Final Fantasy VII (PSone) – Part 04 – The Wall Market

-The Wall Market-

The road to Sector 6 is in quite the state of disrepair. The ground is cracked and broken. There is an old crane that can’t be moved. And for some reason there seems to be a giant robot arm just lying around. As you would expect, the path is also crawling with monsters, and they seem to have much more interest in Aerith than they do Cloud. Thankfully, Aerith has a very helpful Limit Break, “Healing Wind”. Healing Wind cures the whole party’s HP and is very helpful in this early part of the game.

At the very least, it’s not a long road, and we find ourselves at the gate to Sector 7 in no time. Now that we know the way, it’s time to get Aerith back home. At least, that’s what Cloud would like to do. Aerith on the other hand still seems a little upset about the whole “help from a girl” thing from the other day. Really, there’s nothing we can do, she’s coming with us all the way to Sector 7 whether we like it or not.

Even though the road here was pretty short, Aerith insists we take a short break in the playground we pass through. She’s a bit surprised it’s still here, and probably is just happy to see it again. We end up climbing atop the…cat slide? Would you identify that as a cat? Or possibly a hamster judging by the rounded ears… Whatever. They’re on top of the slide, and Aerith immediately asks Cloud about his time in SOLDIER.

This seems to have caught Cloud off guard a bit. The screen flashes as if he is going to have another episode, but he holds it together enough to tell her he made it to a rank of First Class. We then learn that Aerith’s first boyfriend apparently also made it to the rank of First Class. This must be who her mother was talking about before.

Now Cloud is curious. What was his name? SOLDIER First Class is an exclusive group, he probably knew him. But Aerith doesn’t want to open up any more. We don’t know what happened, but it must have been painful for her if she doesn’t want to talk about it.

Even if they had wanted to continue talking, their quiet moment alone is suddenly interrupted when a Chocobo drawn carriage comes passing through the gate. To make matters worse, it looks like Tifa is in the back of the carriage. What the heck is she doing there?

Before Cloud can react, Aerith has run ahead after Tifa. He chases after the two of them and catches up to her right at the entrance to the Wall Market, a rather large shopping district. She didn’t spend much time here alone, but she quickly got the vibe that this place isn’t safe, especially for a girl.

There are a variety of reasons why it isn’t safe here, but the first person we talk to tells us the main reason. He takes one look at Aerith and calls her a “good lookin’ heifer”. He also suggests that we take her to The Don’s place and we would make a mint off her. So of course, we head straight there. Not to sell Aerith of course, but because that’s probably where Tifa ended up.

Unfortunately, busting in the front door isn’t exactly an option. All we can do is talk to the guard out front who informs us that Don Corneo isn’t interested in men. We don’t really have any proof that Tifa is in there anyway, so best not to push the issue right now. Let’s get some evidence first.

We take the time to talk to everyone in town, but no one seems to have any information for us. That is, until we discover the Honey Bee Inn. Clearly this is some kind of brothel, and one of the men outside knows about Tifa. He tells us that she’s being “Interviewed” by Don Corneo before she ends up working here at the Honey Bee Inn. On top of that, Don Corneo seems to be getting on in years, is looking to finally settle down, and is in the market for a wife.

That’s all the information we need, and we head back to Don Corneo’s mansion ready to save Tifa. But we still can’t just kick in the door, who knows what we’ll find inside. We need to scout it out first or we’re sure to get captured. Aerith quickly offers to head inside and report back on what’s going on inside, but Cloud stops her. It is obviously a VERY BAD idea to be sending a girl alone into a place like this.

They start to think about their options. It would be best if Cloud could go in himself, but being a man, that’s not an option. Not without causing a huge commotion anyway. That’s when Aerith gets a great terrible idea to have Cloud cross dress as a woman in order to sneak inside.

Once again, Cloud wants to protest, but Aerith has already made up her mind. With little time to think of a different plan, he really has no choice but to go along with it. Before he knows what’s even happening, the two of them are in a clothing store shopping for dresses.

Unfortunately, no one at the shop can make us a dress right now. The shop owner has been in a slump lately and spends most of his time drunk at the bar. If we have any hope of getting a dress, we’ll have to drag him back to work ourselves.

Just as we were told, we find him slumped over a drink at the bar. Unsurprisingly, he also doesn’t seem very interested in helping us. Not only does he not feel like making cloths right now, but he doesn’t make cloths for men regardless.

