Saturday, May 30, 2020

Final Fantasy VII Remake, Part 5 - Strong Style


Where'd we leave off...oh yeah. So Cloud sneaks away from Casa del Aerith and off into the night. DID THEIR ENCHANTED EVENING MEAN NOTHING TO HIM?, no it did not.


Aerith springs out from behind something as he's leaving. He isn't getting away that easy!

"ok" says Cloud as she pushes her way back into the group.

Thus begins Chapter 9, my favorite chapter in the game by far. Unfortunately, Chapter 9 has some annoying parts too, and really should have been divided into two chapters for chapter select purposes. For example, the first 20ish minutes of Chapter 9 (at least) have you doing tedious metal hand puzzles on this destroyed highway.

Aerith goes for the double high-five and Cloud isn't sure why. I'm getting pretty tired of this guy.

In any case, the metal hand puzzles consist of a lot of moving them around to move storage containers so Aerith can walk to switches and it's SO BORING. In the original game, the metal hand was a piece of the background art, now it's an entire chain of minigames.

A bunch of gentlemen are in here masked-up, clearly just preparing for any deadly plagues that might arise.

After Cloud beats those health-enthusiasts up for no reason, it's onward to the next puzzle. LET'S JUST FAST-FORWARD.

Here's the playground, one of my favorite parts of the original game. Just a great little moment where you sit around with Aerith.

In this version it's a little bit ruined by Cloud's complete apathy towards everything Aerith does. At least in the original, you couldn't really see their mannerisms, so you could fill in the blanks yourself on how Cloud was reacting to things she said.

Here, he couldn't care less about any of it, and it makes the whole scene just sort of...weird.

After that magical interlude (which as it turns out wasn't magical at all if you aren't projecting and pretending Cloud is someone he's not), we continue on to-


Anyway, we continue on to Sector 7, only to see a Chocobo carriage go by. Are chocobo carriages a normal thing in Midgar? It seems a little out of place to have such an easily-attackable mode of transportation shuttling rich people around in the slums, but I suppose it works out for the same reason Aerith's House doesn't get ransacked on a daily basis.

Tifa is in the wagon,, what is she wearing

So yeah, get a gander at Tifa's "sporty" attire, as chosen by me the player earlier. She was getting ready for her date with Cloud that he didn't care about, and wore the hottest outfit I've ever seen in anything. Now she's en route to Don Corneo. Stuff's happening!

Next stop, Wall Market. The gruff and grizzled Sam the chocobo tender informs our heroes that Tifa is on her way to be a sex slave (??) for the notorious Don Corneo. I mean, if he wants sex slaves who know how to break his arm, it should definitely work out.

And here we are, Wall Market. One of the most memorable places in all of the original FFVII, maybe even THE most memorable locale.

The only problem is... ::record scratching:: ...they changed the music for this version. That's right, the ultra-memorable Wall Market theme is gone, replaced by a generic tune. The theme still exists, and got a great remix, but it only plays in the area right before Wall Market:

The good news is, I did the world a favor and recorded the track on an hourlong loop.

Here in Wall Market, they've got scandalous activities of every kind you can think of (read: a brothel)

Here we find the laconic, sloth-like materia vendor, who can't even be arsed to sit up. I think he's supposed to be on opium.

In a nearby club, hotties are dancing about and everyone's having a good time. Imagine how much fun Aerith could have if she was here with anybody else!

Cloud stands around and stares at people creepily.

Moving on, here's the mansion of Don Corneo. It looks pretty glorious in this remake, I'll say that much.

Leslie is a new character with an inexplicable amount of backstory, considering he was just a random goon in the original game.

Meanwhile, Cloud roams around and draws the attention of various gorgeous women. I'm starting to warm up to this new-fangled version of Wall Market.

Seriously, there's a lot to see here. Even a street devoted to music shops. Can't really go into most of these places, but still, the atmosphere of this part of town is tremendous.

We check in at the Honeybee Inn and hear the first mention of Andrea Rhodea, one of the game's many new characters.

...what a sexy bee.

At this point I have to work with Madam M, noted foul-mouthed dominatrix and hand-masseuse. She specializes in unspeakable pain.

Next is a similar choice to Tifa's outfit question earlier. Your answer here (among other things) determines Aerith's dress for the Corneo meeting.

It also makes for a few very different scenes. The Luxury Course is Cloud apparently getting a blowie from Madam M, while the Poor Man's Course is her smashing his hand. Not sure what the Standard Course is, but it's presumably something between those two extremes.

I go with the Poor Man's Course, which is all I can afford after I spent all of my money on new materia (specifically, 3x Raise materia so the entire team could have it at any given time, which wasn't exactly necessary).

You get to play as Aerith for like ten seconds while she waits for Cloud to emerge from Madam M's den. Madam M tells our heroes to fuck off and go fight in a tournament, and off we go.

Indeed, Wall Market also has an arena, where brutal fights take place on a daily basis. Truly, this place is a haven for all kinds of terrible people. It's like Bangkok.

Noted formerly-minor character Johnny is here, and he took a beating in the arena.

Our heroes VOW VENGEANCE for this random guy, and head in.

Looks like you can enter the arena as a couple! That's right, Couples Tournaments are now a thing.

Our first fight is against Michael Vick, something I was not expecting from FFVII Remake.

After defeating him and his attack dogs, our next fight is against...

...those masked health enthusiasts from earlier. They're just trying to protect themselves from the corona, man!

And finally, a couple of Shinra mechs. None of these fights are particularly difficult, and they're just a warm up for the next boss.

Uhhhhhh. Well, that was random. Game really pushing that T rating! Bad words are cool! Madam M demands BLOOD!

I mentioned a boss. That's right, after winning the tournament, Don Corneo….'s cartoon appears, and it turns out that we've got another fight to do.

This is where it gets real, lady and gentlemen.

The new boss is none other than...

...Hell House, formerly just a very peculiar regular enemy in FFVII. My God.

This is probably the hardest boss fight in the entire game. How does a house fight, you ask? First, it sprouts feet.

Then it sprouts claws.

Aerith is absolutely the key to this fight. It wall-changes like the Magi Master in Final Fantasy VI, and having all four elements on Aerith so she can always hit its weakness is a must.

Madam M: "And then, I'm gonna have sex with her! And you, you're gonna be chained up over there and forced to watch!"

Aerith: "This sounds great!"

Cloud: "If you want, I don't care."

Madam M: "Now get the fuck out of my office!"

In any case, Cloud is booted out so Madam M and Aerith can try on dresses. This guy is like "da hell" at all of this.

Sam points out what we've all noticed at this point: Cloud is completely useless. Come to think of it... Cloud is emotionless and has striking blue eyes due to his small pupils. Is he on opioids?

From there, Sam slowly backs away from this blank-faced weirdo.


Here's the fight with Hell House, with lots of weakness-exploiting. If there's a tougher fight in the normal game, I didn't have it.

And here's the bonus arena fight if you go back there after defeating Hell House. The music here sounds like the Pokémon Sword/Shield boss theme, kinda.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I had one metal hand puzzle take forever after I had already figured it out, just from having to put things back where they needed to be and all of that.

    A lot of filling in the blanks back then. Can't rely on much of that anymore when you're seeing everything.

    I don't even remember Leslie in the original!

    The Hell House and the bombs sure gave me a hard time.