final fantasy marathon

FFVII Dirge of Cerberus – Shoot him in the head! Shoot while you’re in his head!

doc-2017-07-04-16h43m59s637Chapter 12-1: Omega & Chaos

Chapter 12 begins with Yuffie running into the room just in time to see Vincent smacked into the wall by the Lifestream. Meanwhile, outside of the city, it seems like the WRO has managed to destroy basically every part of the city but the reactors. A great pillar of Lifestream rises up and tendrils of mako energy shoot out to reactors, as the Omega Weapon manifests in the ruins of Midgar and the clouds open to reveal Kingdom Hearts. Urm… the moon. The clouds open to reveal the moon. (more…)

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FFVII Dirge of Cerberus – The True Villain, All Along! ALL Along

doc-2017-07-04-16h33m48s658Chapter 11: Beginnings

Heading inside the next building, the party found a pod for Shelke, though it’s unclear what it’s supposed to… do for her. Is it a Deepground-model healing tank that uses magic instead of fluid? An MP recharger to make up for her draining herself with the Shield Materia? Is it a mako replenisher for Shelke’s essentially-forgotten mako dependence? We just don’t know! And never will! (more…)

FFVII Dirge of Cerberus – 100/100!

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Vincent backhands a Beast.

Chapter 9: An Empire in Ruins

This chapter begins with Shelke reminding you about those big scary defences she was talking about earlier, and how they’re still a thing. Oh and extra bad news, because apparently none of your allies have managed to scratch the reactors. On the other side of the coin, Vincent has arrived at the Shinra building, however many hours late. Shelke tells him that the entrance to Deepground is in the building somewhere, but she doesn’t know where. Oh, it’s okay, Shelke, it’s only a secret elevator hidden in a building that’s 70 storeys tall, no big deal.

…Hey, wait, Shelke, didn’t you come out of this building just a few weeks ago? You know, through the entrance to Deepground? (more…)

FFVII Dirge of Cerberus – Ohhh, we were supposed to play the game as intended!

doc-2017-06-23-15h07m58s393Chapter 7: The Shera

In between Chapters 6 and 7, Kyle and I made a discovery in the Modify list: Gun frames that have reached a certain level can no longer receive traditional, flat upgrades, but you must instead choose an upgrade path from a list of three. This, by the way, is why the game offers base-level gun frames for sale, so that people who just love customization can take their favourite guns down multiple paths, or so players who have made a mistake can correct it at a cost. Our beloved Cerberus pistol frame was at this point Level III, but we didn’t have the money to upgrade it down any of the three paths (which cost the same, as you can see in the attached screenshot). Meanwhile, our Griffon submachine gun frame was Level II and couldn’t go any further without branching (this is odd, as the Hydra sniper rifle frame also goes up to Level III, so only the Griffon stops at II), but we could afford the upgrade. We had to choose between the powerful and accurate P Griffon, which had a shitty magazine size as a downside; the longer range but otherwise unremarkable S Griffon; and the jack-of-all-master-of-none M Griffon. (more…)

FFVII Dirge of Cerberus – Yuffie for WRO President

doc-2017-06-23-14h15m19s075Chapter 6: Deepground Strikes Back

We start this chapter in Vincent’s flashbacks, wherein he is speaking to Lucrecia and Hojo about their conceiving a child and experimenting on it. For some reason, Hojo appears enveloped in shadow in all of these flashbacks. It’s a lot of shadow, too! If it was simply meant to make him look menacing, they went way too far. Instead, it’s as though his identity was somehow a secret, but I can’t imagine why as established fans know perfectly well who he is and new players shouldn’t be confused into thinking his identity is a mystery, which could actually cause problems and is my biggest complaint! Frankly, Hojo should be getting an introduction for new players, not be treated as a stranger! (more…)

FFVII Dirge of Cerberus – Minesweeper

doc-2017-06-23-13h16m02s092Lost Episode

One of the most curious parts of DoC’s story occurs right at this point in the narrative. Just a few days after DoC’s North American launch, Square Enix released a bonus chapter of the game’s story to cell phones, specifically on Amp’d Mobile and Verizon in the west, developed by a company called Ideaworks3D. Called “Dirge of Cerberus Lost Episode –Final Fantasy VII–,” the game is basically lost today (like many pre-smartphone cell phone games) and the most complete surviving video is of the Japanese version with English subtitles, and even it has notable missing content. (more…)

FFVII Dirge of Cerberus – Reeve’s Résumé

doc-2017-06-12-00h43m41s672Chapter 2: Showdown in the Wastes

Taking a Shadowfox to Edge, Reeve attempts to fill Vincent in on the attackers, whom he identifies as “Deepground soldiers.” Reeve says that over the course of President Shinra’s reign, the future Mr. Human Pancake gathered the innumerable Deepground soldiers you encounter during the game without anyone noticing, and then tucked them into his basement like action figures, right next to trillions of dollars’ worth of vehicles and robots, kept under the Shinra HQ and mutated them into super-soldiers. This is a highly believable and respectable narrative.