Aerith tells Cloud to walk away for a moment and she begins putting her twisted plan to work. She convinces the shop owner that Cloud REALLY wants to dress like a girl at least once, and he needs a cute dress to do it. This catches the shop owner quite by surprise. There’s no way a tough looking guy like Cloud would want to cross dress. But the thought of it seems to be just the spark this shop owner needed to get excited about working again.

It looks like her plan worked, and already the shop owner is asking us what type of dress we want. If we’re going to do this, we might as well do it right, so we ask for a nice soft dress. You know, something that shimmers. He seems to have just the thing in mind. In fact, he has a friend with the same tastes. He’ll go talk to him and start on it right away.

By the time we make it back to the shop, it looks like Cloud’s Silk Dress is ready for him to try on. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately depending on your mindset, Cloud doesn’t seem to know how to get the dress on and needs a little help from Aerith.

But a dress alone isn’t enough to make a convincing disguise for Cloud. He’s going to need a wig too if he’s going to pass as a woman. Thankfully, the shop owner had the same thought and asked his buddy for some help. Turns out a lot of the guys over at the gym also like to cross dress, so we should go talk to them about borrowing a wig for the night.

We head straight over to the gym, and it seems as if they were expecting us. They’re willing to give us a wig, but for a price. We’re going to have to challenge Big Bro for it!

It’s not going to be a fight, however. That wouldn’t be very cute. Instead we’re going to see who can do the most squats within 30 seconds. The process is fairly easy. Just cycle through pressing the Square, X, and O buttons over and over again.

There is a little bit of a catch however. If we press the buttons too quickly, Cloud may not have completed the movement and will fall out of his rhythm. He’ll then scratch his head for a second before he can get back into it. On the flip side, if we don’t do it fast enough, he won’t win the competition. Thankfully, Big Bro messed up a few times and we manage to beat him by 1 squat.

Now that we have a nice Blond Wig to go with the Silk Dress, Cloud has everything he needs to dress up as a girl. However, I’m not satisfied with this. If Cloud is going to be dressing up, he’s going to be the prettiest girl he possibly can. With that in mind, there are a few other side quests we can do in town to make Cloud the most beautiful girl he can be.

For our first stop, we head back over to the bar. Here we discover that someone has been in the bathroom FOREVER and it’s starting to cause a line. We check in on the situation, and the woman inside is clearly very sick and needs medicine.

Lucky for us, the local café is giving away free item coupons with the purchase of the daily special. It’s been a while since we’ve had anything to eat, so why not sit down and enjoy ourselves.

Coupon in hand, we head over to the pharmacy and get our choice of free medicine. Considering the woman is stuck in the bathroom, we’re going to assume Digestive medicine is the best thing for her. We quickly return to the bar to give her the medicine which makes her feel a lot better. As a reward for helping her, she gifts us some of her Sexy Cologne.

Next, we head over to the Materia shop where we find a store owner looking for our help. What’s more, he for some reason doesn’t want Aerith to know about his request, and kindly asks her to look the other way.

I’m not really sure what the big deal is though. Apparently there is a vending machine at the local Inn and he just wants to know what it sells. That’s not something you really need to bother strangers with. The only reason he doesn’t go check it out himself is because he got in a fight with the guy that runs the Inn and now he’s not allowed to go there anymore.

So this is an easy enough problem to solve. All we have to do is rent a room at the inn and check out the machine during the night. We find out there really is a little bit of mystery to the vending machine. It doesn’t tell you what it sells, just price points. We’re already committed to finding out what’s in this machine, so we might as well just buy the most expensive thing in the machine.

Mystery item in hand, we return to the Materia shop and hand it over to the owner. He identifies it as a protein drink set, and seems excited to know he has better product than the competition. As a reward for helping him, he gives us a Diamond Tiara he has just lying around on the shelf behind him. REALLY? A Diamond Tiara? It wasn’t that big of a deal to get a drink out of a vending machine. His loss I guess, it will look great on Cloud.

Last stop, we return to the Honey Bee Inn. It’s a member’s only club, so we’re turned away at the door. However, one of the men in town has decided he doesn’t want his membership card anymore, and kindly gives it to us. Now we can see what’s going on inside.

Aerith doesn’t seem too happy to be left outside, but it really isn’t a place for her to see. Once inside we’re told by the hostess to pick any of the available rooms. We are also allowed to hear her thoughts about how weird Cloud is, but I guess everyone that comes here is a little bit weird.

Case in point, we are allowed to peek inside the two occupied rooms to the right. The lower right room is occupied by an important businessman and his security detail. But it looks like he’s dressed as a king, has one of the Honey Bee girls strapped down to the bed, and somehow there are crashes of lighting coming from somewhere inside the room. The people inside also seem to be either performing a play, or possibly actually conducting some kind of cult ritual. Honestly, the whole scene is a bit surreal and hard to follow.

