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"There ain't no gettin' offa this train we're on!"
"Beyond the edge of reality, lies a story of ultimate conquest. A story of war, and friendship. A story of a love that could never be, and a hatred that always was. And now, the most anticipated epic adventure of the year… will never come to a theater near you!"

"Final Fantasy VII"

Final Fantasy VII is the seventh entry in the nerve-twistingly popular Final Fantasy series, released in 1997. It's one of the most famous Japanese role-playing games of all time, as it helped extend console RPGs into the West's mainstream gamer community and was seen as the PlayStation's Killer App in its battle against Sega and Nintendo.

The game's story begins in the industrial metropolis of Midgar. The city's prosperity has soared thanks to the electricity supplied by the Shinra Electric Power Company and their Mako Reactors. An eco-terrorist organisation known as AVALANCHE — who believe Mako Reactors are sucking the very Life Energy from the planet and will eventually bleed the world dry — has launched a violent offensive against the company and the Mako Reactors in an attempt to galvanize the less-fortunate portion of Midgar into action.

Cloud Strife, a former member of Shinra's elite private army SOLDIER, has joined AVALANCHE as a mercenary for hire. Alongside AVALANCHE leader Barrett Wallace and childhood friend Tifa Lockhart, Cloud begins to dig into the layers of corruption that permeate Shinra. The group discovers many of Shinra's secrets, including human experimentation and a plot to kidnap Aerith Gainsborough, a young woman believed to be the last of the mysterious Ancients.

The fight against Shinra changes completely with the reappearance of Sephiroth, a legendary SOLDIER who has been AWOL for years and is now blazing a trail of death across the entire world. Cloud senses the threat Sephiroth poses, and in an attempt to save the world — as well as get some answers to long-forgotten questions — leads his allies in pursuit of his former comrade.

Squaresoft (now Square Enix) published Final Fantasy VII on Sony's PlayStation console after a falling-out with Nintendo over the latter's extreme censorship policies, as well as a reported refusal to move away from the industry-standard ROM cartridge for the Nintendo 64, which severely limited the scope of games. Sony was more than willing to permit more "mature" content on its systems; coupled with the then-impressive storage capacity of the CD-ROM format, this proved to be much more accommodating to Square's design philosophy than Nintendo's restrictions. Squaresoft's change in platform allegiance is said to been a major contribution to the PlayStation's massive success in the Console Wars, with many developers following Square into Sony's camp.

Few people completely grasp the plot during the first playthrough; even for a RPG, this game can get extremely complicated. This is not helped by the poor translation, whose errors range from horrific spelling/grammar errors ("This guy are sick") to outright misinformation ("Attack while the tail is up"). The PC version corrected almost all of these errors, but also sanitized the game by censoring the most major expletives and having Barret generally speak normal English rather than Ebonics.

For nearly two decades, aside from the PC, this game, like all of Square's output in the fifth and sixth console generations, was only playable on the PlayStation line of consoles, whether it be through backwards compatibility (up until the PS3) or Emulation. This since has changed with Square Enix bringing the game to Steam in 2013, PlayStation 4 and iOS phones in 2015, and Android phones in 2016. 2018 saw the announcement that VII, alongside other PS1 and PS2-era installments (IX, X/X-2 HD, and XII: The Zodiac Age) were at long last going to be released on a Nintendo platform through the Nintendo Switch, with the games being ported in 2019 to the Nintendo Switch and the Xbox One.

VII proved successful enough to spawn a fair amount of merchandise, including novellas told from various characters' perspectives and a raft of Spin Offs collectively known as the "Compilation of Final Fantasy VII". These various spinoffs include:

The characters have made appearances in the Kingdom Hearts series, most prominently in the first three games, as well as several Fighting Games, starting with the oft-forgotten Ehrgeiz. Cloud and Sephiroth would later be playable in Dissidia Final Fantasy, while Tifa would join the cast in the sequel (as would Aerith, as an assist character). Perhaps most surprisingly, Cloud was eventually announced as a Downloadable Content character for Nintendo's Mascot Fighter Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, given he didn't have a major presence on Nintendo's platforms at the time. Just as surprisingly, Cloud returned in the next installment Ultimate, with Sephiroth joining the fun later as the third playable character of the Fighters Pass Volume 2 DLC set.


The original game and the Compilation contain examples of:

