, you will only have to skip a few lines of
text here. Move on, pick up Neo Bahamut in the next area and find the save

Time to prepare for the next Jenova fight. Tifa will keep the Fire Armlet, but
you have to exchange Cloud and Barret's armor, meaning that Cloud should have
the Bolt Armlet and Barret the Dragon Armlet. Remove Barret's Fire Ring, give
it to Cloud and let the others have Ribbons. For materia, you should give the
All-Time combination to Cloud, and replace Tifa's Elemental-Ice combination
with Bahamut and Neo Bahamut. I'll explain later. Then, revive Tifa and Cloud
if they died on your way here.

My time:          5:32:52
Recommended time: 6:24:00

Last time I spent more than 15 minutes between these saves, and as you can see,
less than half the time now. I love Magic Hammer.

******************************** Whirwind Maze ********************************

Move on and Rufus will show up with the Highwind.

[skip text]

Continue to the next area and move ahead. You have to skip one line before you
can move, but you can just run over here. No need to wait. In the next area,
you won't see Cloud in the beginning, but just move left all the time. Thanks
to KADFC for this info. Pick up the Kaiser Knuckles from the chest and continue
on. Next comes the second challenge, and we'll have a green whirlwind as well
here. No big deal. You can run over after the fourth one, meaning that you only
have to wait for about two second. In the next area, you have to move just
ahead for things to start happening, but open the menu before you do so. Cloud
and Tifa could be dead again, so you have to revive them. Barret has just
enough MP to Cure once, so you should let him Cure himself. Don't bother if
he's got more than 900 HP. Cloud and Tifa won't take damage at all in the
coming battle, so don't bother with them.

[skip text]


Boss: Jenova-DEATH (25.000 HP)
Have Barret and Tifa use Magic Hammer four times each to remove all of her MP.
Have Cloud cast Time-All on his first turn and change to front row on the
seconds. Then let him wait until Jenova is out of MP. When she's out of MP,
have Tifa cast Trine on the party to kill herself and Barret. Barret will take
less than 400 damage from the spell, but hopefully Jenova has inflicted some
damage to him already. If not, you have to let him kill himself. When Barret
and Tifa are dead, you can simply have Cloud attack until the battle is over.

Thanks to lolo26 for telling me that I forgot to write a new strategy for 2.0.


[skip text]

Give the Black Materia to Red and then go talk to Tifa to proceed. Pick up the
MP Turbo Materia and move on to the save point. Yes, we're saving again.

My time:          5:41:49
Recommended time: 6:34:00

Nice. Less than 9 minutes between the saves, even though I had 5 random fights.
And then I had it again, that battle ONE second after the last one. This is
driving me crazy, but there's really nothing to do with it. I know I had less
battles last time, and I spent more than 12 minutes between the saves. God, I
love Magic Hammer. I wish I could marry it.

Keep moving and pick up the Poison Ring. Then comes the final challenge. You
can pass here after the third green whirlwind, so you only have to wait for a
few seconds. Keep moving and Sephiroth will start his show of illusions.

[skip text]

Talk to Tifa after Sephiroth disappears.

[skip text]

Talk to Sephiroth

[skip text]

Talk to Tifa

[skip text]

Next, you get to control Cloud when he's upside down. Just move around, and
you'll find Sephiroth.

[skip text]

You get to move Tifa again just before you see the cut-scene with Meteor, but
I'm not sure if you have to move her. Just walk over to Barret, as I did. Then,
after seeing the cut-scene, talk to Barret and Rufus will appear.

[skip text]

You get to control Barret now. Just move on to the next area and find the save
point. Save here if you absolutely want to. I didn't.

            4.3 <> Junon (second visit) -> Mt. Corel (second visit)
Follow Tifa and the guard.

[skip text]

Barret and Cait Sith are attacked by two Attack Squads. Escape the battle. Then
head over to the gas chamber when you get to control Barret. Push the action
button until he says it won't move.

[skip text]

You get to control Barret again after some cut-scenes with Weapon. Go talk to
Cait Sith and move out the door. Run ahead and this door gets closed as well.

[skip text]

Then head for the airport. Go right and out the door. Keep running an you'll
see a short cut-scene with Weapon. You have to skip one box of text as well.
Then keep running and get to the Highwind.

[skip text]

Now it's time to get Tifa loose. Push the buttons in this order:

X, X, Triangle, X & Triangle, Triangle & O, O

Of course, you can't just push like crazy. Anyone who's played this game at
least once will know what to do. That's it. Then push the button to the left
of the chair and go to the door and try to open it.

[skip text]

Climb down, run left and climb futher down. After falling down, keep running to
the end of the cannon. Scarlet will catch up with you.

[skip text]

The slapping contest will start. To save time, just let Scarlet win. You're
told to run towards the end of the cannon afterwards, but you don't really have

[skip text]

Head down to the bridge.

[skip text]

Then enter the cockpit.

[skip text]

Talk to Red and then the pilot. Get down to the operation room when you get to
control Tifa again. Form a party of whomever and head back. Talk to the pilot
again, and you get to control the airship. Head directly for Mideel and go find
the dog, but remove Tifa's Ribbon and give her a Bronze Bangle first. Equipping
the Bronze Bangle will remove all of her materia as well.

[skip text]

This one is long. The next thing you get to do is control Cid inside the
Highwind. Get down to the operation room and form a party of Cid, Barret and
Cait Sith. Then head back up and talk to the pilot. Fly over to Fort Condor
and enter.

********************************* Fort Condor *********************************

Run past the man on the ground, to the right of him. Then climb up and talk to
the man sitting by the table. Then go talk to the man at the top. You have to
skip some text first, and then you have to select the 6th and second options.
This will activate the minigame.

Push X and then O to start he game. Then push R1 twice to increase the battle
speed. Now you just have to wait until some monster reach the shack, and it
will most likely be a Wyvern. Then push the action button, and the battle with
CMD. Grand Horn will be a fact after skipping one line inside the shack. Easy
enough, have Barret cast Aqualung on the party and everyone will die. Next,
you'll wake up at the bottom.