Reeve explains that the Tsviets are Deepground’s elites, and that that’s basically all Reeve knows, and even that from rifling through Scarlet’s files. Considering Deepground wasn’t necessarily relevant to the rank-and-file until about an hour ago, he must have handed out a memo pretty damned fast if the sergeant recognized Rosso just seconds ago, in another part of the world! Reeve figures Heidegger, Scarlet and Hojo might have known more about Deepground, but they’re all dead (or so I assume Heidegger and Scarlet are dead, since Reeve makes no attempt to contact them), and he figures that Rufus doesn’t know anything at all, because of the chaos of his rise to power (though come to think of it, Reeve doesn’t make any on-screen attempt to talk to him, either…). (more…)

FFVII Dirge of Cerberus – A Palette of Mud

Just a heads up: I’ve fallen dramatically behind on writeups for both Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts, and on top of that Kyle and I have yet to clear the next FF game, Final Fantasy Tactics, in this first place.  For this and other reasons, the blog will be going on indefinite hiatus after the completion of Dirge of Cerberus and Birth by Sleep, which are the last writeups I have that are complete.

To try to sync up the end dates of BBS and DoC, Dirge of Cerberus will be uploaded at an accelerated pace: there will be two posts today, and Final Fantasy will be updating both Thursdays and Sundays.  With everything going as scheduled, this means the last KH post will be July 11th, and the last FF post will be July 13th.  Since I can’t guarantee when (or if) posts will return, you may want to consider subscribing via email or

Sorry for the bad news, but for now: on to Dirge of Cerberus!


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Or as Kyle put it at the start of our second session: “Do you want to play Dirge of Cerberus today or do you want to play something fun?”

Dirge of Cerberus. Dirge of Ceberus has the lowest Metacritic score of all Marathon games to date (besides my filler coverage of All the Bravest), beating out – to my confusion and amazement – actual digitized canker sore Mega Man X7 by a single percentage point. This also makes it the lowest Metacritic score of all single player Final Fantasy games released to date, as in “in the entire franchise,” so, uh, geeze, what do I even say? (more…)

FFVII Advent Children – Mmm, Whatcha Saaaaay…

ac-2017-04-22-21h03m05s506Back in the construction site, Kadaj attempts to kill Rufus with his Materia, but apparently hasn’t learned that Rufus is explosion proof. Rufus deliberately drops out the side of the building and starts shooting Kadaj for good measure. Kadaj doesn’t care and drops past Rufus, trying to seize his “mother.” We switch camera angles and discover that Yazoo, Loz and the Turks are improbably having their fight just below the building. We then return to the fall to reveal that Rufus takes one more shot at Kadaj, but appears to miss and instead hits the case (you could also argue that this was deliberate, it’s hard to say). Naturally, this commotion attracts the attention of the Turks and the goons. Kadaj manages to secure the damaged box and hits the ground safely, while to everyone’s surprise, two nets shoot out to catch Rufus: it seems that Elena and Tseng are alive after all, and have just been waiting for their moment! Don’t get too excited, though: they have nothing else to do in the film, and sadly don’t even appear in Dirge of Cerberus, essentially vanishing after this quick, twist cameo – though their roles were mildly extended in the Advent Children Complete cut. (more…)

FFVII Advent Children – Wile E Coyote’s Patented Elevation Technique

ac-2017-04-22-20h44m42s008In the next scene, Cloud returns to the Sector 5 church and finds Tifa unconscious. Tifa recovers briefly, long enough to tell Cloud about Marlene. This seems to trigger a response from Cloud’s stigma, which has it weeping black liquid for the first and only time in the film. The liquid falls on Aerith’s flowers below, and suddenly both Cloud and Tifa fall abruptly asleep in the flowers in a dream-like sequence, the wolf from earlier looking over them.

Cloud wakes up later in a bedroom, with Tifa on a nearby bed. Apparently this is Tifa and Cloud’s home above 7th Heaven, and they were brought there by the Reno and Rude, who report that both Denzel and Marlene have vanished. Cloud does not reply. (more…)