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  • 30-Second Blackout: Firing the Sister Ray requires so much power that the entire city of Midgar is slowly blacked out. We don't really see whether or not the power comes back on right afterwards, but Midgar certainly isn't blacked out in any subsequent scenes.
  • Absurdly Long Stairway: During the raid on the Shinra HQ, the "subtle" approach is to climb up the skyscraper's stairs. 59 floors of them, in fact.
  • Abusive Parents: Hojo and Lucrecia do genetic experiments on their son while he's still in the womb. Said son turns out... well, let's just say "sociopath" is putting it mildly.
  • The Ace: Sephiroth may have been the strongest SOLDIER, but Zack was strong enough to match blades with him while also being endlessly charming and good-hearted. Well, before he died.
  • Action Girl:
    • Our female lead is not a fragile little mage or a support party member, but a rough brawler who can do more damage with her fists than any man in the game can with literal guns. This is one of many ways in which VII breaks away from more classical fantasy elements of the series and embraces 90s pop culture at large, where it was becoming more and more common for female characters to appear who are even more physically capable than the men in the series. She's also a product of the time in that while her actions show she's stronger than the men, she's still looks like someone half their size with little visible musculature. In short, she has more in common with Buffy than the jacked female athletes you'd see on the Olympics.
    • Yuffie is another physically capable female character, but her physicality focuses more on agility than raw strength. Still, she can launch massive throwing stars no problem and adds enough to the cast to keep Tifa from being the token girl once Aerith, uh, departs.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: You sneak through most classified and off-limits location by crawling through absurdly gigantic air vents that always open up right to where you need to go. Most prominently, the group finds a vent in Shinra Tower right above a meeting room filled with Shinra's top executives talking about their evil plans.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Let's see... Tifa loves Cloud, but if he knows she does, he doesn't show it. Johnny has the hots for Tifa too, and ends up running 7th Heaven in her absence because of it. Cloud loves Aerith, but she's still hung up on Zack, so he never makes it past First Base with her. Tseng loves Aerith, but while it was an open secret, he never acted on his feelings. Rude has the hots for Tifa, but every time they encounter one another she either kicks his ass or mouths off to him. Elena loves Tseng, but she's too much of a fangirl to do anything about it. Vincent loved Lucrecia to the point of madness, but she was too busy starfucking Hojo to notice him. Hojo in turn didn't care one wet napkin about Lucrecia. And Shera loved Cid so much she (accidentally) sabotaged his dream rather than let him go through with it and die (they eventually get married after Cid learns her side of the story and he names an airship after her, however).
  • All There in the Manual: The Sapphire WEAPON's name was revealed nearly a decade after the fact when Square began selling figurines of it, which is what everyone called it before Square made it official.
  • Always Night:
    • Midgar seems to be like this, but it's only because of all the smog and fallout from the Mako reactors, and on the world map, it's clearly daytime outside, but the screen and sky become more grey as you're closer to the city. The Cosmo Canyon and Northern Crater areas are also distinct for being set during twilight and at night, respectively.
    • The Midgar Slums are an even more extreme example, with all sunlight being completely blocked off by the plate suspended 50 meters in the air. Junon suffers the same exact problem, since it's built just like Midgar.
  • Ancestral Weapon: The White Materia was a gift from the planet to the Ancients and now belongs to the last of their kind, Aerith. Its magic is the one thing capable of countering the evil of the Black Materia and saving the world.
  • "Angry Black Man" Stereotype: Barret is the only black guy in AVALANCHE and is also the angriest, scariest, and most vulgar member of the team. We learn he's definitely angry at "The Man" for keeping him down for good reason as we see the terrible things Shinra has wrought on Midgard and Barret personally.
  • Angst Coma: Cloud's coma midway through the game may have been caused by Mako poisoning, but it's not until he deals with his amnesia and other psychological disorders that he's cured.
  • Anti-Debuff: Bosses and certain higher level mooks are immune to status effects, no other enemy in the game is prepared.
  • Apathetic Citizens: To the point where one NPC in the Wall Market muses that the destruction of an entire sector of Midgar is annoying because the kickup of dust ruined the soup he was cooking outside. Another one goes as far as to state that maybe they should look up to watch for falling debris more than they should look at the ground for loose change.
  • The Apocalypse Brings Out the Best in People: There's a scene where the party leaves to find a reason for each of themselves why they're saving the planet. They each find something to fight for.
  • Apocalypse How: It's never specified how much damage Meteor will do, but it seems to be anywhere from global-scale mass-extinction to planetary destruction.
  • Apocalypse Wow: The scene of Meteor making its final descent is rendered with pre-rendered FX meant to wow players used to 16-bit and basic polygonal graphics with 3D images of fire, smoke, and glorious light.
  • Arm Cannon: Barret's main weapon is a gatling gun right where his right hand should be.
  • Artifact Alias:
    • Red XIII joins you under his specimen code name from the Shinra research facility where you find him, and party members and the interface continue to use it even after his true name (Nanaki) is revealed.
    • Another example: Cait Sith continues to be called such by both the characters and the interface long after he is revealed to be remotely controlled by Reeve, a Shinra employee.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Black Materia is a one-of-kind magic artifact that manifests the power of the Planet to destroy, potentially causing the end of the entire world.
  • Artificial Limbs: Barret lost a hand, so he ended up replacing it with a gun-arm.
  • As You Know: Cloud occasionally gives plot recaps. Justified (at least the second time), because you've just brought in new party members who don't know what you've been up to since the beginning.
  • Ascended Glitch: Tifa's Meteodrive Limit Break has her suplex any enemy, regardless of size. This is a Call-Back to Sabin's ability to suplex the Doomtrain in Final Fantasy VI.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence:
    • Spin-off materials reveal Aerith to have done this when she died and entered the Lifestream. Case of the Lifestream and Hoshi wo Meguru Otome depict her as a sort of leader of the spirits within the Lifestream, as well as able to cleanse it and maintain her sense of self within it, while in Advent Children she's able to communicate with and appear to the living to limited degrees. It is implied she has these abilities due to her Cetra heritage.
    • Sephiroth's technically been "dead" ever since Nibelheim. But because his spirit lives on in the Lifestream, he's able to act from beyond the grave by shapeshifting Jenova's cells into a new body for himself and mentally influencing those that carry those cells. Backstory for Advent Children establish his three remnants being formed from pure spiritual energy with a need for any Jenova cells, though the three are incomplete copies of him without them.
  • The Atoner: Vincent Valentine sees himself as responsible for Lucrecia getting sick when she was pregnant with Sephiroth, who she and Hojo were experimenting on, because he didn't stop her from going through with the experiment in the first place. The need to redeem himself motivates him to join the party, if only to get revenge on Hojo for also allowing it to happen. While Hojo has absolutely no regrets, Lucrecia also seems to fall into this as she had imprisoned herself in crystal since her body wouldn't allow her to die but she couldn't bear to face anyone again.
  • Ax-Crazy: Barret's old buddy Dyne racks up quite the body count before you battle him and enjoys every second of it.
  • Babies Ever After: The good ending of the Mog House minigame has Mog and Mag get together and have a whole bunch of children.
  • Backtracking: The only way to get all the items in the North Cave is to go backwards just before entering the final boss battle and return to a fork in the road to go down the path you didn't travel. If you play it right, you can get more than one of some of the items.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: The Turks, with the exception of Reno. While the rest of the Turks wear their blue suits clean, pressed, and neat, Reno wears his like he just woke up from a drunken one-night-stand.
  • Betty and Veronica: Tifa and Aerith zig-zag between the two. Tifa is Ms. Fanservice, but acts frequently between Type B Tsundere and a Shrinking Violet. Aerith does not look as wild as she is, yet is very flirty with Cloud.
  • BFS: Cloud and Sephiroth each have a massive sword of different dimensions.
    • Cloud's Buster Sword is slightly shorter than him, but it makes up for that by being even wider than he is. It looks more like a solid block of metal than a blade.
    • Sephiroth's is a no-dachi. It's not just any no-dachi, it is six feet long in the game. In other words, almost longer than he is tall (his canonical height is 6'1").
  • BGM Override: Possibly the most well known example of this trope would be the fight with Jenova-LIFE where Aerith's theme keeps playing through the entire scene from the full-motion segment until the disc change.
  • Big Bad: Sephiroth is the definitive main antagonist of the game, sending various JENOVA clones after you throughout the game and setting up the apocalypse threatening the players.
  • Big Bad Ensemble:
  • Big "NO!": Although not quite clear in the first game due to the relative lack of voice acting, his reaction in regards to Zack's death in a flashback when revisiting the Shinra Mansion lab shortly after Cloud regains himself makes this pretty apparent.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Cloud's "Shut up!" textbox actually covers Sephiroth's "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: AVALANCHE is a terrorist organization willing to kill their enemies, but they legitimately want to better the world and help people, while Shinra is made of selfish and greedy villains who do little more than exploit the poor and the Planet itself. Cait Sith calls Barret out on it at one point.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The abnormally large number of translation errors is said to have prompted Square to create its own localization department. Errors include:
    • There are glaring typos like "This guy are sick" and "To the settling of everything," among other mistakes.
    • The game says otherwise, but do not "attack while the tail is up" in the first boss battle. The problem here isn't the translation but the phrasing. Had it been "Attack while the tail is up, it'll counter-attack with its laser!" in a single text box, it would have made a lot more sense. Prefixing it with "If you..." would have solved the issue too.
    • There's a good degree of variability of how well each character is translated, with Yuffie and Vincent having often broken sentences or sentence fragment dialogue, whereas Barret's character was flattened from an efficient leader of AVALANCHE who had a bit of a temper sometimes, to a Mr T type who would get mad at the drop of a hat. Unpacked in a series here.
    • And if you think the English translation is bad, the Spanish translation is a Blind Idiot Translation of the English Blind Idiot Translation. Highlights include Aerith and Yuffie being referred to as men at times, Aerith's mother having two names, "techno" translated as a substantive rather than as a prefix/adjective, in a way that in every case it appears it sounds like they're talking about the musical genre (someone in Corel calls Barrett a "monstruo del tecno", which makes it sound like he's a really badass DJ), and "well" somehow being once translated as "rueda" ("Wheel"), among lots of other "marvels". A Spanish Let's Play concluded Aerith was a hermaphrodite.
    • The German translation is just as bad. Ignore the random German text, suddenly littered with untranslated English text, with translated German text beneath that, and the sentence fragments repeating themselves two or three times. They also exchanged the Ü for a é (despite having the option to just write ue), making dialogue that includes that vowel hard to understand the first time around.
  • Body Backup Drive: Cait Sith does this once, although it's unknown if this was a one-time occurrence or if he could do this any time his body was destroyed.
  • Book Ends: Aerith's face in the opening and closing cutscenes of the game. This has led some to theorize the whole game is a vision she's having before any of it takes place. If true, it means she knows she's going to die but goes through with it anyway.
  • Boss-Altering Consequence:
    • The final boss Safer-Sephiroth can have his stats increased depending on certain actions taken in the battle beforehand. If you used the Knights of the Round summon on Jenova-Synthesis, killed Bizarro-Sephiroth's head too many times, or have your characters at level 99, then it will greatly raise his maximum HP and stats.
    • Rude, one of the Turks, is secretly fond of Tifa and will refuse to fight her if she is in the party.
    • The Emerald Weapon normally has a 20 minute timer during the fight due to taking place underwater. However, if you obtain the Underwater Materia, that timer will be removed.
  • Boy Meets Girl: Cloud and Aerith have a pretty stereotypically romantic first meet-up and the plot follows their blooming relationship. Subverted in that boy meets girl, girl meets sword.
  • Breakout Character: Vincent Valentine, who would go on to star in his own game. Same for Zack.
  • Breather Episode: Right before the Temple of the Ancients is a lighthearted date scene. The first new location visited on disc two is the rather peaceful Icicle Inn, which is host to a snowboarding minigame.
  • Brick Joke: While infiltrating Shinra tower, you overhear some comments from the staff about a stench in the boardroom. Later on you learn why firsthand... there's an airshaft that connects the boardroom to the washroom.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Cloud is a brooding and stoic soldier traumatized to the point of amnesia, while both of his love interests are friendly and kind women.
  • But Thou Must!: Halfway through the game, you get a MacGuffin and are told to give it to someone else for safekeeping. Everyone but Barret or Red XIII/Nanaki declines to accept it.
  • Calm Before the Storm: Right before going off to face Sephiroth, the party splits apart to go take care of personal matters. Cloud and Tifa, since they don't have anyone to go see, stay behind with the Highwind, leading to a Did They or Didn't They? moment.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: Both subverted and played straight; at a couple times in the game, you lose Cloud for a while, to be replaced by Tifa and Cid. Outside of this, however, you truly can't drop the hero.
  • Chance Meeting Between Antagonists: In one sidequest, Cloud and the gang pursue Yuffie to Wutai after she steals all of their Materia, where they find several members of the Turks hanging out in a bar. Fortunately, the Turks are currently on leave and aren't interested in pursuing their conflict with Cloud.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The white materia is introduced in the beginning of the game, but you don't know what it does until the end of Disc 2, when it becomes a central part of the plot.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Numerous characters appear or are mentioned before an important plot point about them is revealed later.
    • Sephiroth first receives a few brief mentions a fair while before his true significance as the game's main villain is understood.
    • The Ancients, or the Cetra, are also mentioned numerous times before their true significance is understood.
    • Aerith's first boyfriend, first briefly mentioned in the Midgar playground. The connection the events at Nibelheim can be easily missed if the player doesn't stop at Gongaga (or if they do but don't have Aerith in the party) and meet his parents, revealing his actual name.
    • One of the Shinra grunts in Cloud's flashbacks accompanying him and Sephiroth turns out to be very important, because that grunt was actually Cloud.
  • The Chessmaster: Sephiroth in the main game, who successfully manages to trick the party into acquiring the Black Materia and bringing it to him.
  • Chest Monster: As is a tradition with the Final Fantasy series, the Chest Monster is present in two areas:
    • The first one is in the Shinra Mansion in Nibelheim. One of the second floor rooms (the one across from the bedroom Cloud sleeps in in the flashback at Kalm) has a safe in it with a number lock (the numbers are hidden in various parts of the mansion). When one attempts to open this safe, Cloud says, "I have a bad feeling about this", and gives you the option to back away (consider it and make sure you heal and save the game outside of town). Trying the safe forces the player to put the combination in order in 30 seconds (you'll blow it if you scroll past a right number), and success rewards the player with a boss fight against Lost Number, a monster in the safe. This is one of the candidates for That One Boss, but if the team is successful at killing it, they get Red XIII's Limited Moon Limit Break manual as the item drop, the Odin summon materia, which pops out of the safe, and most importantly, the key to a side room in the basement; the team MUST beat this boss and retrieve this key to get to Vincent and recruit him into the party.
    • The other is towards the end of the Ancient Temple. In the room with the clock, Cloud can arrange the hands to form a bridge to up to two doors. Doors 1 and 3 lead to booby-trapped treasure chests that each contain an enemy group exclusive to them (Door 1 has a Jemnezmy and a duo of Toxic Frogs at her side while Door 3 has a pair of 8 Eye blob enemies that can suck your health rapidly; all of them are very weak against Bio). Oh, and getting hit by the second hand dumps you into a pit, forces you to fight a pair of Ancient Dragons that surround you, and send you back to near the start of the dungeon (you'll find Cloud's Nail Bat weapon in this pit).
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Barret and Cid have a tendency to launch into these. The harsher curse words are censored, since this game has a "T" rating. Interestingly enough, the PC version was censored more than the PS1 version, with "hell" and "damn" censored too. Strangely, neither censors "shit!"
  • Combos: Various characters' limits breaks: Cloud's Omnislash, Tifa's entire string, Yuffie's Bloodfest and Doom of the Living, and Cid's Big Brawl.
  • Colony Drop: Shinra drops the entire plate of Sector 7 onto the slums below to get rid of AVALANCHE.
  • Comically Small Bribe: Want to get into Junon airport, and don't feel like getting wet while riding the dolphin? TOO BAD, it's off limits, unless you pay the elevator guard. .. 10 gil. You can walk out of town, kill some pansy monsters, and rake in a few hundred.