[skip text]

It's time to head for Corel. Leave Fort Condor, enter the Highwind and fly
there. As simple as that. The party was left with only 1 HP after the last
battle, so open the menu and have Barret Cure everyone to full health. Before
you leave for the reactor you should stop by at the item shop and buy 10 Tents.
I promise you these will save time. The item shop is to the far right. Then
head for the save point, but take your time to pick up the Turbo Ether in the
same area. It's the pink item, and you only lose about 3 seconds picking it up.

When you reach the save point, we have to prepare for the six coming battles.
First of all, place Cait Sith in back row. Then equip Cid with the Fire Armlet
and a Ribbon, replace Barret's Ribbon with the Poison Ring and give the last
Ribbon and the Gold Armlet to Cait Sith. For Materia, Barret still has Restore,
but you have to combine it with an All. Then replace his Enemy Skill Materia
with the one with Aqualung and Magic Breath only. Cait Sith should have
Gravity, Bahamut and Enemy Skill, and make sure to place them in the armor.
Then we have Cid. You need to give him both HP Plus, Enemy Skill and all
remaining Summon and Magic Materias. You will have just enough space for them.
Don't forget to use a Tent before you save.

My time:          6:24:53
Recommended time: 7:24:00

            4.4 <> Mt. Corel (second visit) -> Mideel (second visit)
God how this part of the guide sucked last time. I couldn't wait to re-write
it. Well, now it's done, and thanks to Magic Hammer and Magic Breath, we can
easily stop the train. Well then, just go get the guys in front of the reactor.
You have to skip one line first.


Battle: Attack Squad x 2 (1.300 HP)
Have Cid cast Aqualung to finish them off. Cid should be able to deal just
above 1300 damage with his Aqualung. Activate Barret and Cait Sith's attacks in
case you can't kill them with Aqualung. You might get your first S-mine(s) now.


[skip text]

This one goes until you get to control the train. Alternate between triangle
and up as fast as you can. Reload if you can't catch up with the other train in
9:30. My best is 9:55. I set the record on my first attempt now. When you catch
up with the other train, Cid will jump over. Move ahead for the battle to
start. A golden rule here is to heal back to full HP after each battle.


Battle: Gas Ductor (3.000 HP)
Have Cid and Cait Sith cast Magic Breath, and Barret attack in that order.
Barret won't necessarily have to attack, as Cid and Cait Sith are able to deal
more than 3000 damage with their Magic Breaths.

Enemy beaten in 9:17 (9:22 was my best, but of course, something had to happen)


Battle: Gas Ductor x 2 (still 3.000 HP)
Same strategy. Have Cid and Cait Sith cast Magic Breath and Barret attack in
case they can't kill them. You have two Turbo Ethers. Give them to Cid and
Cait Sith after this battle.

Enemies beaten in 8:38


Battle: Wolfmeister (10.000 HP)
7 Aqualungs will kill him. Start with Cid and then have everyone cast Aqualung.
Have Barret heal instead of Aqualung only if someone gets hit twice. You most
likely won't have to heal at all. I never had to, and I fought him many times.
When Cid casts the final Aqualung, the battle will be over. Pretty easy. Barret
will cast the last Aqualung if he has to heal.

Enemy beaten in 7:20


Battle: Eagle Gun (17.000 HP)
Have Cait Sith open the battle with Demi and then Cid cast Magic Breath. This
will cause more than 8000 damage. Then, have Barret use an Elixir on Cid. Now,
keep having Cait Sith cast Demi and Cid Magic Breath until the battle is over.
Barret will be the healer in this battle.

Enemy beaten in 6:16 (Magic Breath ROCKS!)


[skip text]


Battle: Attack Squad (still 1.300 HP)
Have Cid cast Aqualung to quickly finish off this enemy.

Enemy beaten in 5:39


Restart if you have less than 2 minutes left. I stopped the train in 5:04.

[skip text]

This includes stopping the train, which takes about 30 seconds. You have to
push both X and up the first time and triangle and down the second time. When
you get back to North Corel, just move on and things will happen automatically.

[skip text]

You'll wake up at the Inn. Leave North Corel and head back for Mideel, but we
should prepare the party for the upcoming Ultimate Weapon battle first. Remove
Cait Sith's Ribbon, give him a Bronze Bangle and equip Barret with the Reflect
Ring. Remove Neo Bahamut and Time from Cid and replace them with Gravity and
Bahamut. Then give the Elemental-Ultima combination to Barret and make sure to
Cure everyone to full health. Then we have to do some shopping. Fly over to
Costa del Sol.

Enter the bar and talk to the man in the left corner. Sell the following items:
Kaiser Knuckle, Assault Gun, Gigas Armlet, Work Glove, Mythril Armlet, Drill
Arm, Wizard Bracelet, Silver Armlet, Water Ring, Spear, Enhance Sword and Gold
Armlet. Sell your remaining Molotovs as well. You could get more than 70.000
Gil now, but only buy 31 S-mines. Push three times up to get that number. If
you won any S-mines in North Corel, you have to open the menu and make sure
they are placed on the top. Select "Most" when you arrange, and they will be at
the top. Thanks to KADFC for this info. Now you can return to Mideel. Save when
you get there.

My time:          6:35:07
Recommended time: 7:35:00

               4.5 <> Mideel (second visit) -> Underwater Reactor
Enter Mideel and go talk to Tifa. An earthquake will start. Get out as soon as
Cid says "what the hell's goin' on".

[skip text]


Boss: Ultimate Weapon
Ultimate Weapon has three moves. Quake2, claw and Ultima Beam, in that order.
No exceptions. Barret will reflect Quake2 while the others are left with
critical HP. Next comes the claw, and it has to hit Cid or Cait Sith. Restart
if Barret gets hit. Ultima Beam will deal less than 1000 damage to Barret and
he will live to survive the battle. That's all. Thanks to lolo26 for telling me
that Elemental-Ultima can reduce the damage of Ultima Beam. This way we won't
have to learn Big Guard and we save a couple of minutes.


