FFVII Before Crisis – Cause I’m TNT

Episode Legend

It’s time for another special episode starring an alternate character. Grimoire Valentine even had a lot of screenshots from this one, so I’m going to try to stretch them out! While the majority of Episode Legend takes place in flashback, its ending is explicitly set during or around the previous chapter, what with the second AVALANCHE occupation of Junon. I have a strong feeling that this episode it wasn’t released until late in the game’s lifecycle, possibly even after the story was complete (albeit probably before the Crisis Core promo chapter we covered earlier). The primary reason I think this was released towards the end of BC’s lifecycle is the fact that it unlocks a new Turk, Legend (Male), who has such truly absurd upgrade costs that would only make sense for him to show up at the end of things (he also only has two available weapons, which matches up with the last two Turks who join the roster). On the flip side, Legend (Male) does show up in a few group shots near the end of the story… but those might have been modified after his release. It’s hard to say based on evidence alone, so if anyone has any solid information, feel free to share it!

Episode Legend begins just after the Wutai war, a month and a half before the start of BC’s main storyline, but don’t get settled! For unknown reasons, Verdot calls Tseng to his office to tell him that he wants to recall a certain former Turk to duty. Tseng seems to know the guy, and informs us that he’s been held under house arrest in Costa del Sol for being a member of an anti-Shinra group. Verdot doesn’t seem concerned, however, and sends Tseng off to Costa del Sol without much more to say.

BC_Episode_Legend_SS_1.jpgTseng does a few interviews with NPCs and learns the man in question is probably on the beach, which sounds like a violation of his house arrest, but no one ever brings that up. The man turns out to be an orange-haired smoker that goes unnamed for a chunk of the scenario, so I might as well identify him as Legend (Male). The Legendary Turk, turned traitor to his own company? After the rest of FFVII, it almost sounds like a tale as old as time.

Legend shows off a bit, reveals that he knows Tseng personally, and ultimately tells us that he hasn’t done a mission since “[ μ ] – εγλ 1999.” Because FFVII’s dates are meaningless jabber, I’ll just spoil that he’s referring to two years back (or to be more precise, one year and two months before the end of the war), or nearly eight years before the events of FFVII.

Legend claims that he’ll join back up if Tseng can beat him in a fight, but you’re forced to lose (the existence of this fight suggests Episode Legend was released after Episode Tseng, since you’d have to have a playable Tseng to do it). Still, this makes a fair time to mention that Legend fights using explosives. After the fight, Tseng flashes back to his first encounter with Legend, which took place at Shinra HQ. It seems Legend was brand new as a Turk at the time, and that this was his one and only mission, which makes his status as a “Legendary Turk” incredibly dubious. But it seems his status as a legendary terrorist is already well-established however, as rash, young Tseng pulls a gun on him even though he’s in company headquarters and was let in by his own boss!

BC_Episode_Legend_SS_6.jpgLegend and Verdot manage to talk Tseng down, and we learn that Legend used to be known as “The Grim Reaper of the Battlefield” back in his terrorist days. We also learn that he’s not so much a career terrorist as he is a mercenary, raising the question of why Shinra never hired him earlier! Because it wouldn’t do to call him “Legend” at this stage in his career, Tseng asks him for a name and he asks Tseng to call him “Bomb,” instead. How FFIX!

At this point, Verdot sends you on a yet-unspecified mission, and Legend gives the player the chance to choose between his two very different weapon sets for Legend, and option not provided in other bonus episodes. You can choose between time bombs or remote-controlled bombs. Judging from the translation, I suspect that Legend/Bomb plays a lot like Bomberman, dropping bombs on his current location and then moving away, maybe or (more likely) maybe not vulnerable to his own attacks. Judging again from the translation, it seems like the two bombs have different shockwaves / areas of effect as well. You play as Bomb for the rest of the scenario.

Bomb and Tseng meet up again at an arms factory, where we learn they’re dealing with a kidnapping situation. A Shinra middleman and owner of the arms factory, Mr. Rayner, has been kidnapped by an anti-Shinra group. Since they’re insisting on the release of political prisoners, and since the fuss will drag the secret location of the arms factory into the open, Shinra refuses to deal with them. Like in Episode Reno, Bomb then starts a bet with a prize on the line. While the prize isn’t specified in the transcript, we do get the conditions of the bet. Bomb says he can clear the entire facility on his own within ten minutes (the opening dialogue specifies there are a whole forty terrorists in the building, but it’s unclear if they’re all a part of this opening bet). I suspect the sequence actually ends when Bomb next makes contact with Tseng, which is well before the end of the mission, but who knows!