  • The Computer Is a Lying Bastard: Thanks to an unfortunately broken-up set of instructions, Cloud's first boss warning sounds like he's telling you to attack while the tail is up (which will cause you to eat a severe counterattack).
    "Attack while its tail is up.... beat ....it'll counterattack with its laser."
  • Cowardly Boss: Ultimate WEAPON runs away after the first, and only mandatory, fight against it in Mideel. The player is then given the option of fighting it again. It must be fought several times with it running away each time after it's taken a certain amount of damage.
  • Creature-Breeding Mechanic: Acquiring colored chocobos requires you to breed chocobos you've captured and leveled up. Some players might be put off by the fact that related chocobos can be bred together, but this isn't too unlike animal breeding in real life.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Don Corneo may be a fat old creep, but he managed to subdue a Turk and a Ninja all on his own.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Featured in a minigame. That has no time limit. That's right, if a person stops breathing for 20 minutes while you go eat a sandwich, then you come back and do CPR for another three, they'll totally be fine.
  • Cutscene Boss: There's a brief cutscene of the Sapphire WEAPON emerging from the ocean, but it gets blasted to death before the party gets a chance to engage it or even learn its name. Diamond WEAPON was dealt with similarly in the original Japanese version, but an actual fight against him was added when the game went international.
  • Cyberpunk with a Chance of Rain: The science-fantasy city of Midgar always has dark skies, even above the plate.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Ruby and Emerald WEAPON, who have eight hundred thousand and one million hp , respectively, and you are only able to do 9999 at once, typical strategies for beating them involve using the Game-Breaker summon a couple dozen times.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Lots of people in this game.
    • Aerith takes the prize for a traumatic upbringing. Her father is killed by Shinra while she's a newborn, and she grows up in the prisons of Shinra headquarters for seven years with Tseng as the only person who shows her sympathy. Her mother makes a Heroic Sacrifice to give her freedom, though even after THAT she is still constantly under watch by the Turks.
    • Cloud was a town boy with big dreams who was stuck as a grunt for an evil corporation, only to have his idol burn his town to the ground, kill his family, and leave him so traumatized he forgot who he was. On the same day both he and Tifa lost the only parent they had left.
    • What about Vincent? The guy fell deeply in love with Lucrecia, only for her to choose Hojo and her work over him, and then was shot by Hojo for objecting when Lucrecia became ill during the JENOVA project, was cruelly experimented on, had a total of four bloodthirsty demons shoved into him to share his mind for the rest of his life, and locked in a coffin for thirty years. If that's not dark and troubled, I don't know what is.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Every playable character has at least part of the game focused exclusively on them, their backstory, character development, and personal growth.
  • Dead Character Walking: By a glitch with Cloud's flashback sequence. Sephiroth's AI is supposed to revive Cloud should he fall in battle but sometimes Sephiroth will just wail on enemies instead, leaving Cloud down. This becomes extremely funny when Sephiroth separates from Cloud's party, leaving Cloud to walk around town by himself while his HP is at 0. There's no more random encounters once Sephiroth leaves due to plot reasons, so there's no risk of a Game Over.
  • Deadly Environment Prison: The prison camp is in the middle of a desert. You get there by being dumped down a chute from the Golden Saucer, and nobody bothers to guard the place because the desert is impassable. The other prisoners will all tell you that people who go into the desert don't come back. (However, to prevent the game from becoming unwinnable, if you wander out into the desert, first you get lost but after a while someone shows up with a chocobo stagecoach and takes you back to prison.)
  • Death from Above: Numerous examples:
    • Sephiroth kills Aerith by dropping down from the sky and impaling her straight through the chest
    • Bahamut ZERO's summon attack involves it flying into orbit and shooting a massive laser through the atmosphere straight down onto your enemy.
    • Meteor is a spell that does just what you would think, summoning a giant meteor that plummets into the Earth and destroys everything. Though this qualifies more as omnicide from above. The Comet spells are lesser versions of Meteor that you can use, which only affect one enemy (Comet) or all enemies on the battlefield (Comet 2).
    • Shinra's destruction of Sector 7 involes dropping a massive portion of the city onto the undercity below it.
  • Despair Speech: Dyne delivers a speech lamenting his fate before hurling himself off a canyon. Unlike his first 'death', this one sticks.
  • Developers' Desired Date: Cloud has two love interests fighting over him (up until about halfway in, anyway), and the game is tracking Relationship Values in the background for them for the game's famous date scene. Whichever of the two has the highest will have a date scene with Cloud. However, the game is not limited to them, but also to Yuffie (whose date is far more platonic than either option), and to Barret (A bros' night out). From the four of them, the Relationship values start with Aerith at 50, Tifa at 30, Yuffie at 10, and Barret at 0, and while they're relatively equal in terms of the amount of ways to increase the values, Aerith has, by far, the most opportunities to gain many points in her favor.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: Shortly before entering the Final Dungeon, the party disbands so that its members can spend the last day before the apocalypse with their families before returning (or simply stay home entirely). Cloud and Tifa remain behind, having no families of their own to go home to, and spend the night together in the shadow of their airship. Cloud and Tifa's dialogue ends with a Fade to Black, possibly intended as a Sexy Discretion Shot.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Cloud does this to Sephiroth in his real memory of Nibelheim. After getting impaled by Sephiroth's sword and lifted up, Cloud actually manages to reverse the move and simply toss Sephiroth aside and into the reactor.
  • Disc-One Final Boss:
    • President Shinra is positioned as the original game's Big Bad until Sephiroth's Masamune finds its way through his back.
    • Averted in that the game's first two discs do end with big boss battles, but neither time does the game fool you into thinking the battles are climactic.
  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: When you get to the Northern Continent, you've already chased Sephiroth around the world, so it's easy to think that these ancient ruins could be the final showdown. Of course, this is barely the midpoint of the second of three disks. .
  • Disproportionate Retribution: After going crazy from finding out he's a product of Shinra's experimentation, Sephiroth burns down Nibelheim and kills all the townsfolk. Why? Because he was there when he found out.
  • Distant Finale: The cut to 500 years later after the credits, which caused some confusion (among other things, it convinced some players that Meteor and Holy wiped out all the humans), but at least showed that Red XIII lived up to his promise to live for 500 years.
  • Doomed Hometown:
    • Cloud and Tifa are from Nibelheim, which was razed by Sephiroth. (It later got rebuilt and repopulated in an attempt to conceal that it ever was destroyed, which briefly confused the heroes). Later (chronologically speaking), he and the party are forced to leave Midgar to avoid the authorities. This is shortly after Shinra destroys the Sector 7 slums, where AVALANCHE is based. And then the entire city is mostly destroyed later on!
    • Corel, Barret's hometown, is razed by Shinra troops, which is his main motivation for rebelling against them.
    • Pre-game hero Zack's hometown of Gongaga is destroyed by Going Critical. What's worse is that Crisis Core reveals that however the reactor exploded, it occurred during the four years he was a test subject. When he arrives, the whole fact that the town is mostly a crater and there are gravestones all around the huts of whoever survived doesn't seem to really faze him.
  • Doomsday Device: The Black Materia is a sinister bit of Magitek capable of summoning a meteor the size of the Moon to plummet into the Planet and destroy it in one blow
  • Double-Edged Buff: The Sadness and Fury statuses both affect the player in positive and negative ways. Sadness raises the target's defense but lowers the Limit gauge fill rate. Fury raises the target's Limit gauge fill rate but lowers their accuracy.
  • The Dragon: Rufus is merely the vice president of the evil Shinra corporation, serving as his father's right hand and enforcer. It doesn't take long in the game for that to change, but by the time Rufus is president, Shinra is no longer the main antagonist as Sephiroth takes center stage.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Rufus, who's first the vice-president of Shinra, Inc. but then takes over for his father as president and becomes considerably more powerful.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Professor Hojo can be seen as an example, as he actively works against Shinra on many occasions despite arguably being their most valuable executive. He resigns from his post and begrudgingly assists the main party on their search for Sephiroth, only because he wants to see his research come to fruition. Later in the game, while his colleagues are attempting to stop his son from causing the apocalypse, he does everything in his power to speed it along.
  • Dramatic Choir Number: Sephiroth's theme song "One-Winged Angel", features a choir doing Ominous Latin Chanting as the backdrop to the game's final boss battle.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: The Junon infiltration sequence. Apparently dressing is the ONLY requisite part of this trope; no matter how bad of an actor you are in the parade, you still get onto the boat. Red XIII can barely balance on two legs, but he's still wearing a soldier's uniform and making a good try of it anyway.
  • Dual Boss: Three of the four boss fights against the Turks involve fighting two or three of them at once.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole:
    • Why does Tifa suddenly panic after deciding to go on ahead of Cloud and Barret in the middle of the Shinra Building staircase? In the original Japanese, she squeals when she realises it means Cloud and Barret could look up her skirt, and then calls them perverts, and Cloud and Barret respond with confusion. In English, she sets off, then starts screaming for no reason and gives no indication of why. It might have been a slight Bowdlerisation, or a poor attempt at fixing a scene that admittedly turned Tifa out-of-character for the sake of a stock anime gag.
    • Poor translation turned Johnny into a completely incomprehensible character to people playing the game in English. In the original Japanese, he was a friend (possibly ex-boyfriend) of Tifa who grew up in the slums and who's jealous of Cloud for upstaging him. In English, he ends up a childhood friend of Tifa and (genuine) ex-SOLDIER who knew Cloud from his time in the unit, a position that throws up huge plot holes and makes no sense at all.
    • The poor translation also made the reveal scene that Cait Sith is actually Reeve nonsensical. In the Japanese version, in a panic, Reeve accidentally switches accents between his Cait Sith Kansai-ben and his normal speech while talking to Scarlet, and then again to Barret, which clues the party in that he's Reeve. In the English version, there is no accent switch, so Scarlet comments on Reeve speaking strangely for no reason when he's speaking normally, and Barret seems to figure out that Cait Sith is Reeve for no reason at all. The sloppy translation makes the scene in general hard to understand.
    • The English translation accidentally kills off Tseng when Elena attempts to get revenge on Cloud for 'doing my boss in like that'. In the Japanese, she'd accused Cloud of merely beating him up. Since Tseng was last seen unconscious and slumped in a building the main characters end up shrinking to pocket-size, and never appears in the game from that point onwards, it seemed logical he was dead, so many fans were surprised when Tseng appeared in the Compilation still alive and with no acknowledgement that this was unusual (unlike with Rufus, whose "death" was Retconned). This mistake, like many others, was corrected in script for the PC version of the game in which Elena states "You really got guts messin' my boss up like that!" However, the initial PC version was much less played than the PlayStation version, especially in its initial release.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Lampshaded early in the game when Cloud has to crossdress to get into Don Corneo's mansion. Depending on how much the player worked, it's even possible for him to be picked over Aerith and Tifa as Corneo's future bride.
  • Duel Boss:
    • Rufus establishes himself as a powerful, but arrogant combatant by dueling Cloud 1v1, even dismissing his own minions to have the chance. All the better for you, since your party members leave Cloud to his own.
    • The last battle of the game is of course between Cloud and Sephiroth alone, man to man, sword to sword.
  • Dungeon Bypass: You can bypass much of the Shinra Building and its guards by simply taking the stairs as opposed to fighting your way floor by floor. This is, however, incredibly boring, time consuming, and you have to put up with your characters complaining the entire way. There are a few bits of nice loot on the stairs, however.
  • Eco-Terrorist: AVALANCHE believe that Shinra Corporation's Mako reactors are harvesting the very soul of the planet to generate electricity. Their solution: launch violent raids on reactor sites, slaughter Shinra's guards, and bomb the reactors.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Jenova, who really isn't evil so much as hungry and looking for lunch. Unfortunately, that lunch just happens to be the life energy of planets. The whole turning people into monsters and driving them insane and impersonating the native race and turning on them after gaining acceptance is kind of pushing it though.
  • Electric Jellyfish: The Crown Lance enemy, which casts lightning spells as well as being able to absorb lightning. They're more dangerous for their Deadly Needles attack, though.
  • Encounter Bait: One of the materias you can equip increases the chances for a random encounter. It is a must-have when level grinding.
  • Encounter Repellant: Tired of that same battle music worming int your head? Got wild chocobos pestering you all day? Or have you finally run out of Phoenix Downs on your backtrack out of the dungeon? Well, slap on Enemy Away Materia and you'll never have to worry about random encounters again! When Enemy Away is slotted in, the magic of the Ancients repels all hostility such that you will never randomly bump into a monster againLegal disclaimer ! And you can get it for the low-low prize of free if you call in to Golden Saucer right now to set up a chocobo race! There are new winners every day and after you win this race, you'll never have to hear that catchy victory jingle ever again!
  • "End Is Nigh" Ending: After the midway point, the villain Sephiroth uses the Black Materia to summon a huge meteor that is gonna crash on Gaia in a few days' time. Cloud and Avalanche fly to the Northern Crater to stop Sephiroth. After the Final Battle, there is a credits scene: the group escapes from Northern Crater; the meteor is approaching Earth near the Northern Crater, but, as soon as it approaches the area, light green energy flows into the crater, and an image of Aerith is seen smiling to the camera. The scene fades to black; the on-screen text reads "500 years later: Red XIII is seen with its cubs among the wreckage of Midgar, which is now overtaken by nature".
  • The End of the World as We Know It: The series' favorite plot device returns as Sephiroth plans to wipe out humanity with a magical meteor.
  • Enigmatic Institute: Shinra's Science Department. Outside the company, it's unclear if the general population even knows of its existence, though they are very familiar with its biggest project, SOLDIER. Even within Shinra, only those in the upper echelons of the company have the real picture of what Hojo gets up to. And then, Hojo himself implies a few times that he has an agenda of his own that doesn't necessarily align with his employer's, but he has to at least put on the appearance of working for them since they have the resources that would otherwise be denied to him.
  • Escape Battle Technique: The Exit materia, which lets you use the Escape spell to flee from battles. The materia also contains the Remove spell, which is the inverse of Escape by forcing all enemies to be removed from battle. If you somehow use the spell on your own party, it counts as a Total Party Wipe.
  • Equipment Spoiler: You can find a weapon for Vincent in Kalm, way before you can recruit him. Also, weapons for him and Yuffie will appear in shops and chests around the world even if you miss them.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas
  • Event-Driven Clock: It plays this straight most of the time, but an early mission sees you setting up the bomb with a timer set up to go off in five minutes. You have to get out within those minutes, and the timer keeps ticking even in combat, even during the cutscenes!
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Sector 6 slums has the Hell House enemy, which is... a small house. That sprouts arms legs and tries to kill you. And for some reason, it also shoots out bombs.
  • Evil Is Burning Hot: Sephiroth's Unflinching Walk sees him shrouded with flames in one of the game's few pre-rendered cutscenes, showing he's not bothered by the burning flames or the mass murder he just committed.
  • Evil Laugh: Lots of villainous characters have their laughter written in different ways to differentiate from the non-evil "ha ha has" the rest of the cast lets out. Hojo has his "Mwa ha ha," Scarlet's got "Kya ha ha," and Heidegger will let loose a "Gya ha ha". Lampshaded by Rufus and Caith Sith. Cait Sith refers to Heideggar and Scarlet as "'Gya ha ha' and 'Kya ha ha'", respectively, while Rufus finds Heideggar's "horse laugh" irritating and constantly tells him to cut it out.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Hojo believes humanity is mostly useless except for a few promising specimens, and is obsessed with the potential of science to advance society.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Shinra HQ which rises from ground level and serves as the Midgar Plate's central pillar, certainly has more than enough floors and corporate psychomaniacs to count. The main antagonist of the early game, President Shinra, has his office right at the top of the tower.
  • Expanded Universe: VII has the most fleshed-out universe of the entire series. The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII refers to all media that deals with the FFVII universe.