[skip text]

God I hate this. It's a great part of the story, but skipping all this text is
so damn boring on a quest like this. Well, the flashback is worse, as you have
to move around a lot more than here. Well, first go talk to Cloud in front of
Nibelheim. Then move ahead to make things happen.

[skip text]

Talk to Cloud when he appears by the truck.

[skip text]

Go talk to Cloud in front of the well.

[skip text]

Talk to the last Cloud and move over to Tifas window and talk to the small one.

[skip text]

Now head back to Nibelheim and move into town.

[skip text]

You have to talk to Cloud once more when he falls, after all his forms have

[skip text]

This one goes until you get to control Cloud again in the Highwind control
room. Leave the room, and the man will talk to you. We can finally form the
usual party again, and in case you have forgotten, it's Cloud, Barret and Cid.

[skip text]

Fly over to Junon. Before you enter, you have to do some equipping. First of
all, you may have to revive Cid if he was hit by Ultimate Weapon's claw. Then,
remove Ultima from Barret and give it to Cloud along with Neo Bahamut and
Time. Equip him with a Ribbon as well. Have Barret Cure everyone to full HP
before you enter.

***************************** Junon (third visit) *****************************

Nothing to do but enter. Talk to the man in front of the elevator and move up.
Cloud will stop halfway through the first area of Junon and wonder if something
is missing. Then continue and Cloud will stop again in front of the soldiers.

[skip text]

Follow them to the elevator. Tow battles are waiting. You have to skip a few
lines in the elevator before the first battle.


2x Battle: Submarine Crew x 2
Simple enough. Have Cloud or Cid cast Magic Breath. You have to skip some text
before the second battle. No need to heal before, between or after the battles.


Get all the way down to the last save point, use a Tent and save.

My time:          7:04:43
Recommended time: 8:10:00

Keep moving. We'll have another two battles before the almighty Carry Armor.
Just make sure you get all three guards in the same battle. You have to wait a
few seconds and run past the first one. Then, you'll have one line to skip
before the battle.


Battle: Submarine Crew x 3
Have Cid cast Magic Breath on the group of two. The cursor will be at them, so
don't worry. Then, if both Cloud and Barret have limit breaks, you have to let
both of them throw an S-mine. If not, you can have one of them attack and the
other throw an S-mine.


Heal back to full HP before you move on. One line to skip here as well.


Battle: Underwater MP x 2
Have Cid cast Aqualung. Yeah, I know, they will get three attacks each on you
before you get to do anything. Damn cowards.


Continue moving on and the party will stop by the reactor and watch the Huge
Materia being removed.

[skip text]

Move on to the next area.

[skip text]

After watching the Huge Materia being placed on the submarine, you have to move
just ahead for talking to start.

[skip text]

And now, we have the great honor to fight Carry Armor.


Boss: Carry Armor (24.000 HP), Arms (10.000 HP each)
What's the name of that attack again? Oh yeah, Lapis Laser. How could I forget?

Seriously, he could start the battle with this attack, and if he does, you have
to figure out for yourself what to do. Restart if you ever get Arm Grabbed. As
simple as that. Lapis Laser will destroy the party in any case. There should be
no healing in this battle as well.

Start the battle by having Cid use Magic Hammer and the others cast Magic
Breath. Have everyone cast Magic Breath in the next round. Then have Cloud use
Magic Hammer, Cid Magic Breath and Barret throw an S-mine. Now have Cloud cast
Magic Breath once more and then keep throwing S-mines until the battle is over.


[skip text]

Keep moving. Heal only if you have critical HP now. Pick up Cid's Scimitar in
the chest closest to the stairs. Then climb the stairs and enter the first


2x Battle: Submarine Crew x 2
Have Cloud cast Aqualung in both battles. Make sure to heal everyone to full HP
between these battles.


Battle: Submarine Crew x 3
Same strategy as last time, but a little different. Have Cloud cast Aqualung on
the group of two, while Barret and Cid take care of the single one with an
S-mine and a regular attack. Two S-mines if both have limit breaks.


[skip text]

We're saving here. Use a Tent first.

My time:          7:14:08
Recommended time: 8:20:00

Enter the next room. 

[skip text]

You have to choose options three times, and we'll go with the second each time.
Next comes the submarine battle. Follow the red sub and hit the square button
rapdily until you destroy it. No offence, but you suck if you're doing this
quest and can't take it down in less than half a minute. I can't remember my
record, but it's about 9:50. Doesn't matter. I did it in 9:39 this time.

[skip text]

Before you do anything, get back in the submarine and go get the ancient key.
Travel on the surface, and go as far to the north as you get. Then descend, and
enter the cave to find the key.

[skip text]

Head back. Travel on the surface again. Enter the Highwind and fly over to
Rocket Town. No changes in equipment or materia setup. Save if you want to.

           4.6 <> Rocket Town (second visit) -> Diamond Weapon battle
If you're short on Phoenix Downs, you should probably enter the item shop and
buy so have about 25 of them. That's what you need for the rest of the game.
Then get to the rocket and enter the first battle. One line to skip first.

Just one note: Don't ever use limit breaks in the coming battles. Save them,
because you need everyone to have limit break before the Diamond Weapon battle.


2x Battle: Attack Squad x 2
Have Cloud or Cid cast Aqualung. As easy as that. One line to skip between the


Battle: Attack Squad x 2 & Senior Grunt (3.000 HP)
Have Cloud or Cid cast Magic Breath and one of the others throw an S-mine.


[skip text]

Climb the ladder and Cure everyone to full health before you approach Rude.

[skip text]


Battle: Rude (9.000 HP) and Attack Squad x 2
Have everyone cast Magic Breath all the time in this battle unless Rude uses
MBarrier on himself. If so, start throwing S-mines. In any case, make sure
someone has more than 75 MP left after this battle.


