#26 – In Which Materia is Kept

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If you’re new here, a quick catch-up: We’re playing Final Fantasy VII in Iron Man Mode, so the second we die, this blog comes to an immediate stop and all saved games are deleted. In fact, this is also the last game of FF7 I’ll ever play. Sad face.

Given that our one life has stretched into the longest IMM series on the entire site (by far), you might want to read some previous entries to bring yourself up to speed. Or not. Crack on, sports fans!

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It’s been so long since the last blog post, I was kinda hoping the boss I was battling had gotten bored and scuttled off to do some bossing elsewhere. No dice, unfortunately; we’re back with the rather menacing Materia Keeper, and despite a strong start from our side, he’s now really starting to push back.

Dunno what’s wrong with him, really. Anyone would think he’s trying to guard the exit or something.

Materia Keeper Mt. Nibel boss
With all my most powerful attacks used up, the battle quickly changes from an epic dick-waving competition to a very fraught tug-of-war. I can’t get more than a single blow in without having to spend the next round healing up, and the one time I foolishly try to skip a restoration round the Materia Keeper nearly floors the entire team. The only saving grace is that he seems to have taken a shine to the newly-recruited Vincent for whatever reason (probably because Vincent is literally wearing – and waving around – a red rag).

Having to revive Vincent every 0.3 seconds takes yet more time away from launching our own attacks, but we’re playing a long game here. I’m happy to let the boss distract himself with bullying the goth kid while I slip past unnoticed. And yes, Mount Nibel appears to have become an analogy for high school.

Things go well. Until this happens.

I dunno what this is.

Some kind of triangle bullshit.

Trine Final Fantasy VII Materia Keeper

Following directly on from this tetrahedral madness (one of my favourite ska tribute bands), this happens:

Materia Keeper

Vincent: “Ooh look, a penny!”

The Materia Keeper has gone from wailing on just Vincent to kicking the crap out of everybody in one fell swoop. Have a Snickers, dude!

Panic stations are set to overdrive – any one of the team can now be downed with a single attack, which would put us in a precarious and probably unrecoverable downward spiral. And if he does another one of those weird spinning triangle things… well, I hope you’ve enjoyed this Iron Man Mode series.

But unless you’re one of those dicks who email me to ask when I’m going to put an end to this – and if you are, hello Steve – you’ll be happy to hear that we get through this predicament in one piece. Just as I’m flailing around in panic and wondering how I’m supposed to take down this absolute behemoth, with a crushed team and no strength left between them, Vincent fires off a final and pitiful pistol round at the Materia Keeper.

Against all expectations, the lone bullet hits the boss and it dies. This is how that scene played out:

Saving Private Ryan tank gif

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – we’re to the point in FF7 at which any boss battle (or even random encounter) could wipe us out and kill this blog, so I genuinely count my blessings that I got through another one.

And speaking of random encounters, I run into a bunch of them after emerging from the caverns of Mount Nibel – at long last – and into the dazzling daylight of the world map. I’ve spent so long away from the game that I’m staggering all over the joint like I’ve just been kicked out of the pub, trying to figure out where I’m supposed to go next and if there’s anywhere to get a kebab along the way.

Rocket Town FF7
I finally find it – the next objective, not a kebab – and the sight of this charming little pixelated town fills me with unbridled joy, because I know exactly what part of the story comes next and it involves rockets! In Rocket Town! With Captain Rocket MacRocket!

Cloud marches into the town, observes the gigantic rocket standing in the middle of the town, and says this the following. I think his time on the world map has induced sun stroke:

Rusty old rocket
I don’t know, Cloud. If they were hoping to use that rocket to nip down the shops and pick up some milk, it does seem a little bit overkill. A rocket that big seems more suitable for propelling someone into space, which would be ridiculous when you think about it.

Tune in next time as I sit Cloud down for a game of Kerbal Space Program and completely blow his mind.

- Zeke (@ironmanmode)

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3 Comments

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  2. I guess I need to play FF VII again, I loved the concept of materia so much that it’s absence from later games in the series actually made me dislike them. Materia combos were (IMHO) the best part of that game.

    You could hit gold saucer and play video games there. Then Cloud could start his own IMM blog within FF VII. ;)

    Vincent was always a love/hate with me. I was on a coastline somewhere and encountered some jellyfish things. He went apeshit into his uncontrollable monster mode and the attack kept healing the damned things. We couldn’t run away from the battle, and they wouldn’t attack him. It took a few hours for that stinking battle to play out because of it. I don’t think I ever had him in my party again after that.

    Ahhh…the good old days…

    • You’re not wrong about Vincent. The Materia Keeper himself is one of those baddies that thrives on fire attacks, so if Vincent went into beserker mode during this battle, I would have had a serious problem on my hands.

      As such, I may revise my decision to have him on the team. It’s a shame because his story is an interesting one, and whenever he breaks his moody silence to speak a few choice words, it’s usually fantastic dialogue.

      And yeah, the Materia system has never been bettered in the Final Fantasy series, before or since…

      …. ahhh, good ol’ days indeed!

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