    F-J 
  • Fake Memories: The Nibelheim incident, and the rest of Cloud's memories from his time with Shinra, have been corrupted in Cloud's minds due to the physical, magical, and mental trauma he's been through. The only person who can confirm his version of events is Tifa, and she was knocked out for some of it and is also traumatized to the point of not wanting to discuss it. The truth is more complex than Cloud imagined, and only gets explored once his entire false persona cracks.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture:
    • The Cetra, an ancient race of persecuted wanderers who are supposed to be the only ones with access to 'The Promised Land'. Aerith, the main Cetra in the game, born to a non-Cetra father and a Cetra mother, but treated as completely Cetra, was living undercover in a household run by a non-Cetra, lying about her heritage in order to stop The Empire's agents finding her and taking her to have sadistic experiments done on her.
    • Cosmo Canyon is based on indigenous American tribes.
    • Wutai is clearly based on post-World War II Japan; a once great and proud nation with its culture reduced to petty tourism after a humiliating defeat in a war.
  • Fate Worse than Death
    • Instead of being left for dead after Sephiroth completely devastated them, Zack and Cloud are experimented on for four years by Hojo before Zack manages to break them out. Cloud is left a vegetable from being used as a test subject, and while he got better, his already weak mental state was completely shattered and he had self-induced amnesia to cope with the events.
    • Meanwhile, Sephiroth spent five years frozen in Mako, conscious but unable to move.
  • Final Boss, New Dimension: This game has perhaps the most iconic example of this trope in RPGs with Safer Sephiroth, whose battle somehow transports the players from the center of the Earth to strange white void that appears to be in the sky. It might be a Battle in the Center of the Mind or a result of the magic of the Lifestream, but it could also just be a cool setting for the sake of a cool setting.
  • Final-Exam Boss: The game doesn't tell you this, but it's keeping track of how well you do in the fight against Jenova immediately before you fight Sephiroth. If you barely scrape by, the game takes pity on you, and you fight Sephiroth with only one party, which makes this a very straightforward boss fight. If you bring the hurt and totally wreck Jenova's stuff, you have to split your equipment and materia three ways; having one team defeat Sephiroth's left arm, one team for the right arm, and one team for his core... which will heal the arms back if you take too long. And if you used the infinity plus one summon on it, the final boss gets a boost to its HP. And what's even worse, the numerous parties need to be properly equipped, but once you beat the boss, your main party goes straight on to the Final Boss battle without giving you a chance to swap equipment in-between. It's also made worse that if one of your team gets taken down, instant Game Over, even if it's not the team fighting the core (which fights Sephiroth's final form).
  • Fist Pump: Barrett repeatedly pumps his fist for his victory pose.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: Sephiroth's themes, "Those Chosen By The Planet" and "Birth Of A God", both include church bells in a hint both to his nature as a Dark Messiah chosen by JENOVA and the fact that he's caused a lot of people to hear those bells at the funerals he caused.
  • For Science!: Although Hojo ostensibly works for Shinra, he pretty much admits that this is the only reason for his horrific experiments.
  • Freudian Threat: Cloud, Tifa and Aerith threaten the resident pimp Don Corneo while likewise interrogating him by telling him they'll "cut", "rip" and "smash them" in turn.
  • Friendly, Playful Dolphin: There is a dolphin that will help you get to Junon.
  • Gambit Roulette: Arguably, Aerith's calling of the White Materia, since she likely knew Sephiroth would be able to keep it under control. Doesn't actually work, however, since by the time Meteor reaches the planet, it's too powerful for the White Materia alone to stop it.
  • Gainax Ending: Up until the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII came out and clarified it, this game had an extremely confusing ending sequence that left many people wondering whether the world was destroyed at the end of the game or not. The length of time between the Compilation and the original game's release led to many decrying Square for "retconning" this.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Part of the reason why Aerith's death stings so bad is that she was the designated party White Mage. While your can jerry-rig other party members into filling her role quite well, you'll never quite have the most optimized setup that was initially possible when she was alive. This, coupled with the fact that the party screen has a missing character slot that never gets filled, is part of the reason why her death is such an effective Player Punch- not only did you lose a party member, but now the rest of the group has to spend time making up for her absence.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation
    • Aerith dies permanently even though you have loads of Phoenix Downs able to bring people back from the dead in gameplay.
    • There's also Red XIII's father, Seto, who was petrified. And for some reason, no one thought to use a Soft on him...
    • Elena was promoted to the Turks as a replacement for Reno, who was in recovery from the injuries Cloud and his gang gave him on the pillar. Reno couldn't have been injured too badly, since he ran from the battle. Hasn't Shinra heard of potions, and don't they know that a night at the inn fixes everything?
    • Dyne murders a bunch of people with his gun arm and even makes Barret back up by shooting at him, yet in the boss fight he shoots Barret numerous times.
    • Didn't anyone in Nibelheim think to cast an Ice or Water spell when the town was on fire?
    • The Gelnika is a plane that gets shot down after transporting the Huge Materia to Rocket Town, and you can explore the wreckage using the sub. However, if you immediately take the sub back down to the ocean floor once you get it, but before going to Junon, you can explore the wreckage of the Gelnika before it gets destroyed, and then go back to the surface and watch it take off.
    • After Cloud, Tifa and Aerith are dumped into the sewers under Don Corneo's mansion, both Tifa and Aerith are lying passed out on the ground and will not get up until Cloud talks to them. Despite this, it is possible to run around and get into a random battle, and both will be present and active in the battle party.
    • During the Wutai sidequest, Yuffie is supposed to steal all of your Materia, but she's programmed to take only 48. If you had more than 48 Materia, then you will still have at least one.
    • One of Sephiroth's ultimates involves him summoning a supernova that can destroy solar systems, the problem is that in the same story he needs weeks or months of preparation to get a meteor strong enough to hurt a planet (not destroy it, only hurt it), so being able to summon an infinitely more powerful attack breaks the lore a bit.
  • Gas Chamber: Tifa gets placed into one near the end of Disc 2. Given that it has a control switch to shut off its gas inside the chamber, its design is... suboptimal.
  • Gateless Ghetto: Midgar. Despite being a massive city with a large amount of buildings, you only explore Slum Sectors Four, Five, Six, and Seven, very little of Eight, a few alleyways on the upper city, the Sector One and Five Reactors, and the Shinra Tower. It's not actually very much when you explore through it.
  • Genre Shift: There's the snowboarding (which was eventually ported to Cell Phones as Final Fantasy VII snowboarding,) the Submarine combat mission, and the escape from Midgar. Fort Condor has a Real-Time Strategy minigame.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere:
    • Bottomswell, the fish-zombie creature that attacks in Junon Harbor with no warning or fanfare.
    • Schizo, the two headed dragon in the Icicle Cave. This mandatory boss fight was added to the American version of the game for no apparent reason. You can steal a Protect Ring from it, but other than that it has no bearing on the rest of the game whatsoever.
    • The Red Dragon that attacks the party in the Temple of the Ancients comes out of nowhere as well.
  • A God Am I: Sephiroth's motive: To wound the Planet itself, and absorb the Lifestream energy that the Planet uses to heal. Advent Children expands on his motives: he wasn't just going to blow up the world and call it good, but then use the Lifestream's power to travel to another world and fuck it up. He would do this to the entire galaxy, just like Mother Jenova had done in the past.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Sephiroth discovers that he is another product of Shinra's bioengineering - this trope is the result.
  • Go Wait Outside: Attempting to breed chocobos involves "wait time." The flag is triggered once you fight about ten battles at any spot.
  • Gold-Colored Superiority: Chocobos come in multiple feather colors that indicate what type of terrain they can traverse. The best Chocobos, the ones that can walk over land, mountains, and both shallow and deep water, are colored gold.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: The Turks. They oppose Cloud if ordered to, but under other circumstances are perfectly willing to live and let live. By Advent Children they're basically allies, and they get their own game in Before Crisis. And they have an awesome theme tune. They're also pretty tough in their own right. They put up a decent fight most of the time. Elena can also knock Cloud out cold with one punch.
  • Got Volunteered: The party needs to get to Upper Junon and fortunately there's a high-voltage tower that they might be able to get to the top of, if only somebody is willing to risk taking a chance leaping with "Mr. Dolphin" to make sure that option will be alright.
    Tifa: High voltage tower...... I guess this means Cloud'll be all right.
    Aerith: Yeah, better leave it to Cloud!
    Red XIII: We're counting on you, Cloud.
    Cloud: Hey!! Wait a second!
  • The Great Serpent: Midgar Zolom is a snake that can grow over 30 feet tall. Its huge silhouette can be seen as it stalks the player in the marsh.
  • Green Aesop: A major plot-point of the game is the conflict between nature and industrialization. Midgar is polluted and dark, and it's surrounded by an expanse of post-apocalyptic style wasteland, Lower Junon had its waters poisoned from the city above, the beautiful forests of Corel became inhospitable deserts after an attack from Shinra, and Gongaga was utterly ruined when one of the Mako reactors blew up. The Shinra leaders themselves are for the most part, disgusting heartless tyrants who will stop at nothing for profit and power, and then there's Hojo, who is more or less responsible for all of the bad things that happen in the game due to his creations and research.
  • Green Rocks: Materia can do anything from summon lightning bolts to increasing the amount of money frogs you find in the forest have on them. Also, most of it is actually green.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: One has to wonder why none of the guards on the Cargo Ship bothered to continue the search for the intruder (Sephiroth) after Cloud and co. defeated Jenova. There's no way they could have known that he was gone at that point, so why bother calling off the search? "Yeah, just ignore all the dead bodies and the undiscovered intruder. Just dock as planned!" Heidegger was in charge of ship security at the time, so he's just as much at fault as the rest of the incompetent guard. Rufus comments on the failings of command when the ship docks.
    Rufus: So Sephiroth was on board...
    Heidegger: Yes.
    Rufus: And it seems Cloud and his gang were on board, too.
    Heidegger: ...Yes.
    Rufus: They slipped through... you messed up big this time, Heidegger.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Sephiroth acts as a non-playable part member during the "Young Cloud" flashback sequence. Invincible, and can chop anything in two with his BFS.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Several parts in the main game. Finding the Keystone which unlocks the Temple of the Ancients. The only place that makes any mention of the Keystone is a random house near the Gongaga, which the game fails to mention anything about. Then when you get the Keystone good luck finding the Temple without a guide.
    • After completing the Temple of the Ancients, the game shows a scene of Aerith in the Sleeping Forest. It fails to tell you where the forest is and that you're supposed to go to Bone Village to get to it (though at that point it's the only place left that you haven't been that's accessible with the Tiny Bronco). On top of that, for some reason the game places you in Gongaga, which is extremely far away from Bone Village.
    • Finding Cloud in Mideel. The game does not tell you where you're supposed to go after escaping from Junon, though Red XIII does mention that you should talk to Bugenhagen on the Highwind.
    • Also, happens with the sidequests. It's not apparent at all that you can get a one-of-a-kind materia from the crazed consumer's pet white chocobo.
    • Hey, did you know you can fight up to 15 battles at Fort Condor? What, you didn't go back and check after every single event in the game, going so far as to huff it on foot lest your car breaks down to make sure that you can backtrack to Fort Condor? Too bad, guess you missed out on a whole lot of free stuff!
    • Without a guide you would have no way of knowing that to get the Underwater materia you need to morph a Ghost Ship (an enemy you only encounter in Junon's underwater reactor) into the guide book item and trade it to the Kalm traveler.
    • Master Tonberries can morphed into Ribbons. Also Sense, an ability that tells you when an enemy is weakened enough to morph, doesn't work on them.
  • Happy Fun Ball: The Movers in the swampy section of the Very Definitely Final Dungeon. They're particularly memorable because you can use them as AP farms.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In-universe. On the Shinra boat, Aerith asks Cloud about the Highwind airship at Junon, and the player is given the option of having Cloud tell her he'll take her to see it someday. Additionally, while in the Temple of the Ancients, Aerith says to Cloud, "Don't worry. Someday we'll look back on these hard times and laugh." Considering what happens shortly afterward...
  • Healthy Green, Harmful Red: In the original PS1 version, the effect of healing spells is indicated by a green-coloured font; while a dark red coloured font in the character's HP meter shows they are incapacitated.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Cait Sith goes from being a mouthy Shinra-supporting jerkass to a good guy who pulls his weight to save the planet.
  • Heroic BSoD: Cloud nearly becomes comatose after regaining his memory and realizing that he wasn't a SOLDIER after all. Tifa has to care for him away from the party's business for a time before he recovers.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Cait Sith sacrifices himself to let the heroes escape the Temple of the Ancients - but because he's a remotely controlled robot, he comes right back not ten minutes later.
  • Hero of Another Story: Zack is the SOLDIER who Cloud worked for and the one who truly battled Sephiroth when he attacked Cloud and Tifa's town. 10 years after his brief role in Final Fantasy VII, his story is told in full.
  • High-Altitude Battle: The optional fights against Ultimate Weapon are fought from the deck of your flying airship, the Highwind.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: Yuffie. Hiding in that pot might have worked better if you hadn't been shaking it around, silly girl. And go learn your rope-escape tricks already.
  • Hive City: Midgar, Shinra Electric Power Company's greatest achievement and primary headquarters, is a three-layered, city-sized structure powered by no less than seven Magitek nuclear power plants that houses the majority of the corporation-country's population. It's a miserable place to live, being choked with urban blight above and below, and the lower levels don't even receive natural sunlight. Shinra plans to build an even bigger, better version, Neo-Midgar, once they find the Promised Land.
  • Holy Is Not Safe: Holy, the White Materia, is the Planet's ultimate defensive measure, meant to wipe away anything it judges as a threat to the Planet. Unfortunately, there's a strong chance that this will include humanity.
  • A Homeowner Is You: You can buy a villa in Costa Del Sol for 300,000 gil. It's highly unlikely you'll spend that much money on tents and inns, and is basically a Bragging Rights Reward.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: In-Universe:
    • There is an option for Cloud to kiss Don Corneo and go on a date with Barret.
    • One of the options during the play during the date is for Cloud to kiss the King, defeating the dragon through The Power of Love.
  • Improbable Weapon User:
    • Cait Sith's megaphones and Red XIII's headpieces. They somehow boost attack, though they aren't used directly.
    • Some characters normally use "serious" weapons, but have a single joke one: One of Cid's weapons is a mop. One of Yuffie's weapons (the Oritsuru) is a giant paper crane. One of Aerith's weapons is an umbrella. One of Cloud's weapons is a bat with a nail in it.
  • Inconsistent Spelling
    • You could probably power several continents with the sheer energy spent on debating whether to use "Aeris" or "Aerith". As of recent English releases (such as Crisis Core and Kingdom Hearts) and from the very beginning in Japanese publications, "Aerith" has become the canon spelling, but because people still cling to the "Aeris" spelling from the original US release (and it has yet to be corrected in reprints), even The Other Wiki uses it - but only when referring to Final Fantasy 7 itself.
    • The Spanish translation of Kingdom Hearts uses Aeris (for Aerith) and Sefirot (for Sephiroth), like in the original translation of FFVII, but they are changed to the canon equivalent in Kingdom Hearts II. Some Spanish players find those unfortunate because Sefirot is the usual transliteration of the Hebrew word, and as such it was about the only thing the Spanish "Blind Idiot" Translation did right.
    • "Shin-Ra" (in Japan) versus "Shinra" (in translations), which was rather curious because it clearly said "Shin-Ra" in the company's logo, in the English version as well. Japan has adopted the "Shinra" parsing in text, but the logo continues to read "Shin-Ra".
    • More obscure examples (taken from the old Official Establishment File artbook) include "Yrena" (Elena), "Leno" (Reno), and "Liviathan" (Leviathan).
  • Inevitable Tournament: You're forced to fight in the Gold Saucer's Battle Arena in order to borrow the Keystone from Dio.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: Every character has an ultimate weapon that has eight linked Materia slots and provides additional combat benefits. For instance, Cloud's Ultima Weapon and Cait Sith's HP Shout gain strength when their HP is high. The downside is that these weapons have zero materia growth, but by the time you get most of them, your Materia won't have much growing left to do anyway. They all have some trick to maxing out damage. Cloud's Ultima Weapon does more damage if his HP is high. Barret's Missing Score does more damage based on how much mastered materia he has equipped on it. Tifa's Premium Heart does more damage if the limit gauge is high. And so on.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: Since all of the characters' ultimate weapons have some sort of variable that causes them to deal damage, this means that depending on battle conditions, your weapons might suddenly become worthless. As such, the game sees fit to give the characters all weapons that are almost as powerful as their ultimate ones. When the ultimate weapons are fully powered, they are better, but these weapons are usually better in the long run.
  • Injured Self-Drag: In a flashback scene, Cloud and Zack are ambushed by various soldiers and despite Zack's efforts, he is gunned down while Cloud is left injured. Cloud could only crawl to Zack's body while picking up his sword before delivering a Skyward Scream.
  • Insult of Endearment: Barret continues to call Cloud "Spiky" as a derogatory referral to his hair, but by the end of the game, it has become a term of endearment.
  • Intellectual Animal: Red XIII is especially weird; not only is he smart for an "animal", he's probably the smartest member of your party. Even weirder is when it's revealed that, adjusting for his species' lifespan, Red is a teenager, making him a sort of Teen Genius on top of being an Intellectual Animal.
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures: Strangely, the portrayal of Wutai seems to suggest that the Japanese get traditional Japanese and Chinese culture mixed up just as much as Americans do.
  • Interface Spoiler: The stores sell weapons for party members you haven't discovered yet, or may never get at all.
  • Internal Reformist: Reeve Tuesti starts out as the only member of Shinra's board who isn't a complete psychopath, but largely goes along with their wishes. As he pilots the Cait Sith, which becomes part of your party, he increasingly gets convinced of the rightness of your cause and become a The Mole, helping the party against the threats of both Sephiroth and Shinra.
  • It's Raining Men: Appears in two forms.
    • Aerith meets Cloud when he falls through the roof of the church she works in. She nicely lampshades this.
      Aerith: "I thought it was just gonna be a normal day. Then some guy falls out of the sky!"
    • The second form is done by the party when they return to Midgar, commando style by parachuting in.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Vincent pulls one of these, almost word for word, when Lucrecia chooses Hojo over him. He keeps out of it until he finds out the bit about the horrible experimentation Hojo is doing on a now pregnant with Hojo's child Lucrecia.