[skip text], enter the rocket and [skip text]


Battle: Senior Grunt
Cast Magic Breath and throw an S-mine to finish him off.


Enter the control room.

[skip text]

You get to control Cloud again when it's time to escape. Head towards the exit
and Cid'll interrupt. Then exit and climb down to the engine room. Keep moving
and the infamous tank #8 will explode.

[skip text]

Keep moving down to the escape pod.

[skip text]

Now turn around and head for Cosmo Canyon. You have to land on the green area
and run all the way to town, but you most likely won't encounter any enemies. I
can't remember ever to have encountered any.

************************* Cosmo Canyon (second visit) *************************

Climb all the way up to Bugenhagen and talk to him.

[skip text]

Approach the Huge Materia and select the third option to get back down.

[skip text]

You get to control Cloud again inside the Highwind. Get upstairs, talk to the
pilot and head for the Forgotten Capital.

*********************** Forgotten Capital (second visit) **********************

Go left and get to the area with the music box. You'll have some lines to skip
before you enter.

[skip text]

Get back inside after Bugenhagen placing the key in the music box.

[skip text]

Then leave. Cait Sith will call before you climb the stairs.

[skip text]

Get back to the world map and enter the Highwind. Diamond Weapon will appear.

[skip text]

Now fly over to Wutai. Time to do some shopping again. Flying there won't cost
us any time at all since we have to wait for Diamond Weapon to reach Midgar
anyway. Enter the weapon shop and buy 21 Swift Bolts. The weapon shop is by the
save point. Then arrange your items after "Most" to get Swift Bolts at the top.
Leave town and head for Midgar.

Well, to make this as easy as possible, you can stay in the Highwind until
Diamond Weapon gets close to land. Now you know exactly where to land, and you
can place yourself as close to the ocean as possible and wait. Of course, we
have to prepare for the battle first.

First of all, equip Cid with his Scimitar. Then give the Fire Ring to Cloud and
the Ribbon to Barret. For Materia, place Fire and Ice in Cid's Scimitar and
Gravity, Lightning and Enemy Skill in the armor. Then give Manipulate, Sense
and Steal to Barret. He already has All-Restore and the least skilled Enemy
Skill Materia. As for Cloud, you only have to remove Ultima, Neo Bahamut and
Time. Don't forget to use a Tent.

My time:          7:43:25 (I saved before entering Wutai)
Recommended time: 8:53:30


Boss: Diamond Weapon (30.000 HP)
Have everyone throw a Swift Bolt. Restart if anyone gets stamped. Then, when
the last one start throwing, activate the limit breaks. Yes, all of them. This
will make DW start his countdown to Diamond Flash. Now have everyone throw
Swift Bolts like crazy until the counter says 0. On this round, you must have
Barret Cure2 himself, but the others can throw Swift Bolts as usual. You will
most likely activate some of these commands during Diamond Flash. The attack
will reduce everyone's HP by 87,5% and Cloud will get Silence, but who cares.
Now, everyone will do their moves, and Barret will get back to full health.
Start activating the limit breaks when the last person does his move. Another
countdown will start and you can throw Swift Bolts like crazy again. You should
kill him on the last Swift Bolt, but it depends on much damage they have done
during the whole fight, so have the next character throw an S-mine when you run
out of them. This one will end the battle either way.


[skip text]

Get to the northern crater.

[skip text]

Time for some shopping. Get to Costa del Sol and enter the bar. Before you talk
to the man, you have to remove Fire, Gravity Ice and Lightning from Cid, and
Manipulate, Sense and Steal from Barret. These are to be sold. Also sell the
Trident, Reflect Ring and any Shinra Betas you may have won in the underwater
reactor. Sell God's Hand as well if you want another 1 Gil. Then buy as many
S-mines as you can. You should get 99. I did, and I still had more than 36.000
Gil left. Then arrange items after Most to get them at the top. Leave and fly
over to Midgar when you're done. That is, fly over Midgar.

[skip text]

On the deck you're given the choice to form a party. Select NO, which is the
second option.

[skip text]

Follow Cait Sith to the next area. Save if you want to. I didn't.

                          4.7 <> Midgar (second visit)
Talk to Cait Sith and climb down. Go downstairs and climb the ladder to get to
the next area. Go right here and jump to get down. Only one way to go here.
After jumping through the shaft, climb the stairs and you'll find the save
point. Give the Poison Ring to Barret and the Ribbon to Cloud. Then give the
Poison Materia to Cloud and the All-Time combination to Cid.

My time:          8:02:27
Recommended time: 9:16:00

There is one thing you have to be aware of. It happened to Bergqvist and it
happened to me. After beating The Turks, you could get a random battle in the
same area, and if that happens, you can't escape it. Not even the Exit Materia
would work if you had it. I think this is a bug in the game, as the game
probably still think it's the boss battle. The same happens if you get a battle
at the 59th floor of the Shinra HQ, after fighting the Mighty Grunts.

You should go beat The Turks, taking as long time as you want and then check
out if you get any battles. If you do, then you have to make sure you get this
battle before you fight The Turks. Move around in the area until you get the
battle and then escape. And another thing. If the Shadow Makers should do their
Slow attack first, then restart. That's all you have to know.

[skip text]


Boss: The Turks (Reno: 25.000 HP)
You have to poison Reno in one attempt. If you can't, then restart the console.
After reseting the console, it usually works next time. Then, you just have to
stay alive. Barret is the healer, and make sure you keep the HP above 1100,
cause Rude's attacks really are rude. Both Grand Spark and his running attack
deal more than 1000 damage. Have Cloud and Cid damage Reno with S-mines, and
use limit breaks as well, but make sure you take advantage of the limit break
system. It's more important than ever in this battle. Restart if someone gets
killed. Why not use Magic Breath, you may ask. Try. You will find out.

Not too hard battle, really. Very different from a Low Level Game.