That we see in the other is a bit easier to understand. It’s an older couple who have been gifted the room by their son. Kind of an anniversary present I guess. Go someplace sexy to reignite the spark after all these years. Unfortunately they both seem a bit uncomfortable in this situation. They’re not the fancy types.

Now, if we want to, we can be pretty creepy while we’re here. You know, if you don’t already consider spying on people creepy. We can actually enter the girl’s changing room and see them all getting themselves ready.

With all that out of the way, we should probably pick a room for ourselves now. Since the two rooms on the right are already occupied, we only have the Group Room and the &$#% Room to choose from. &$#% scares me a little, that could be literally anything, so we enter the Group Room instead.

The hostess guides us into the room and suggests we get to it. Since we picked the Group room, she asks us if it’s because we hate being alone. We can comment that we’re used to it, but that just makes her think Cloud is the moody type.

Either way, this is the group room, so we had better call in the rest of the group. Considering the type of place this is supposed to be, I would have expected a group of girls to come rushing into the room. Sadly, that is not the case. Much to my and to a greater extent Cloud’s dismay, a large group of muscular men start filling the room and trap Cloud again the 4th wall.

Sensing Cloud’s discomfort with the situation, the man in front, Mukki,  tries to make him relax. He suggests we all take a bath together and wash off all the sweat and dirt together.

The camera is kind enough to pan up, saving us the sight of the men swarming Cloud and stripping him for the bath. Amazingly, all of them manage to squeeze inside the small tub in the corner. But that can’t be comfortable or relaxing in the slightest.

Cloud starts counting backwards from 10 in an attempt to accept his current situation. Mukki however wants to know more about him, and starts asking him his age. Cloud informs him that he is only 21 and Mukki offers him to join their Young Bubby’s Group. I don’t even know how to respond to that question, so Cloud remains silent…

After finishing his countdown, Cloud makes a desperate attempt to leave the tub. Unfortunately, Mukki isn’t going to allow it. Once again the camera pans up, saving us from the sight of whatever followed.

We rejoin them once everyone has gotten out of the tub and dressed again. Mukki however seems to have neglected to fully dress himself, intentionally of course. As a memento of our time together, he lets Cloud keep his Bikini Briefs… Awesome… Let’s hope this goes good with the rest of the outfit… Just remember, we’re doing it to save Tifa. We’re doing it to save Tifa!

With that, we leave, and hope to block it out from our mind immediately. There is one thing I forgot to do while inside, but we can’t go back now. If I had gone back into the changing room, one of the girls would have done Cloud’s makeup. Let’s hope he’s pretty enough without it. Besides, Aerith seems to have gained quite a bit of attention while we were inside, and is happy to see us return.

Now that Cloud has plenty of accessories, it’s time to head back to the clothing store and try on that dress. After putting everything on, Cloud emerges from the dressing room very clearly uncomfortable with having to cross dress. The shop keeper on the other hand sees this as the start of a whole new business path for himself. He’s actually so happy with it that he’s not even going to charge us for the dress.

Of course, Aerith can’t help herself and takes the opportunity to dig into Cloud a little. Calling him “Miss Cloud” and telling him to walk more nicely, that kind of thing.

Seeing Cloud get all dolled up just makes Aerith want a nice dress for herself as well. The shop owner and his daughter go back and forth arguing which dress would look best on her, but Aerith pays no attention to them. She sees one right away and her mind is set that THAT is the dress for her.

Her choice takes everyone by surprise as she heads off to the dressing room. After warning everyone not to peek on her, she comes out in a tight red dress that would probably be very sexy if the character models didn’t look like Legos.

FINALLY we head back to Don Corneo’s mansion and simply hope we’re not too late to still save Tifa. We must have done a good job dressing Cloud up, because the guard is practically drooling over him. Without hesitation he calls inside and tells them to open the door for a couple of good looking ladies.

Once inside, the man at the reception desk greets us and then heads off to inform Don Corneo of our arrival. He also warns us not to go wandering off. Naturally, we immediately go wandering off looking for Tifa as soon as he leaves. Side note, why is there a reception desk? This isn’t a hotel, it’s Don Corneo’s personal mansion, isn’t it? Who has a reception desk in their home?

Regardless, we start searching around for Tifa. Unfortunately, the only room we are allowed to enter is the left most room on the second floor. Once through the door, we again question the architectural logic of this building. For some reason, the door on the 2nd floor leads to a long stone stairway all the way down to the basement. WHO PUTS A BASEMENT ACCESS STAIRWAY ON THE SECOND FLOOR?!