    K-O 
  • Karma Houdini
    • Palmer also survives the game, but because he's so inconsequential, he never appears again in either the sequels or prequels.
    • Reno, though you could argue he was just doing his job. Without any hesitation or guilt. While watching him defend kids in Advent Children made him look heroic, you have to remember he orphaned at least one.
  • Kavorka Man: Hojo is an amoral, unattractive mad scientist with bad posture, and yet gets more action than anyone in the series.
  • Killed Off for Real: Yes, Aerith dies and does not come back.
  • Kill Sat: Using Bahamut Zero summons a dragon that fires its Breath Weapon from space down onto your unfortunate enemy.
  • Kill the Cutie: Aerith Gainsborough is a classic example of killing off a kind and feminine character for the sake of tragedy. If Cloud's anger wasn't enough, the millions of players hucking PS1 controllers around when they found out a Phoenix Down doesn't help probably is.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero Found Underwear: During the Nibelheim flashback, it's possible for Cloud to sneak into Tifa's house and rifle through her drawers and find "orthopaedic underwear." This sequence is happening under the framing device that Cloud is actually narrating everything he does in the flashback to his companions, and Tifa butts in at this point and yells at him for revealing this.
  • Lamarck Was Right: When breeding your chocobos, you get the best results if you race them to S-level first.
  • Last Disc Magic: Ultima, Knights of the Round and many level 4 limit breaks can only be accessed starting towards the end of disc 2. More literally, the rather powerful enemy skills Angel Whisper and Pandora's Box can only be found in the Northern Cave.
  • Last of His Kind
    • Aerith is the last of the Ancients.
    • Supposedly, Red XIII is the last of his species, but he was able to have cubs somehow about 490 years after the game ends. Before Crisis fixes this by introducing his mate, who he presumably meets up with after the events of this game.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler:
    • Hint: Aerith dies.
    • So does Zack. No matter in which order you play them, FFVII and Crisis Core spoiler each other.
  • Layered Metropolis:
    • Midgar. In all sectors (numbered 0-8), an upper plate separates the ground-level slums from the other districts. This plate also blocks sunlight (what little there is of it) from trickling down into the slums. Agents from Shinra Inc. activate a support structure's Self-Destruct Mechanism between both layers of Sector 7, causing a section of the plate to come loose and crush everyone beneath before sending an earthquake relief force on the plate. Ironically, Reeve later moves the entire population of Midgar into the slums to protect them from METEOR.
    • An additional secret level, only known as Deepground, is located below both Midgar and the Slums, only accessible via the Sector 0 reactor. (Dirge of Cerberus)
    • The military port city of Junon also has a small village under it, near the elevator to the city proper.
  • Level Grinding: An odd case in that you have to do this to gain characters' Limit Breaks rather than simply leveling up, and then you have to use their Limit Breaks to acquire new ones.
  • Limit Break: Though Final Fantasy VI originated the mechanic with its Desperation Attacks, Final Fantasy VII is the Trope Namer and the inspiration for most examples of the trope. In its world, Limit Breaks are tied to the characters' emotional states; the angrier the character is, the more quickly it will build up. In terms of gameplay, this is portrayed by the Fury and Sadness status effects. Fury makes the Limit gauge fill more quickly, Sadness makes it fill more slowly.
  • Love Hurts:
    • Let's see, Vincent falls in love with Lucrecia and is summarily rejected because of the guilt Lucrecia feels over his father's death, despite the fact that she seems to have returned his feelings. He suffers though I Want My Beloved to Be Happy as she runs off with Hojo, but finally steps in when he finds out about all of the experiments on Lucrecia and an, at the time, unborn Sephiroth. Hojo shoots him, and commences a multitude of body horrors on him For Science!. The aftermath is a large It's All My Fault complex for Vincent, who blames himself for being unable to protect her. The guilt furthers when he finds out Lucrecia is indeed still alive, and unable to die because of the experimentation.
    • Then there's Aerith and Zack, whom she claims was her first love. She never finds out about his untimely demise. Later she meets Cloud and is smitten with him because of his similarities with Zack, but eventually reveals she wants to get to know the real him. We all know how that turned out. Then there's Tifa, who is obviously crushing hard on Cloud the entire game, but has to deal with him making kissy faces with Aerith, finding out he endured the mother of all Mind Screws, thinking he died and when she finds him alive he's in a brain dead Angst Coma. It does work out for the two of them by the end of the game, but they both certainly went through hell and heartbreak before getting to that point.
  • Love Triangle: The famous (or infamous?) Aerith/Cloud/Tifa love triangle. The backstory has Hojo/Lucrecia/Vincent, and there was a bit of Tseng/Aerith/Zack and Aerith/Zack/Cissnei in Crisis Core.
  • Make Way for the New Villains: President Shinra, the seeming Big Bad established in the opening act of the game, is killed by Sephiroth, who quickly becomes the focus and main antagonist of the story.
  • Malevolent Architecture: Only an asshole like President Shinra would design a city with built-in self-destruct mechanisms (the "Emergency Plate Release System") tucked away beneath everyone's feet.
  • Marathon Boss: The fight against Emerald WEAPON takes place underwater; you have to either kill it in 20 minutes, or undergo a simple sidequest to allow you to breathe water. Since that isn't very long against something with as many hp as Emerald WEAPON, most people go for the sidequest. Or you can beat it in 7 seconds.
  • Matchmaker Crush: Though competing for Cloud's affection with Aerith, Tifa likes Cloud more when he shows concern for Aerith. Go figure. You can interpret it as Tifa appreciating the fact that Cloud actually cares about anyone at all, and in the Wall Market mission, that he remembered to rescue a girl from getting raped. Aerith, on the other hand, loses affection for Cloud when he shows concern for Tifa if put in the exact same situation.
  • Matryoshka Object:
    • The Grangalan outside Costa del Sol can spawn smaller versions of itself known Grangalan Jr. for the second generation and Grangalan Jr. Jr. for the third and smallest generation.
    • Slightly inverted. The Black Materia Plot Coupon is contained within the Temple of the Ancients. When the party goes in and discovers it, they discover it is actually a replica of the real thing, and the real
  • May Contain Evil: Shinra's Mako reactors.
  • Meaningful Name: Cloud Strife (he struggles with illusions), Tifa Lockheart (she keeps secrets), Barret (a high caliber sniper rifle) and Cid Highwind (he is a pilot). Aerith's name is similar to earth. Then there's the painfully obvious theme naming (Sephiroth, Jenova = Sephirot, Jehovah). Also Cait Sith, derived from "Cait Sidhe", a panther-like faerie from Celtic mythology. This also explains his Scottish brogue. Also, a place falls under this trope - Nibelheim. In addition to sharing its name with the Norse underworld, its literal meaning is "home of clouds/mist/fog." Guess which character was born there?
  • MegaCorp: Shinra Electric Power Company, which produces not only electric power but military hardware, Materia, and automobiles, among other things. It also has its own elite police and military forces, and for all intents and purposes is more like a globe-spanning (and highly aggressive) nation-state than "merely" a large corporation as we tend to think of them. The name "Shinra", in fact, derives from the Japanese four-character idiom 神羅万象 "Shinra Banshou", which roughly translates as "all things covered by God". In other words, it's somewhat the linguistic equivalent of a company calling itself "Omnicorp International" or the like, very much in the grand cyberpunk tradition that FF7 draws heavily from.
  • Metal Detector Puzzle: There's a sequence near the end of the first disc where the player has to find an item (the Earth Harp) buried underground by hiring sentries, placing them around the area, and then having them turn to face the general direction of the buried treasure. This minigame can also yield other rewards, including a card key that lets you re-enter the Midgar slums.
  • Metropolis Level: The first portion of the game takes place in Midgar, a futuristic dystopia in which everything is controlled by the Shinra Corporation, who serve as the main antagonists until Sephiroth enters the picture. The city has numerous areas to explore that each have a distinct culture and atmosphere, and for first-time players, the fact that the story moved outside Midgar at all could be quite a surprise.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: Barret tries to use this argument when Cait Sith calls him out on how many innocent people AVALANCHE killed when they blew up the mako reactor in Midgar, but Cait Sith calls him out on this as well, and even Barret doesn't seem fully convinced of his own argument.
    Barret: That was for the life of the planet. Ya gotta expect a few casualties.
    Cait Sith: A few? Whaddya mean 'a few'? What may be a few to y'all is everything to them who died.
  • Mind Screw: The full explanation of what happened in Nibelheim isn't given unless you do things like revisit the Shinra Mansion basement (when you've been given no reason to go there) and find Tifa's ultimate limit break (which is supposed to be a challenge). Good luck making sense of the plot without those cut scenes! Not to mention the "Blind Idiot" Translation...
    "You... are a puppet."
  • Missing Main Character: There's a short period of time where Cloud is removed from the party and presumed dead, and later found in a coma. During these times, Tifa and Cid take turns being the party leader.
  • The Mole: Cait Sith is actually controlled by Reeve of Shinra, but still decides to remain with you once discovered. The trope is later inverted when he essentially becomes a spy for AVALANCHE within Shinra, despite starting the other way around, by feeding information about AVALANCHE to Shinra.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • A non-plot related example, also due to translation issues: "Because you're a puppet."
    • There's a little bit of this, considering the next thing you do after Aerith dies is go snowboarding.
    • 'This is my hometown. It used to be prosperous, but it got razed to the ground, my friend and I lost a hand each, lots of people died, Shin-Ra sucks and Sephiroth is getting away from us so he can go kill more people as we speak.' 'Time to PLAY SOME GAMES!' Granted, Barret himself isn't in the mood to go have fun with you.
    • Cloud getting shot by Yazoo while he reflects on Kadaj's death comes right out of nowhere too. He gets better though, literally two seconds later.
  • More Dakka: Barret's "Ungarmax" Level 3 Limit Break. There's a few instances where if you don't advance the dialogue, Barret will continue pumping lead into whatever he's supposed to be shooting at forever. Also, what Shinra does to the Mako Cannon near the end of Disc 2.
  • Mr. Exposition: Professor Hojo often provides information that is critical to understanding the plot. This makes sense considering that he's the one behind all of it.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Short skirt, big boobs, long legs, Tifa ticks all the boxes and easily cements herself as one of video game's most popular sex symbols
  • Mukokuseki: Three of the six playable humanoid chararacters are rather ambiguous race-wise. The other three, going along with this game's recurring pattern of foils, are portrayed in manners almost offensively characteristic of their respective skin pigmentations.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Tifa's arms are thin but her punches are powerful!
  • My Greatest Failure: Cloud feels regret over several failures. His failure to become a SOLDIER and the death of Zack who died trying to protect him leads to Cloud suffering from psychological disorders like Trauma-Induced Amnesia and Split Personality. He also regrets failing to prevent the death of Aerith, which motivates Cloud to take down Sephiroth.
  • Mystical Waif: Aerith is a young flower girl who is also guardian of Holy, the ultimate protective magic that can save the planet.
  • Mythology Gag: Like all the other Final Fantasy games, there are several:
    • Cid isn't the first dragoon named "Highwind".
    • When you recruit her, Yuffie - the Ninja - comes packing the Throw materia, Throw being the special command of the Ninja class in previous games.
  • Negate Your Own Sacrifice: Cait Sith volunteers to stay in the incredible shrinking temple, because he's only a stuffed toy and his controller is elsewhere.
  • Newbie Immunity: The game doesn't provide Newbie Immunity at the beginning but is a Double Subversion when Cloud is recalling a past memory from when he was first starting out as a SOLDIER and fought alongside Sephiroth. Cloud is locked at level 1 and Sephiroth is a level 50 NPC ally who will one-shot any random encounters, and in case Cloud is knocked out, Sephiroth will revive him first.
  • New Neo City: Shinra's master plan was the construction of Neo Midgar, a metropolis planned to be 3x the size of the current Midgar, using the resources from the Promised Land. When the Promised Land turns out to be nothing but a lie, the Neo Midgar plans vanish in a puff of smoke... and a giant red fireball.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Cloud tosses Sephiroth into the Nibeliheim reactor, which is what caused him to become as powerful as he did.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Sephiroth inflicted a mortal wound on Cloud, and Hojo subjected the severely wounded Cloud to years of torturous experimentation. This is what made Cloud powerful enough to stop both Sephiroth and Hojo.
  • Ninja: Yuffie... apparently. Sure, she throws shuriken, and at one point she skillfully hides in the roof and steals a materia right out of your hand, but other than that, her gimmicks make this out to be more of her Informed Attribute. She can't escape from ropes, her hiding (aside from in the roof) involves things like hiding behind a curtain or inside a pot (fidgeting enough to rattle it around). And she isn't ruthless in the least; she could have released poison gas and choked you to death while you were stuck in a cage without your magic, but no, she gleefully makes a pun, explains it, and goes on her merry way.
  • No Biochemical Barriers:
    • Jenova, an alien lifeform from who-knows-where, can infect humanoids without a problem. Hojo also seems to think that he can breed Aerith and Red XIII, though his concept of "breeding" seems to be "let the big hairy monster claw her to death" if the scene in the game is any indication.
    • At the time, Hojo thought Red XIII was a dumb beast, which Red knew and was doing that to play to the act. He later apologizes to Aerith for scaring her.
  • No Fourth Wall: The tutorial room in the weapon shop by Tifa's Bar. Some of these people also show up later in the game, though you should really know most of the stuff you tell them by that point.
  • Noob Cave: There are two beginner areas - the Sector 1 and Sector 5 reactors. Though they vary somewhat (Sector 5's reactor has a simple timed button press puzzle, and you're on a timed exit from the Sector 1 reactor that's impossible to accidentally mess up), the two dungeons are actually identical after a certain point, and both bosses are pretty simple.
  • No One Could Survive That!: Two incidents. The first is Sephiroth getting tossed into the Nibelheim reactor by Cloud in his true memory. The second is Rufus getting hit by a barrage of energy from Diamond Weapon.
  • Non-Standard Skill Learning: The game averts this at the start, granting characters new Limit Breaks through repeated combat, but to teach a given character their level 4 Limit Break, you'll need a special item. There's also the Enemy Skill materia; see Blue Mages.
  • Not Me This Time: Sephiroth laughs at your party when you get attacked by a dragon in the Temple of the Ancients and think that he is responsible for it.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You…: Especially if the fall is into Aerith's church. To date, three protagonists have taken the plunge from the upper plate into her flowers, and all three came out of it just fine.
  • NPC Amnesia: Yuffie appears to the party as a random battle encounter. If, during the post-battle scene, the player answers wrong, she'll disappear, stealing from you. She keeps coming back with the same dialogue and continues to steal from the party until her entire dialogue's answers are chosen correctly and she joins the party. However, at that point, she will acknowledge the previous encounters by offering to return "some" of the money she stole earlier.
  • NPC Random Encounter Immunity: Played straight. How did the people of Nibelheim get to the reactor to work? How do hermits (like the smith south of the Gold Saucer and the guy in the cave near Fort Condor) survive? Why do kids near the north pole have snowboards when all the slopes land you in high-level encounter land? Plants don't grow in Midgar, so who grows the food and transports it?
  • Off Bridge, onto Vehicle: The characters leap off a bridge onto a passing train after destroying the Mako generator.
  • Older Than They Look: Vincent and Lucrecia are around sixty, but thanks to Body Horror experiments and hibernation, they look as though they're still in their late-twenties, with Lucrecia looking about the same age as her own son. Shelke is the same age as Yuffie, but her body is locked at nine years old after her Super-Soldier treatment.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: "One-Winged Angel" (yes, that one), the Final Boss theme from Final Fantasy VII, is in Latin. With the exception of the repetition of Sephiroth's name, the lyrics are taken from sections of Carmina Burana. This song effectively became the Trope Codifier of using Latin in Boss music, particularly final bosses.
    "Estuans interius, ira vehementi, Sephiroth! Noli manere, manere in memoria, nole manere, manere in memoria, Sephiroth!"
  • Omnicidal Maniac:
    • Sephiroth's plan involves leveling the planet with a massive meteorite.
    • Dyne has reached the point where he simply wants to destroy everything. However, he doesn't get further than the mass murder of a handful of Gold Saucer employees, since Dyne is neither a mad scientist, nor a super soldier, nor part Eldritch Abomination, he's just a cyborg who was embittered enough to go crazy and hate his life and everything around.
    • Hojo also qualifies even moreso than Dyne or even his son, Sephiroth. For one thing, Sephiroth at least intended to become a god and remake the planet in his image. Hojo, on the other hand, fully intended to destroy the planet and for what? Research, that's what. More specifically, he manipulated Sephiroth into deciding to destroy the planet and become a god in order to also summon Omega, bond with it, and witness the final results of his research (which also explains why he made the extremely stupid decision to inject himself with Jenova's cells in a larger quantity than regular personnel of SOLDIER, with predictable results leading to his demise), and after that failed, he took over Weiss as soon as the World Wide Network was repaired and engineered through Weiss the sending of several uncontaminated people into the planet's core to trigger Omega and then have it leave the planet.
  • One-Handed Zweihänder: Cloud and Sephiroth are the poster boys for this trope.
    • Cloud prefers to use two hands to wield his signature weapon, but he can hold it in just one, as seen in his victory animation when he spins it around with absolute ease.
    • Sephiroth uses his absolute monster of a katana, Masamune, with one hand exclusively. Which is impressive, since it's longer than he is tall.
  • One Nation Under Copyright: The Shinra Electric Power Company. The towns Shin-Ra don't own real estate in are Wutai (but they vacation there), Kalm (although the people that live there tend to like Shin-Ra and buy their products, in addition to using Midgar's power), Bone Village, Mideel, and Cosmo Canyon. They've got large buildings in Midgar and Junon, they legitimately own Fort Condor, Rufus owns a mansion in Nibelheim and a beach house in Costa Del Sol, the Nibelheim, Corel, and Gongaga reactors are Shin-Ra's, the lab in Icicle Inn is theirs (at least, it is now), and Rocket Town exists because of their space program. Even the underwater crashed ship is theirs.
  • One-Time Dungeon: Shinra Building (more accurately a two-time dungeon, and the second visit is completely optional), Corel Prison, the Cave of the Gi, the Temple of the Ancients, Gaea Cliffs, Whirlwind Maze, and much of Midgar.
  • Only One Name: Many characters have been given last (or first) names by way of Retcon, but a few notable exceptions still remain: Professor Hojo, President Shinra, Scarlet, Heidegger, Palmer, Tseng, Rude, Reno, and Elena.
  • Optional Party Member: Yuffie and Vincent can both join your party, but only if you go to certain locations at the right time.
  • Optional Stealth: On the 60th floor of Shinra Headquarters you have the choice of sneaking past the guards or getting caught and fighting them.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: The White Materia that is central to stopping Sephiroth is an heirloom Aerith inherited from her mother.
  • Overflow Error: The game has an overflow glitch that causes the game to think that enemies have so much HP that it had better fix the problem and instantly kills them.
  • Our Ancestors Are Superheroes: There was the Cetra or later called the Ancients. They were gifted with powerful magic and a high affinity toward the planet and the lifesteam allowing them insights such as if someone has died and rejoined the lifesteam. Sephiroth states that human are descendants of the Cetra, who forsook the migratory ways (and lost the magic powers) of the Cetra and hid in fear (thus surviving) when Jenova was busy wiping out the Cetra who tried to protect the planet from her/it.
  • Our Clones Are Different: Has one of the most bizarre definitions of the phrase ever conceived. In this case, "clone" refers to someone who's been injected by the cells of Jenova in an attempt to recreate the process that turned Sephiroth into The Ace Super-Soldier. This one proved to be a little too different, since Crisis Core refers to them as "Copies" instead. Sephiroth, however, uses the semantics of the word "clone" to imply that Cloud is an actual clone, who was created in a bottle and never was a normal human, to trick Cloud into obedience.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: The WEAPONS are massive titans created by the Planet to defend itself. The Ultima WEAPON alone is shown to be at least three times the size of the Highwind.
  • Outswing the Fireball: During the escape from Sector 7.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Jenova is an invading planet- and life-eating parasite from space in an RPG about evil corporations and eco-terrorism. The main villain Sephiroth also gets some of this quality partly from Jenova. While both Shinra and members of Avalanche (the eco-terrorist group opposing Shinra) knew him from before, they didn't really know him — especially what his connection to Jenova meant since they didn't know what it was. As he makes his return, he derails the plot from the fight between Avalanche and Shinra into both trying to stop him without really knowing what he even wants.
  • Outside-the-Box Tactic: The Demi spell is surprisingly effective against Emerald Weapon. Demi is a low-level Gravity spell, that does damage equal to 25% of the target's current HP. On most common enemies, it's a waste of time, and most bosses are immune. But Emerald Weapon is not, and until you whittle his HP down, it can do 9,999 damage to him.
  • Overly Long Fighting Animation: All of the summons. One-Winged Angel!Sephiroth's ultimate attack, "Supernova", takes this beyond ridiculous levels: it's over two minutes long and you can't skip it, he destroys Pluto, Saturn, and Jupiter, makes the sun go nova - swallowing up Mercury and Venus and destroying Earth - it's much more destructive than the plot the heroes are trying to prevent but it can't kill them.