Go back and save if you want to. I didn't. Then head forward and go left in the
first intersection. Just run ahead and Cloud will automatically climb up. Run
ahead and after getting up, Scarlet and Heidegger will show up with Proud Clod.

[skip text]


Boss: Proud Clod (60.000 HP)
Easy, but God how boring battle. Just throw S-mines and use limit breaks, and
make sure to take advantage of the system, as always. After a while, he will
start going back and sit down on his knees. This means Beam Cannon is next, a
magic attack that causes almost 1200 damage to the party. Easy enough, make
sure you have enough HP to survive this attack. There is no need to do a lot of
healing in this battle. Just make sure to heal if someone's HP should fall
below 600. And to waste as little time as possible, only heal the entire party.
We're not using Magic Breath because it sucks. The Magic Defence is too high.

What was that destructive power Scarlet was talking about? Anyway, there's one
reason to love Proud Clod. You get the Ragnarok. Get ready to kick some ass.


[skip text]

Move on, pick up the items in the chests and get to the save point. The only
changes you have to do are removing Cloud's Poison Materia, and of course,
equipping the Ragnarok.

My time:          8:16:23
Recommended time: 9:32:00

Well then, time to go beat Hojo now. Get upstairs and talk to Cait Sith. Then
follow him. Don't pick up the Missing Score, as you won't need it. Just go talk
to Hojo.

[skip text]


Boss: Hojo (13.000 HP)
Have everyone cast Magic Breath twice and this battle will be over.


Boss: Hellectic Hojo (26.000 HP)
Use Aqualung until you run out of MP, but have Barret throw S-mines because he
will deal just as much damage with Aqualung. And of course, limit breaks. Make
sure you save 22 S-mines for the last battle.


Boss: Lifeform Hojo NA (30.000 HP)
Throw S-mines, use limit breaks and have Barret Cure when needed. Very easy.
Have Cid cast Haste-All if Hojo uses Slow. You have only one of these, so pray
he doesn't do it again. Barret could be put to sleep, but with Haste and the
high battle speed, he'll wake up pretty soon. Hope for some luck, that Hojo
attacks Cloud, Barret and Cid in a row, and you can simply cast Cure2-All. I
hate it when he goes after the same character all the time.


[skip text]

That concludes disc two. We're almost there.

My time:          8:33:05
Recommended time: 9:52:00

The save file says 8:32, but this is what the timer shows as soon as I open the
menu in disc three. Not bad at all. Well then, over to disc three.

                               4.8 <> Going Down
First-timers should probably visit Costa del Sol and buy some more S-mines
before going down. Doing so will add a couple of minutes to your final save,
but remember that you're not doing a perfect run after all. Buy S-mines for all
of your money and get back to the crater when you're ready.

Climb the ladder and move to the next area. You're more than ready, so choose
to go down, which in fact is the upper alternative. Pick up the Save Crystal
and keep moving. In the next area, you have to take the right path. Then, for
the third area, first jump off and then head right until you get to the cave-
opening. Enter and run through here. Jump further down, then right, left twice
and right again to leave. You'll meet up with the crew in the next area.
Have Tifa, Cait Sith and Red go left and the others right. Left is the upper

[skip text]

Move on to the next area. Yes, to the right. Cloud will automatically move down
the first part of the spiral, on the other side where you can't see him, but
you have to move him a little before he starts moving automatically. Then keep
running down and choose to go down at the bottom. When you get down, pick up
the Mystile and keep moving. There's an Elixir you need to pick up as well.

There are a few items you might want to pick up in the next area. The Tetra
Elemental is to the right just after entering the area. Then we have a
Megalixir to the right near the exit to the next area. There's another one as
well, but you have to run a long way to the left, and battles seem to appear
very often here. I didn't get this one. Then move on until you reach the
bottom. If this area was a clock, you should place the Save Crystal at 8, like
I told you in the intro. Cloud still has both HP Plus Materias, boosting his HP
to the heavens, so you should give one of them to Cid. This will even out the
HPs. Also, make sure to equip the Mystiles. Give them to Cloud and Cid. Then
use a Tent and make the final save.

My time:          8:39:48
Recommended time: 9:59:59

This is it. The final save. Our main goal in this challenge. I beat my record
with 50 damn minutes. I can't believe it. Dear God. Everyone should be at level
39 now, if you followed the guide and never had anyone dead at the end of a
battle, except for Schizo and Jenova-DEATH. Well, we're not quite finished yet.
Three bosses remain, and we have to beat them for the final save to count.

                            4.9 <> The Last Battles
Yeah, I know, this part sucked BIG TIME in version 1.0. I was too lazy, and
couldn't wait to start the re-writing, so I just rambled everything down. Of
course, things have changed, and you will now find great strategies to beat the
last bosses in the shortest time possible.

Then, keep moving and talk to Tifa and Cait Sith after the screen changes to
get the items. Make sure you get the Hero Drink and Remedy. You won't have to
talk to Red, as he gives you the Shield Materia. Then get down and approach
the exit to the next area. Talking will start.

[skip text]

You will get the chance to form a party, but we'll go with the usual party.
Just push the cancel button.

 Then.... let's mosey!

Find your way down to the centre and make sure to heal everyone to full HP
before you enter the final area.

                          Jenova-SYNTHESIS (60.000 HP)
We'll go with Aqualung for this battle, and of course, limit breaks. Cast Magic
Hammer when Cloud and Cid run out of MP. You have to do it twice for both of
them, so you can do it when you want. To take as less damage as possible, you
should cast Magic Hammer just after beating the arms. Have Barret throw S-mines
when he runs out of MP. There won't be much need for healing in this battle,
but have Barret Cure2-All when absolutely needed. 

If you're fast enough, and only heal a couple of times, you can defeat her and
claim the 60.000 EXP, making your party go from level 39 to 43. Higher levels
means higher stats and the ability to deal more damage and take less damage.
If you can't kill her, she will cast Ultima. This attack easily whacks your
praty, but thanks to the Mystiles, you have a 3/5 chance for it to miss. If you
won't take the chance, then have Cloud and Cid Magic Hammer away all of her MP
when the countdown starts. She's got 900 MP.