BC_Episode_Legend_SS_2.jpgDuring their next conversation, Tseng tells Bomb that the hostage is probably going to be held on the second floor. Bomb responds to this by saying he’s going to set explosives on all the support pillars so they can just cave in the second floor! Does he… does he understand what “hostage situation” even means? As he goes about his work, he comes across a lot of people who seem to recognize him, so many that he even comments on how strange it is that they’re all in one place, but he’s a mercenary’s mercenary and doesn’t even hesitate to blow them to kingdom come.

After setting the bombs on the pillars, Bomb actually does go to the second floor, where he finds Mr. Rayner tied up by the terrorist leader, Reck. Naturally, Bomb and Reck know one another too, just like seemingly everyone else in here. They talk briefly, at which point Bomb blows the support pillars on the first floor. The transcript doesn’t make it clear what happens to the room they’re standing in, but Bomb announces that everyone on the first floor is now dead. After this, he and Reck appear to have a fight.

As Reck lays dying, he asks Bomb to look closer at Rayner, saying Rayner has something to do with some bad business Reck and Bomb had two years prior, in 1997. When Rayner is ungagged and speaks, Bomb recognizes his voice and suggests that Rayner underwent plastic surgery at some point in the past. At this point, Tseng calls in, Bomb tells him to pass along a message to Verdot about “1997,” and then hangs up. He interrogates Rayner about 1997 as well, but when Rayner refuses to answer, Bomb leaves him in the collapsing building. We then cut ahead to Verdot’s office, where we learn Rayner died in the aftermath.

BC_Episode_Legend_SS_3.jpgTseng is pissed off that Bomb is being punished with house arrest in a vacation town for committing murder of a company agent on company time, but Verdot clarifies that Shinra doesn’t really care that Bomb let Rayner die, as it keeps their secrets safe! There’s the evil company we know and love! “Love” is the right verb here, right? Naturally, we then get some details about the incident from 1997: it seems Mr. Rayner was himself a terrorist at one point, a weapons dealer who helped yet another anti-Shinra group occupy one of Midgar’s mako reactors (god’s sake you people, why don’t these things have better security by the time of FFVII?). Verdot doesn’t tell the story in a very linear fashion: he starts by giving background, and then then talking about how he was there in person from his own point of view, and only getting to conclusions near the end. The short of it is that Rayner betrayed the terrorists and went to work for Shinra. Verdot arrested Bomb at the time, but not before Bomb hinted to him that one of Rayner’s victims was a little girl, and some of the victims, including the girl, were like family to him.

Back on the beach in the present (well, the present of this episode, anyways – at the end of the Wutai war), Tseng reveals that he now sympathizes with Bomb’s actions at the factory. Bomb, however, refuses to answer the call to return to the Turks, and tells Tseng to pass on a message to Verdot about having “the will to see things through to the end.”

Fast-forward to the start of the previous chapter, with AVALANCHE attacking Junon for the second time. Verdot has been dethroned as head of the Turks, and he calls Bomb for a favour. He tells Bomb about AVALANCHE’s occupation of Junon, and adds that’s he willing to put his life on the line to salvage the situation. That’s enough for Bomb to rejoin the Turks this time, and he hurries to Junon. Oh, you know, just the journey from Costa del Sol to Junon, it’s established as a journey that takes several days, no big deal! Bomb shows up just outside Elfé’s main position and starts raising havoc. The narration cuts us to the end of the occupation, where Tseng is promoted to head of the Turks and Bomb is introduced to the other Turks as “Legend” for the first time.

Prev: FFVII Before Crisis – The Five Against Junon
Next: FFVII Before Crisis – Hello Again, Dr. Bad Guy

Screenshots in this Journal come from a subtitled video playthrough of Before Crisis (believed to be a playthrough of the DoCoMo release), originally played by Ririn and subtitled by Grimoire Valentine. The playthrough is available on YouTube.

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