    P-T 
  • Party in My Pocket: Lampshaded when Cloud tries to stop Cait Sith from joining the party. Actually this is the last game in the series where it is played completely straight, presumably because in the 2-D games one could maintain the illusion that the other members were just obscured by the hero, but in 3-D seeing the other characters walk in and out of Cloud is heavily disconcerting.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • Some of the Enemy Skills. Trine can only be learned from three enemies- two are bosses, the other is a Mook found in an un-revisitable dungeon. Pandora's Box is used only as a final attack by the first Zombie Dragon in the entire save file.
    • The Ramuh summon must be picked up while you are in the waiting area for the Chocobo races in Corel Prison.
    • The entire Bahamut trio of summons can be missed. Bahamut and Neo Bahamut are only found in one-shot locations, while Bahamut Zero is lost if the player didn't get all of the Huge Materia.
    • There are so many items in this game that can be permanently missed, there's an entire walkthrough on GameFAQs dedicated to them!
  • Pietà Plagiarism: After Aerith is stabbed and killed by Sephiroth, Cloud cradles her body like this as he mourns her.
  • Plot Coupon That Does Something: The Huge Materia, not only can you get a Summon from one, but they can be used to create Master Materias which take up only a single materia slot but grant the abilities of all the materia of the related type.
  • Point of No Return: The game's final point of no return is at the very bottom of Northern Cave/The Crater, in a room overlooking a giant fissure and platforms leading into the Lifestream and the core of the Planet. The last screen prior to crossing the POTN is when all the members of AVALANCE regroup and you can take items they picked up. This is a good place to create the last Save Point, but once Cloud enters the Lifestream and goes down the platforms (you'll get a "Do you wish to continue" question before this), the player can no longer go back up and must proceed down two more screens with several random mini-boss like enemies to the platform with the Jenova-SYNTHESIS boss fight, with the final meeting with Sephiroth following.
  • Polluted Wasteland: Midgar. A large expanse of polluted wasteland surrounds the city, and the closer you get to the city limits, the greyer and gloomier the sky and colors become. Inside the city, the sky is often incredibly dark and depressing, and this can all be connected to the Mako Reactors and the fallout and smog they generate. Junon isn't much better, as the waters nearby are lifeless, discolored, and dark due to the abundant pollution.
  • Power Copying: Enemy Skill materia in Final Fantasy VII also lets you learn a, well, enemy's skill that is used on you. Also the Mime materia, which when equipped lets you copy whatever move was just used. This included summons and Limit Breaks, although the latter wouldn't work if it wasn't yours.
  • Powerful, but Inaccurate: The Deathblow Materia causes a character's attacks to either score a critical hit, or miss completely.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Materia like Transform, Manipulate, and Time; Sephiroth and Vincent's shapeshifting abilities.
  • Power-Up Letdown: Kjata. Much more often than not, summoning him will either deal 0 damage, or it will heal the enemy party as they block or absorb one of the four elementals Kjata utilizes (Fire, Ice, Lightning, and Earth).
  • Prayer Pose: When Aerith is killed, she is kneeling with her hands clasped in prayer.
  • Pre-Rendered Graphics: The in-game environments and cutscenes are all pre-rendered and much higher quality than the actual models that the player interacts with. Strangely, some of the cutscenes still use the primitive in-game models, even though that's unnecessary.
  • President Evil: In practice, President Shinra's the real ruler of Midgar and responsible for all of its corruption and pollution. You meet the actual Mayor in VII, and he readily admits to this. The mayor of Midgar is essentially a figurehead hostage cooped up inside the Shinra building.
  • Progressively Prettier:
    • Reno was not originally designed as the prettyboy he is in FFAC and later installations.
    • Cid Highwind was originally designed as a much more gruff and coarse-looking character; however, he has gotten Progressively Prettier in any of his other Compilation appearances. Just compare his original portrait to his portrait in Before Crisis, or his CG render in Advent Children. At least he kept his gruff appearance in Dirge of Cerberus.
  • Prophecies Are Always Right: The fortune that Cait Sith reads upon first meeting Cloud that convinces him to join the party, which turns out to be true when they acquire the Black Materia and Aerith dies.
  • The Promise: Cloud's childhood promise to Tifa of course becomes relevant even in their adult lives.
    Tifa: "Hey, let's make a promise. Umm...if you get really famous...and if I'm ever in a bind...you'll come save me, all right?"
    Cloud: "What?"
    Tifa: "If I'm ever in trouble, my hero will come and rescue me. I want to experience that at least once."
    Cloud: "What?"
    Tifa: "Come on! Promise me!"
    Cloud: "All right...I promise."
  • Punch-Clock Villain: The Turks may be violent thugs, but they refuse to capture Cloud and co. in Wutai because they're on vacation.
  • The Purge: Sephiroth plans to do wipe the Planet clean with Meteor and remake it to JENOVA's whims. Holy does its own, not quite as evil, version.
  • Quickly-Demoted Leader: Though Barret is the leader of AVALANCHE and is giving Cloud orders, circumstances force him under Cloud's leadership instead.
  • Recurring Boss: Several. Reno has to be fought twice with two optional fights, Rude has to be fought once with two optional fights, JENOVA has to be fought four times in different forms, Ultimate WEAPON has to be fought once and then becomes an optional boss which has to be fought several times to defeat.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Nintendo of America's legendary censorship enforcement led to American releases of this series being much more G-rated. For North American fans that had played the earlier, Bowdlerized entries up to that point, it was quite a shock when 20 minutes into the game, you're a transvestite hooker who visits a gym, whorehouse, bathroom, and dress shop to get your clothing. Cid and Barret curse constantly (though the harshest of it was still censored). There's a Gay Option on the one date. And Tifa calls Barret a retard.
  • Relationship Values: Though most people either end up with Tifa or Aerith, it's possible to get either Barret or Yuffie to accompany Cloud on the Gold Saucer date.
  • Remote Body: Cait Sith, who's really a high ranking member of Shinra, operates a false body apparently operating another false body.
  • Reverse Escort Mission: Sephiroth is escorting Cloud during the flashback in Kalm. While Sephiroth can defeat anything, Cloud can not defend himself very well.
  • Rule of Drama: The reason why one glaring gameplay mixup during one particularly famous death scene didn't really stop full grown men from openly weeping at their controllers.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Each of the playable characters bears similarities to the Sefirot in Jewish Mysticism. Cloud is Keter (Crown, Leadership), Barret is Gevurah (Strength, Judgment), Tifa is Tifaret (Spirituality, Beauty, Balance), Aerith is Chesed (Kindness, Mercy), Red XIII is Chokmah (Wisdom, Elder), Yuffie is Hod (Majesty, Splendor), Cait Sith is Binah (Understanding), Vincent is Netzach (Eternity), and Cid is Yesod (Foundation). The Lifestream could represent Malkuth (Kingdom).
  • Sad Battle Music: In the battle against JENOVA Life. The music that plays is Aerith's Theme, because Aerith was killed by Sephiroth moments earlier.
  • Save Scumming: Chocobo breeding. Even if you've got all the qualities and colors set up right, you've still got a random chance for any of them to have the right gender.
  • "Save the World" Climax: The game starts with a resistance group known as Avalanche fighting against the Shinra MegaCorp just to help improve the lives of the citizens that live in the slums. One thing turns to another and eventually they're fighting a psychotic Super-Soldier who wants to destroy the world.
  • Scenery Gorn: Welcome to Midgar. It sucks and we're going to spend a lot of time showing you. If it isn't enough for you, check out Corel, too!
  • Scripted Battle: Cloud's last battle with Sephiroth is lots of staring, multiple camera cuts, and one Omnislash. If you really want, you can just sit there, but the developers thought of that, so Sephiroth will attack but Cloud will counter, ending the battle anyways.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: AireTam Storm is a move that punishes you for using materia.
  • Second Place Is for Winners: The first and second place rewards for the Rufus Sendoff mini game in Junon (a force stealer and HP plus materia, respectively) are both good items, but the latter is arguably better in the long run. HP plus materia aren't available to purchase for quite a while and are very expensive at a time when money is tight, whereas a force stealer can be bought much sooner and becomes obsolete quickly, anyway.
  • Sentient Cosmic Force: The Lifestream is used as a fuel by the Shinra Electric Power Company. In its solidified form it is the materia that allows the use of magic, and is the combined spirit of all living things of the Planet, and when you piss it off enough it releases a whole bunch of monsters to get rid of whatever is annoying it.
  • Sequence Breaking: When you take Bugenhagen to the Forgotten City to study the Ancients' writing for clues, he discovers that you need to find a key somewhere that "sunlight can't reach." You're supposed to use the submarine to search underwater until you find the Key of the Ancients. However, it's possible to find the key if you explored in the submarine before meeting Bugenhagen. If you already have the Key when you visit the City with Bugenhagen the first time, he'll immediately use it without you needing to leave and eventually come back again.
  • Ship Tease: The multitude of possible date sequences with Aerith, Tifa, Yuffie... and Barret. The game is pretty conclusive by the end, and reinforces that through later sequels and spin-offs. And yet, there are still people trying to insist on who Cloud really loves, even today.
  • Shirtless Scene: Sephiroth is shirtless when he is found in the Whirlwind Maze and during the final battle against him.
  • Shout-Out
    • Biggs and Wedge, continuing the tradition from Final Fantasy VI.
    • The motorcycle sequence.
    • Shin-Ra Mansion, Vincent, and Lucretia. Someone at Squeenix obviously has a fondness for Edgar Allan Poe. There's a monster with a giant bladed pendulum for a lower body that swings from a chain in the mansion. Both Vincent and Lucretia are essentially Buried Alive and have a bad case of Love Hurts, tropes that Poe was fond of. Vincent was named after Vincent Price, who was in just about every movie ever based on one of Edgar Allen Poe's works.
    • The Loveless posters in the opening movie.
    • the Type-D magma-diver equipment in the Gold Saucer trophy room, and channeling an entire city's electrical grid to fire a giant cannon at an autonomous "WEAPON".
    • Sephiroth's Out of the Inferno scene may well be a tribute to a certain scene from The Usual Suspects. There are certain similarities to both Keyser Söze and Sephiroth in these scenes, since they both end up being really evil afterwards.
    • Vincent's Hellmasker transformation wears a hockey mask and wields a chainsaw. It's also a developer shoutout to Edgar from FFVI.
    • In Wutai, you can obtain the Yoshiyuki katana for Cloud, which powers up when both of your allies are dead.
    • Speaking of Gundam, the Weapons and many Shinra robots such as the Airbuster are based on various Mobile Suits. Two of these would get remixed further, ironically back into machines with less resemblance to the originals, for Einhänder.
    • One of the larger shout outs is to H. P. Lovecraft. The Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward is about a man trying to track a wizard who can inhabit different bodies. The hero finds his hidden lab under a house, complete with crystals called "materia" (which is where he gets his magic) and "garda" (which summon guardians). Another Lovecraft work, At the Mountains of Madness, where cosmic horrors are discovered buried in the Antarctic ice, seems eerily familiar to the part where the party encounters Jenova. Also, despite being female (and that really is not an issue for him), Jenova has similar motivational attributes to Nyarlhathotep, particularly the fact that she deceived the ancients into accepting her only to destroy them all.
    • I pity the fool who didn't see this one.
    • The game's protagonist and antagonist draw a lot from Berserk's in premise and design. It continues in their reappearance in Kingdom Hearts.
    • In Cosmo Canyon, there's the Tiger Lily weapons shop.
    • A giant cannon called Sister Ray.
    • The aftermath of the fight with Palmer (where he narrowly evades being chopped to bits by the Tiny Bronco) was almost a re-enactment of the aftermath of the fight between Indiana Jones and a German Mechanic underneath a moving Luftwaffe Flying Wing in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
    • Sephiroth's conversation with Jenova shortly after going berserk echoes that of Norman Bates' conversations with his "mother" in Psycho
    • Members of SOLDIER's eyes glow blue, due to Mako energy.
    • The Highwind's theme sounds similar to the Enterprise's theme in some of the Star Trek movies.
    • During Cloud's Heroic BSoD, he utters this line:
      Uh...aaaa....? A billion mirror fragments.... small.... light... taken.... angel's... singing voices... zeno... gias...
    "Zenogias" is the Japanese name of Xenogears, and it was changed to "xeno...gears" in the PC release.
  • Shrinking Violet: Tifa can be very shy in regards to her feelings, usually when it comes to Cloud.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: Odin's summon ability usually consists of casting Death on all enemies and has him charge the enemies on his horse and teleport behind them. If successful they'll split in half after a second..
  • Skippable Boss: The Turks in the sunken Gelnika will not appear if you've already had your final fight with them while stopping Sister Ray, which can also be avoided since it gives you the option not to fight.
  • Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke: Many a summon, and Sephiroth's solar system shattering attack (which doesn't actually destroy any solar systems, that bit's just there to make it cooler).