Make sure to have a stopwatch ready after this battle.


[skip text]

You get the chance to form a party here as well, and I won't even tell you what
to do. If you can't figure out whom we're bringing to the last battles, then
call me and I'll tell you. No changes to be made in setup. Damn, I wish we
could use a Tent here. Use any Elixirs you mave have left to regain MP.

Before you leave the menu, take a look at the timer note and down the time.
Then start the stopwatch and leave the menu. Remember to pause the stopwatch if
you pause the game.

My time: 8:49:33.

[skip text]

                Bizarro Sephiroth (40.000 HP), Core (10.000 HP)
Have everyone cast Aqualung on the first round to get rid of the arms and the
Core defense. The arms are able to cast level 3 magic spells, hitting one
character for more than 4000 damage. Not good. Then keep casting Aqualung and
have Barret Cure when needed. You most likely won't have to heal much anyway,
as almost half of the attacks will miss.

The only thing you should be aware of is the head. It has the ability to cast
Heartless Angel, reducing the party's HP to 1. This is great if you had a lot
of HP, and you know why. Limit breaks kick major as at this time. Of course,
you have to Cure2-All after this attack. Well, just keep casting Aqualung and
use Magic Hammer whenever you run out of MP, and this battle should be easy.

Enemy beaten in: 12:06


Only one more to go. Safer-Sephiroth. The final big boss for this amazing game.
I remember back to my first play-through, when I had to use six attempts before
I could beat him. I was level 62, and had some damn hard battles. Well, I guess
things have changed since then. Well then, what are we waiting for? Let's kick
Spehiroth's ass.

                          Safer-Sephiroth (80.000 HP)
Many people have asked me how the hell it's possible to beat Sephiroth in a low
level game. They go like "OMG no way you can beat Safer-Sephy, he'll OWN you".
These people don't know what they're talking about. I've beaten him with a
level 28 party and a level 29 party with no materia, and KADFC has beaten him
with the lowest party possible, namely Cloud (8), Tifa (7) and Yuffie (16). I
don't know what's hardest, as I have not yet tried that Lowest Level Party vs.
Sephiroth Challenge. When you know Sephiroth and how he fights, there is
nothing to worry about, no matter what kind of party you're facing him with.

Sephiroth way of fighting is the most stabile of all bosses in this game. He
attacks in this order every time, with no exceptions.

1. Wall
2. Shadow Flare
3. Wing (regular physical attack)
4. Back row
5. Pale Horse
6. Super Nova
7. Break (Heartless Angel when HP is below 20.000)
8. Front row
9. DeSpell
10. Deen
11. Wing
12. Back row
13. Pale Horse
14. Super Nova
15. Break
16. Front row
17. Back to start

It's that simple. I know for sure that I wasn't the first one to find this out,
but I haven't heard any other people mention it, and no other FAQ's I've read
mention it either. The same goes for Diamond Weapon's countdown and Demon Rush.
How come? Am I really the only one to have noticed?

I guess you understand that he goes back to 1 at 17 and repeats the whole
thing. Back to start is no attack, although I made a joke about it once, and
said it was an attack that deleted all the files on your memory card. Anyway,
there's only one exception to this, and that's the attack after Super Nova.
When his HP goes below 25%, which is 20.000 in this case, he will use Heartless
Angel instead of Break. Thanks to Terence for this info.

Terence also told me another interesting fact. If you cast Slow on Sephiroth,
he will uses Despell on himself after the next Super Nova. That is, after
descending from back row. Then, his next attack will be Shadow Flare, no matter
what. This will prevent him from ever using Deen, his most dangerous attack.
This means you can simply cast Slow on him before he descends from front row,
and you will never have to worry about Deen. Thanks a lot for this info.

Now for the strategy. You will most likely enter this battle with low MP, so
have everyont throw an S-mine in the first round. Next comes Shadow Flare, and
the person hit by this attack will learn it either way. This person will become
your best fighter because of the damage you can deal with it. On level 43,
Cloud can deal about 4400 damage. If Cloud or Cid learn Shadow Flare, you have
to use it as much as possible. Cast Magic Hammer if you're short on MP.

Sephiroth has many attacks that kills one character. These are Shadow Flare,
Wing, Pale Horse and Break. When he uses these attacks, you have to use have
the weakest character to revive the fallen. Always have the one with Shadow
Flare cast the spell or use Magic Hammer before these attacks, no matter what.
Then prepare the weakest character to revive the fallen. This is most likely
Barret. If the one with Shadow Flare is hit, just revive him and let the last
character use the strongest attack possible. If one of the others are hit, just
let them revive each others, and the one with Shadow Flare will cast the spell
or use Magic Hammer. As simple as that. Terence told me that Wing will always
hit the character with the highest HP, so to keep everyone alive from this
attack, you can simply have Barret Cure2 Cloud after Shadow Flare.

If Barret learns Shadow Flare, the battle will get harder and last longer. Pray
it won't happen. Barret has no Magic Hammer and can only get MP from items. If
he does, then have Cloud and Cid use Magic Breath to deal damage and Magic
Hammer when they're low on MP. Between Wall and Wing, you can't use magic, so
use S-mines only to deal damage in this period.

You have to prepare Barret for Super Nova. Make sure to give him a Vaccine as
soon as Pale Horse has been done. If not, he will suffer from many statuses
afterwards. Then, you have to activate your strongest attacks before Super
Nova. All commands activated afterwards will have to wait until after Break.
Remember to take advantage of the limit break system as well. Super Nova can't
kill you. It only reduces HP by 93,75% and inflict most bad statuses. If Barret
gets killed before the next Super Nova, the Vaccine won't work anymore, and
you'll have to give him a Remedy after the next one. Well, I fought Sephiroth
three times now to get the best time, and I watched 6 Super Novas. Barret only
got statuses after one of them, so you might not have to worry about the
statuses at all.