  • Sneaky Departure: Aerith leaving to get killed by Sephiroth. Also, Yuffie leaving with all the materia (right below). Cloud attempts to leave Aerith behind early on, but she's already waiting for him at the town entrance.
  • Sole Entertainment Option: Strangely it does not have this worldwide entertainment in the largest city, Midgar. Rather, they have an entire amusement park just outside one of the smallest cities in the game.
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear:
    • The former Trope Namer. Yuffie runs off to Wutai and not only takes her own equipment but all of your party's materia (along with any additional materia you might find). Well, she did tell you she was a thief.
    • A more permanent example is Aerith, whose sudden death makes you lose all her equipment. Thank God the creators weren't cruel enough to take away all her materia, too... The fact that her equipment is not returned is especially irritating because there is a unique piece of armour (the Edincoat) in the dungeon just before you lose her that you will quite likely equip on her, since she is a White Magician Girl who is, for that dungeon, a Required Party Member.
    • At another point later in the game, Cloud and Tifa are both temporarily Put on a Bus and you lose their equipment as well, but you get their stuff back when they rejoin the group.
    • Luckily this is avoided completely by the important stuff: the Materia. Whenever a party member leaves, they hand over their Materia beforehand. Except for Yuffie's sidequest, of course.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Deadness: Kind of a weird one.
    • Tseng—slashed open by Sephiroth and left for dead: survived.
    • Rufus—standing at ground zero as an energy blast from a 500ft tall monster explodes in his face: survived.
    • Palmer—hit by a truck: survived.
    • Aerith—impaled on a ridiculously long katana: dead.
    • President Shinra—impaled on a ridiculously long katana: dead.
    • Cloud—also impaled on a ridiculously long katana (three times so far), and fell hundreds of feet through the roof of a church: survived. (Partially justified by the SOLDIER procedure making people tougher although if you're weak-willed enough it can SERIOUSLY fuck with your head, Hojo forced Cloud through the procedure, and it worked at the cost of warping his memories and sending him comatose for a while.)
    • Tifa—slashed across the chest by a ridiculously long katana: survived. She was a young teenager at the time. Plus, her mentor pulled her out of there, and got her immediate medical attention.
    • Zack—shot... repeatedly: dead.
    • Dyne—falls into a canyon: survived.
    • Dyne—throws himself into a canyon: dead.
    • Vincent—shot by Hojo: survived...Kind of, the game is kind of vauge on if he died, was experimented on and was brought back, or was stabilized with a special kind of Materia, experimented on, then fully healed.
    • Scarlet & Heidegger—riding in a stupidly-named Giant Mecha as it blows up: hilariously dead.
    • Hojo—injected Jenova cells into his body and utterly thrashed by the protagonists: Oh shi-
    • Sephiroth—pushed into a Mako reservoir by a really pissed off teenager: dead, but can resurrect at will.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Mortality: Catastrophically averted when (got the hint yet?) Aerith Dies.
  • Split Personality: The protagonist Cloud suffers from a case of split personality, where his Trauma-Induced Amnesia caused by the death of his best friend Zack leads to Cloud subconsciously absorbing Zack's experiences and mixing them with his own, setting up a split personality.
  • Spoiler Cover: For the European version, a screenshot from the FMV immediately following Aerith's death scene (which shows Cloud laying her body in a pool) is on the back of the game case. It's not obvious enough to be a direct spoiler, but it does give a big hint.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: Square's first foray into mixing 2D backgrounds with a 3D character models. They also have a few cases of FMV backgrounds, mainly in the form of the character running into a scene and it turning from bitmap to FMV. This formula would continue to be used in the next two entries in the series before going fully 3D.
  • Stalker with a Crush:
    • You learn Cloud was a bit of a stalker to Tifa when they were kids during "Cloud's Subconscious," when Tifa must fix Cloud's memories when they both fall into the Lifestream. For example, Cloud used to look at Tifa's room through the window from outside, and he often watched her with her friends from afar... He didn't like her three friends and thought they were stupid. To top it off, Cloud randomly calls Tifa out to the well, even though they weren't "close" friends. Even Tifa was surprised. Hmm...
    • There's also Tseng and Aerith. They've known each other since they were kids and Rude flat-out states in Gongaga that Tseng has the hots for her. The stalker part comes from Tseng being assigned by Shinra to keep tabs on Aerith for research purposes. Crisis Core turns it into something of a reverse Bodyguard Crush, as part of Tseng's duties also include keeping her safe (without her knowledge, of course). They seem to be on decent terms in Crisis Core, but then he goes and slaps her across the face during the Sector 7 pillar bombing, but this was before the Turks were Flanderized from an evil The Men in Black-type organization into a Noble Demon Quirky Miniboss Squad in the rest of Compilation of Final Fantasy VII.
  • Status Infliction Attack: There are many status infliction spells, along with the weapon customization Materia to apply most of them by melee too.
  • The Starscream: Rufus is revealed to have been this to President Shinra in Before Crisis, secretly working against his father in hopes of replacing him, but Sephiroth solved the problem for him.
  • Sticks to the Back: Cloud's BFS somehow stays attached to his back without a sheathe or holster or anything. Cloud is wearing old SOLDIER gear which includes a harness with a magnet on the back.
  • Still the Leader: AVALANCHE changes to the point only two of the original members are still there, yet Barret keeps using that name while referring to the Player Party and still calls himself the boss, but does what others say. Later, when Cloud is incapacitated, he voluntarily cedes command to Cid.
  • Still Wearing the Old Colors
    • Cloud still wears his outfit from his days as a SOLDIER. We later find out that he was never a member of SOLDIER to begin with.
    • Also Sephiroth who, despite going rogue, still wears his old SOLDIER uniform despite, among other things, having a massive grudge against his former employer.
  • Storming the Castle:
    • You assault the Shinra Building at the end of Disc 1 to rescue Aerith from those corporate goons.
    • Later in the game, you storm the city itself, and can revisit the Shinra Building, but this bit's only necessary if you want one character's ultimate weapon.
  • Story Difficulty Setting: The Steam release featured the option to permanently max out all one's characters in order to skip any and all grinding, ostensibly so the player could more easily enjoy the story, unlock every nook and cranny of the game and see the results of every conceivable side-quest.
  • Superboss:
    • The WEAPONs: Emerald and Ruby are powerful bosses can be found in the overworld in the later stages of the game's story.
    • Going to Shinra Mansion will pit you against the Lost Number. It's a rough fight, but beating it nets you Vincent, the Odin summon and Red XIII's ultimate limit break.
    • The five pagoda bosses in Wutai can be skipped, but beating them will get you Leviathan summon and Yuffie's ultimate limit break, so most players will go after them anyway.
    • Snow in the Great Glacier is difficult to find and you might miss out on the fight even if you're looking. For beating her, you get the Alexander summon.
  • Super Cell Reception: There was a PHS (Party Hensei System, a pun on Personal Handiphone System) which allowed you to summon your comrades from anywhere — in the middle of the desert, on a mountain, in a cave or underneath a giant metal plate. However, it didn't seem so much cellular as Save Point-ular, and only worked when on one.
  • Swiss-Army Appendage: Barret replaces his amputated right arm with an Arm Cannon. There are also several weapons for him that aren't guns, but scissors or blades. And a boxing glove.
  • Take Your Time:
    • Don't worry about that giant, fiery ball in the sky descending to bring about the world's destruction, even after you're told you have seven days before it falls. It will politely wait for you to deal with it whenever you're ready and done with arcade games and chocobo racing.
    • Oh, and that giant monster that's risen out of the sea and is advancing toward a nearby city? No problem. If it gets there before you do, it's too good mannered to attack the city.
  • Talking in Your Sleep: There's a guy in a cave past a river near Junon, seemingly sleeping endlessly. If you talk to him, he'll tell either tell you how many times you've battled, how many times you've escaped from battle, or mutter about how to get Master Materia from Huge Materia, all while apparently still sleeping. However, if the last two digits of battles match (i.e. 122, 355, etc.), then he will magically wake up and award the player either a Bolt Ring or a Mythril, depending on whether the digits are even or odd.
  • Tech Points: Materia have a separate EXP scale to the characters. To complicate things, some equipment offers double or even triple Materia growth, or none. That's why you use the Infinity -1 Sword when powerleveling.
  • Temporary Party Member to Villain: Cloud has a flashback of himself fighting alongside the game's Big Bad Sephiroth before he went Ax-Crazy. This serves to illustrate how badass Sephiroth is, since he can Curb Stomp all of the enemies that he comes across.
  • Thematic Sequel Logo Change: The seventh game's logo features Meteor, the rock Sephiroth sends down to try to destroy Gaia, with its comet trail in various shades of green and blue. These colors correspond to Mako energy and the Lifestream, the former being the liquid form of the latter, the very lifeblood of the planet and source of Materia and other wonders.
  • There Are No Therapists: Emotionally disturbed mercenary? Petty thief? Serial bomber? Body Horror victim? Multiple victims of kidnapping and Parental Abandonment? Nope, no problems here!
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: The dub added in a whole bunch of swearing to give some punch to the dialogue, especially for Barret.
    "Sit your ass down in that chair and drink your goddamn TEA!"
  • Those Two Guys: Biggs and Wedge of AVALANCHE. Throw Jessie in, and they become Those Two Guys And A Girl. Later, Rude, Reno, and Elena fill that role. Reno and Rude by themselves are a good example in The Movie.
  • Thunderbird: Avian enemies that tend to attack in groups and to strafe the whole party at once with lightning attacks. Their original Japanese name, Raijincho, is a portmanteau of raijin, a mythical Japanese thunder beast, and cho, meaning "bird".
  • Tiered by Name: The summon Bahamut comes in 3 increasingly powerful versions, culminating in Bahamut Zero.
  • Time Bomb: The one that destroys the pillar in Sector 7.
    Cloud: It's not a normal time bomb.
    Tseng: That's right. You'll have a hard time disarming that one. It'll blow the second some stupid jerk touches it.
  • Time-Limit Boss: Emerald Weapon. You have 20 minutes to defeat it since the battle takes place underwater, unless you complete a sidequest to obtain the Underwater Materia, which removes the time limit.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Aerith and Tifa, in an interesting inversion: the White Magician Girl in the pink dress was the boisterous one and the Cute Bruiser in the cropped shirt was secretive and nervous.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Cloud himself. Before the game even starts, he's already: (1) endured a lonely, alienated childhood; (2) been told he's too weak to become a SOLDIER; (3) watched his hero Sephiroth destroy his hometown and nearly murder both his childhood crush Tifa and his good friend Zack; (4) suffered over four years of sadistic experimentation by Hojo; and finally (5) is forced to helplessly watch Zack die in a gutwrenching heroic last stand to protect him.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: This happened to Cloud prior to the start of the game after an incredible Trauma Conga Line.
  • Treasure Room: The Gelnika contains a lot of very powerful items and materia, including Yuffie's ultimate weapon, Hades (a useful summon), Cid's level 4 limit break, the Double Cut materia, and more. Plus, many of the enemies can be morphed into sources, making it a good place to easily level up your stats.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: The passcode in the rocket on disc 2. 256 possible combinations, 0 advance hints on what it is.
  • Triumphant Reprise: The Highwind theme is a triumphant version of the main theme.
  • True Companions: AVALANCHE, plus Zack in Cloud's case. Zack has his own True Companions in Crisis Core, ditto the Turks.
  • Tutorial Failure: The tutorial boss has a gimmick. If you attack while its tail is up, it'll counterattack, so you shouldn't do that. Or, as the English translation's in-game instructions put it, "attack while it's tail's up! It's gonna counterattack with its laser." So while the player is supposed to be learning to time their attacks, they're also getting told to time them completely wrong.
  • Tyke-Bomb: Sephiroth was engineered by Shinra scientists to be the perfect soldier, implanted in the womb with alien DNA to endow him with superhuman strength and intelligence. The procedure killed his mother in childbirth, though she remained Not Quite Dead. He was then raised by his "surrogate" father (who never told him they were actually related) and grew up to be one of the world's most famed war heroes... until he discovered (most of) his secret origins, went Ax-Crazy, and decided to destroy the planet and become a god in the process. He damn near succeeded.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: His father was certainly no charmer, but Rufus makes it quite clear from his New Era Speech ('The old man ruled through money, I'll rule through fear') that he's going to be worse. Although President Shinra destroyed an entire sector of his city, killing untold numbers, just to wipe out a terrorist hideout. Rufus 'died' defending the same city from WEAPON and then resurfaced alive and repentant, if still manipulative, in Advent Children.

    U-Z 
  • Underwater Boss Battle: Emerald Weapon stays at the bottom of the ocean, so you gotta hop into a submarine to reach him and kill him before all the water sinks into your lungs and suffocates you. In practice, this just means you have a time limit to fight this very very very difficult boss.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The bike, snowboarding and submarine battle sequences are quite the change of pace from your standard, on-foot, turn-based combat. These are eventually unlocked as minigames in the Gold Saucer. Also Fort Condor.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Cloud Strife seemed to have several retellings on a key event in the past before the game makes you play through his subconscious to figure out what really happened. Cloud's narration of the events is completely accurate, in terms of events that took place. The only really unreliable aspect is that he told the story as though he was Zack.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Sephiroth's sword, Masamune, is explicitly stated to be a weapon that only he can use. At one point, the team sees the sword sticking out of the corpse of President Shinra, but they don't take it, presumably for this reason. In the Last Order anime's recreation of the Nibelheim scene, Tifa attempts to use this weapon to slash Sephiroth and fails for this reason, though this was not present in Crisis Core's version of the same scene.
  • Uncle Tomfoolery: Why, no, Square, not all black people are like Mr. T. A look into the original Japanese of the game suggests this element was played up in the English translation, with the original Barrett having a cooler demeanour.
  • Unrobotic Reveal: A variant: The Reveal that Cait Sith is being operated by radio. Obviously, Reeve neither fits into Cait Sith itself nor into the moogle doll, but we were led to believe that he was just a normal lifeform anyhow.
  • Useless Useful Spell: The summon Kujata targets fire, ice and lightning elements simultaneously. Unfortunately, absorption or immunity override weaknesses when calculating damage, meaning casting it will ignore or heal enemies more often than not.
  • Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The second visit to the Northern Crater. You know you've reached the end of the game when you fight the guy you've been chasing for three disks in the Earth's core.
  • Vice City: Midgar. The Wall Market is a sleazy red-lights district owned by Don Corneo, wealthy pervert and mafia crime boss, and muggers can be encountered as enemies in Sector 5, who may steal your items and run away from them, taking them forever if you fail to beat them in time. Corel also suffers from having thief enemies.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The entire goddamn Shinra company after Meteor is summoned. With a big-ass Colony Drop in the sky barrelling down on them, panicked civilians running for the hills, a veritable Quirky Mini Boss Squad of giant Eldritch Abominations roaming the lands, and the "Promised Land" turning out to be fake, everyone at Shinra knowing that the world was coming to an end. First, they try to publicly execute the captured members of AVALANCHE as a desperate public relations stunt. Then, they try shooting 20 year-old derelict rockets at Meteor (which proves more dangerous than just letting it be). After Rufus is incapacitated, the other execs turn on each other and Reeve and Palmer get thrown under the bus. Hojo goes nuts and tries to beat Meteor to the punch by blowing up Midgar himself. And worst of all, the remaining execs try to kill the heroes while they race to stop Hojo from blowing up Midgar. By the end of Disc Two, Shinra Inc. has effectively killed itself, with the party's role in its downfall being nothing but the natural reaction to their self-inflicted deathblow.
  • Villainous Legacy: All major villains trace themselves back to Jenova, an Eldritch Abomination who tried to destroy the planet 2000 years ago. Jenova was found by Shinra, and the lab experiments produced by tinkering with her cells serve as the villains of the series, along with a few of the scientists who did said tinkering.
  • Villains Out Shopping: The party run into Hojo during his 10-Minute Retirement at the Costa Del Sol, working on his tan (in his lab coat?). He makes it quite clear he's not interested in having it out with them and just wants to enjoy his time off.
  • Visual Calculus: Safer-Sephiroth’s Supernova ability displays several calculations used in astrophysics at the start of the attack.
  • Weaponized Offspring: The Grangalan outside Costa del Sol can spawn smaller versions of itself known Grangalan Jr. for the second generation and Grangalan Jr. Jr. for the third and smallest generation.
  • Welcome Back, Traitor: Yuffie, Cait Sith. The latter is practically the poster child and could have been the Trope Namer were it not for all the other strange characteristics making it impossible to determine just which one we'd be talking about by name drop alone, despite the time span between betrayal and redemption being so short that it might be less "welcome back" and more "actually never even left."
  • Wham Episode: After the date scene we get an entire series of wham moments that continue until a little way into the second disc. In this order, Cait Sith's betrayal, the Temple of the Ancients with the black materia and Cait Sith's sacrifice, Sephiroth controlling Cloud and forcing him to hand over the black materia, Aerith leaving, Aerith dying, some trekking, and ultimately the Whirlwind Maze. The events unfolding at the maze include the discovery of Sephiroth's true body, the realization that it was Zack in Nibelheim, not Cloud, Cloud falling into the lifestream, Meteor being summoned, and finally the Weapons being released.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Cloud gets called out on his morally dubious actions more than once during the game. The first occurrence is even 30 minutes into the game. Later, Cait Sith calls out the rest of our heroes for their eco-terrorist bombings at the beginning of the game, which caused a couple hundred deaths according to him. Barret tries to justify it as a few acceptable casualties in the fight to save the planet, but Cait Sith doesn't accept it
    Cait Sith: "A few? Whaddya mean 'a few'? What may be a few to y'all is everythin' to them who died…."
  • Wicked Cultured: President Shinra is seen listening to classical music while the Sector 7 Slums are destroyed.
  • The Worf Effect: At one point the team comes across a Midgar Zolom, a thirty foot tall cobra snake, which no more than ten minutes before has been played up as the only enemy you do not absolutely want to fight, impaled upon a tree by Sephiroth. One of the characters in your party will say "Our enemy is someone that could do this?".
  • Would Hit a Girl: Sephiroth proves he has no problems doing this, first when he slashes Tifa with his sword in Nibelheim and later, when he kills Aerith.
    • He also kills Cloud's mother earlier offscreen.
    • Disc One, after Cloud is tricked into handing Sephiroth the Black Materia. Cloud realizes what he's done and suddenly flips his lid, giving Aerith a severe, misplaced beating.
    • Tseng also backhands Aerith early in Disc One. Poor Aerith seems to get a lot of this. It's made even more tragic/evil in light of the fact that he has a crush on her.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Tifa's "Meteodrive" limit break. Rather than a martial arts attack like her other moves, it's a pro wrestling suplex. (Sheer drop brainbuster, to be precise.)
  • You Are Number 6: Red XIII isn't his name, just his designation. He doesn't mind people calling him this, even though he has an actual name.
  • You Talk Too Much!: Your party encounters the Elena and Rude of the Turks in the Mythril Mines. Rude tells Cloud that it's difficult to explain what the Turks do and when Cloud says "kidnapping," states that there's more to it now. He has trouble explaining, so Elena steps in, saying that she knows he doesn't like speeches. She says that it's their job to find out where Sephiroth is headed and stop Cloud and his party every step of the way. Then she stops herself and says that it's Cloud and the others who are getting in their way. Then Tseng shows up and tells her "...Elena. You talk too much" and that there isn't any need to tell Cloud and the others about their orders.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: The final final duel with Sephiroth. He can't kill you, and your attacks automatically kill him. Even if you wait long enough for him to hit you, you automatically counterattack and defeat him anyway.


"You're sure messed up, Cloud!"


Alternative Title(s): Final Fantasy 7

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"One-Winged Angel"

The reveal trailer for Sephiroth plays One-Winged Angel, which is the most iconic song in the Final Fantasy franchise.

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