Sephiroth's most dangerous attack is Deen. This attack deals 1500 damage to
everyone, so you have to be prepared. When Sephiroth descends after the first
Super Nova, make sure to give both Hero Drinks to Cloud. He will now be able to
deal more than 6500 damage with Shadow Flare and over 9000 with Cross-Slash.
Of course, have the weakest fighters give him the Hero Drinks. Then, when he
use Despell, have the weakest character use a Megalixir and the others attack
with their strongest attacks. Now comes Deen. Have Barret Cure2 Cloud and the
others attack with their strongest attacks. You know what to do with the limit
breaks now, so I won't tell you.

This is how we fight Sephiroth. Read and understand the tactics, and you'll
find Sephiroth to be the easiest boss in the entire game. You should probably
fight him multiple times, to learn and understand everything. KADFC did this.

Enemy beaten in: 27:35


Well, Safer-Sephiroth is beaten, but there are still things to do.

[skip text]

There's one thing left to do before the game is concidered beaten. You have to
kill Sephiroth himself. Well, as you know, you can't lose this battle, but you
have two options here. To Omnislash or not to Omnislash. That's the question.
And the answer is not to. Just let the battle run, and have Sephiroth attack.
Cloud will counterattack with the sword, and that means the end for Sephiroth,
the game and our quest. Stop the timer when the screen gets completely black.

My time: 31:51

The challenge is over, and we can find out exactly how much time it took to
beat the game. Here's a detailed guide on how to find out the final time.

******************************** A Math Lesson ********************************

NTSC players simply have to add the time on the stopwatch, from after Sephiroth
himself is beaten to the time before Bizarro Sephiroth. This will give you the
final time, the exact amount of time you spent beating the game.

PAL players have to divide the time after beating the final Sephiroth with 1,2
and then add it to the time before Bizarro Sephiroth. This is what you do, and
I'll use my time as an example. My time was 31:51, so here goes...

1. Divide the seconds by 60 to turn them into decimals:  51 / 60 = 0,85

2. Add the minutes:  0,85 + 31 = 31,85

3. Divide this time by 1,2:  31,85 / 1,2 = 26,54167

4. Multiply the decimals with 60 to get the seconds:  0,54167 x 60 = 32

5. Take the minutes from point 3 and seconds from point 4 to get the time:

6. Add the seconds from the time after beating Sephiroth:  32 + 33 = 65. If
   this number is higher than 60, then subtract 60 and add one minute to the
   final time. It happened here:  65 - 60 = 5.  5 seconds, and 1 minute to be
   added to the final time.

7. Add the minutes:  49 + 26 = 75. If the number is higher than 60, then
   subtract 60 and add one hour to the final time:  75 - 60 = 15. If you got
   one minute extra on point 11, you have to add this. I did, so I've got 16
   minutes, and 1 hour to be added to the final time. 

8. Take the hours and add one from point 6 if you got one. I did, so I've got
   9 hours. Now you simply have to add the seconds from point 5 and minutes
   from point 6. Then it's 9 hours, 16 minutes and 5 seconds.

9. Add the PAL Gamer Penalty of 3:15. First add the minutes.  16 + 3 = 19. If
   this number exceeds 60, you simply subtract 60 and add an hour. Then add the
   seconds.  5 + 15 = 20.  Same deal if this number exceeds 60. Subtract the
   60, and add a minute. Then you have the final time. 9:19:20.

I hope I made this understandable. If you don't understand this, you can send
me an email and let me handle it.

********************************** The result *********************************

My final time: 9:19:20

That's it. I beat the game in 9 hours, 19 minutes and 20 seconds. I can say
that it is possible to beat the game in less than 9 hours, but that would have
to be one of the hardest challenges in the history of FFVII. I will attempt
this challenge in a year or something, but until then, you have the pleasure to
do it yourself. Of course, you will need a great combination of skills, luck
and patience. Without one, it can't be done.

That's all, folks. The game is over. Let's go home proud.

                              5 - Additional Info
The final chapter of this guide, with info on how to contact me, version
history, credits and some final words.

                              5.1 <> Contacting Me
If you need to contact me, send an email to (-> [email protected] <-). You can
ask me anything regarding challenges or FFVII in general, but don't bother
asking me simple questions that can easily be found in the FAQs.

Any tips or suggestions for the guide is appreciated, but please, professionals
only. Don't send me a mail unless you know what you're talking about. And don't
bother asking me how the hell it's possible to beat the game at these levels
without using materia. It's possible. And this challenge is not even close to
the hardest ones. If you can't understand how it's possible, then read the FAQ.
Or take your time to play, learn and master the game, like I and many others
have done. Then you won't be questioning it any more.

You can find me on the FFVII message board as well, and especially in the
topics regarding challenges. If you're planning to this challenge, feel free to
post where you can report your progress.

                            5.2 <> Version History
Simply a list over current earlier versions of the guide. Current version is
always at the top.

Version 2.24 -> 31. January 2006 (189 kB)
Just edited the note in the beginning.

Version 2.23 -> 12. November 2005 (188 kB)
Just added the note in the beginning.

Version 2.22 -> 3. August 2005 (186 kB)
Fixed a couple of mistakes. Thanks to Squire636 for pointing them out. I also
made a few changes in the guide. Oh, and I forgot to change the version number,
so it said 2.21 until I submitted version 2.23.

Version 2.21 -> 6. June 2005 (186 kB)
Corrected TONS of typos and embarrssing grammar mistakes. For the typos, I can
blame the fact that I often rushed things and I hardly ever look at the
keyboard when I type. As for the grammar mistakes, English is still my second
language, but I have really improved my grammar and language since then. Thanks
goes to lolo26 for sending me the HUGE list. Correcting everything took more
than an hour. :p

As I said in my last update, there will be another one in the future. Come this
winter, me and lolo26 will start another Speed Run and we're having some
pre-discussions these days. If you go to the FFVII board and look for a topic
called "HDINS Challenge", you will find us. We already know a lot of things
that can improve our times, and this time the 8:30 mark will hopefully fall.
As for the date with Barret, it won't happen.

Version 2.2 -> 4. January 2005 (186 kB)
Here we are again. Bergqvist discovered another important fact that made things
damn complicated. FMVs are shown at the same speed in any version, so you can't
compare times after all. Damn, I hate PAL system. I also got some useful info
on Sephiroth from Terence which had to be added. I also corrected some grammar
mistakes. Especially the don't and doesn't mistakes.

Version 2.1 -> 25. July 2004 - (177 kB)
Bergqvist reminded me of why the PAL game is slower, and I quickly had to
change some important things. Calculating the final time got way easier.

Version 2.0 -> 24. July 2004 - (177 kB)
I promised a re-write in Version 1.0, and this started only two days after the
completion of that version. This version is far more detailed with better and
faster boss strategies. When I wrote Version 1.0, I discovered a lot of things
that could be done better, and so did lolo26, KADFC and Bergqvist. That means
you can get a better time at the final save with this new updated guide.

Version 1.0 -> 08. July 2004 - (135 kB)
This is the first version of the guide. Pretty simple, but good enough for a
first-timer. Like I said, I will re-write the guide for a perfect run later.
After re-writing the guide now, I can only say that this version sucked hard.

                                5.3 <> Credits
The golden rule for Gamefaqs is giving credits to whomever helped out with the
FAQ, and I completely agree. Giving credits is very important. I want to thank
the following:

First of all for making the Low Level Topic, which later turned into a Speed
Run discussion of dimensions. This is the best discussion I've ever had with
other professional players. He was also the one to test out this guide from the
very beginning, and he came up with many things that could be done better or
faster to save more time. Check out his Lowest Level Guide. It's great.

The second person to join in the almighty Speed Game discussion. It started
when he sent a mail to KADFC about his Lowest Level Guide, and he later joined
in the testing of my version 1.0 guide. And of course, thanks for finding many
things to do better in order to save time. Also thanks for testing out Magic
Hammer. I knew it was gonna save us some serious amount of time. And finally,
he's got the best known speed record on PC after testing my guide, 8:19:05. And
take note that is a final save time and not final time.

The third person to join in the Speed Game discussioin and the third person to
test my guide. Also for finding some things to do better as well. When he first
tested my guide, he finished the Speed Game at 9:34, which is pretty OK for a
first timer, even though he used my guide. But then he restarted and got an
amazing 8:54 run. He finished this run when I was still in the Whirlwind Maze,
and I knew I was already 7 minutes ahead of his times, so I could only imagine
what kind of result I would get. And now, for discovering the fact that FMVs
are shown at the same speed, no matter what version of the game you play. I
should rather kick his ass, cause this made things damn complicated... :p

Mr. Yonaz
Or whatever he calls himself right now. At least he's from Sweden. Well, when
Bergqvist found out about the FMV thing, I needed the to know the lengths of
all the FMVs in the game, and he gave me the complete list. Thanks a lot.

For info on placing the Midgar Parts. lolo26 noticed it and Defcon999 confirmed
it. I had no idea that where you place them on the model determines which chest
opens. I think it's good I still have things to learn about this game.

For some very interesting and useful info on Sephiroth. Especially about the
fact that you can prevent him from using Deen by casting Slow on him. I had no
idea that was possible.

For helping me improve my English grammar.. :p And for making the complete EXP
list for Cloud. Not really helpful for this challenge, but he made the list, so
I won't have to. He also gave me Aerith's list later on, and he's helped out
with a couple of other things as well. Also, thanks for support in challenges.

This guy found a couple of mistakes in my guide when he used it for his first
Speed Run. As of right now, he just started his next Speed Run and is posting
the updates in the HDINS Challenge topic.

For making this and many other superb RPGs. Your games have given me so many
good hours of joyful gameplay and moments. Keep up the good work, guys.

CJayC and Gamefaqs
Thanks for being the best site on the web for FAQs and gaming info. I always
come here when I need info on games, whatever it might be. And thanks to all
the other people that put a lot of effort into making the FAQs.

And, as always, my cat for being positive and supporting all the time. Same
goes for familiy and friends, alhough they have no idea I'm writing FAQs.

                               5.4 <> Final Words
I have to say that this has been interesting. When I set the 9:29 record back
in April, I thought I could only improve it by 5 minutes. Well, if I had done
the exact same things and used the exact same boss strategies, it couldn't have
been improved by more than 5 minutes. But then after doing the next Speed Run
and writing the 1.0 guide, I learned a lot of things that could be done better
or different in order to save time. I also got a lot of help from the above
mentioned guys, and like I said, it could never have been done without them.
Maybe I could've beaten the 9 hours mark by myself, but never 8:39. No way.

I reached the final save in 8:39, which is 20 minutes better than the goal of
defeating the 9 hours mark. I have to say that one of the most satisfying
things in the world is when you set yourself a difficult goal and then beat it
drastically. The feeling of making the final save in 8:39 can't be described
with words. You have to experience it. 

Finally, this has been very interesting and pretty fun as well. And least, but
not last, I really got to test out my patience. Like I said in the intro, you
need a lot of patience to do this quest, and especially for a (near)perfect run
like this. My controller has taken a lot of beating, empty soda bottles have
been flying through the room and I think I punched my door harder than Tifa
could ever do with Final Heaven. But what can I say? You can't expect anything
else from a challenge like this.

Well then, I guess that concludes my third FAQ. I could say fourth, because I
re-wrote this completely. Not many things remain from version 1.0. Anyway, I
hope other people doing the challenge will find it helpful. I wrote it for you!

Many people say that everything should be concluded with a quote, and I have
no choice but to use my absolute favorite from FFVII.

There ain't no gettin' offa this train we on!
- Barret Wallace

                   (c) Audun Arnseth (GarlandG), 2004 - 2006