One look at the basement, at it is very clear that it is some kind of torture room. Judging from the deep red stains on the torture table, it’s one that is used rather frequently as well. This is definitely not the type of place you would want your possible future bride to see. But for some reason, this is where we find Tifa waiting for her “interview” with Don Corneo.

Right away, Tifa and Aerith start talking and trying to reassure the other that there isn’t anything going on between them and Cloud. Aerith just met him, and Tifa is just a childhood friend. Poor Cloud. Not only does he have to cross dress, but now he’s being friend zoned by two woman at the same time.

Tifa is initially confused by what Aerith said, she doesn’t see Cloud anywhere within earshot. It’s then that she gets a good look at him and so many questions start racing to her mind. Why is he dressed like a girl? What is he doing here? And of course Is he hurt from the fall?

Cloud does his best to answer her barrage of questions, but he has some questions of his own. Main one being, what is she doing here in the first place?

Turns out, when everyone else made it back to the bar after the last bombing, there was a weird man waiting for them. Barret managed to capture him and squeeze some information out of him. But all they managed to get was Don Corneo’s name. Figuring it was her only lead, she took it upon herself to meet with him and try to get some more information out of him personally.

Unfortunately, she seems to have gotten herself in over her head. She already knew that he was a perverted creep. What she didn’t know was that he is currently looking for a bride.

Apparently, he gathers up 3 girls every night, and picks out his favorite to… you know… test drive… If Tifa is going to get any information out of him, she has to be the girl he picks tonight. Overhearing this, Aerith comes up with another of her plans. If Tifa knows the other 2 girls, then there isn’t any problem. Whoever the Don chooses will be able to press him for information.

Cloud once again tries in vain to stop her, and keep her safe, but we all know she isn’t going to listen at this point. Not that they have any time to come up with a better plan, because right then the receptionist finds them and tells them The Don is waiting for them. He is also curiously unfazed by the fact they were all hanging out in the basement torture room…

The three find their way to The Don’s room and line up in front of him. He seems quite pleased with his selections tonight and takes a closer look at each of them. He looks them over up and down trying to decide which of them is the best looking.

Despite Cloud’s efforts to not even make eye contact with Don Corneo, in the end, he is the one the Don chooses. That has to hurt Tifa and Aerith at least a little, being passed over in favor of a guy in drag. Then again, we really did go all out making Cloud look as pretty as possible.

Turns out, Cloud’s hard to get attitude is what really caught The Don’s attention. Cloud tries to protest, but that just makes The Don want him even more. Looks like Cloud is going to have to take one for the team…

There’s no way out of it now. The Don tells the other men they can do what they want with Tifa and Aerith. Meanwhile, Cloud walks behind him to the bedroom with his head hung in shame.

Once they’re alone, Don Corneo is ready to go on the bed. Cloud however is understandably reluctant to go near the don at all. This is such an uncomfortable moment for him.

Sensing Cloud’s discomfort, The Don’s feelings get a little hurt. Doesn’t she like him? Or maybe there is someone else already? Cloud can do his best to avoid the questions, but after a while he starts talking in circles. The only way we’re going to get through this is if we agree to play along, to a point anyway.

Finally Cloud gives up the act and removes his disguise. He isn’t here to become The Don’s bride. He wants answers, and he wants them now. Seeing Cloud for what he really is, he calls desperately for help, but no one comes. Turns out Tifa and Aerith managed to defeat all of his guards and have made their way into the bedroom as well.

Now that everyone is together, they get right to work asking questions. First question, what did his assistants find out? If he doesn’t give them an answer, Cloud is going to “Chop them off”!

That’s all the motivation The Don needs, and he starts telling them everything they want. He was ordered to find out where the man with the gun-arm lived. That couldn’t have been a very hard job. Barret kind of stands out without the need for undercover spies or anything complicated like that.

But who ordered him to look find Barret. This is a question he doesn’t want to answer. If he does, they’ll kill him. On the other hand, if he doesn’t answer, Aerith is going to “Rip them off”!

Once again, Don Corneo tells them what they want to know. It was apparently Heidegger, the head of Public Safety Maintenance with Shinra. Well that makes a lot of sense. The public safety department probably isn’t too happy to see a group of people going around and blowing stuff up. But that answer isn’t good enough for Tifa. Shinra never does anything simply to protect the people, they must have some bigger plan in the works.

Now Tifa really means business. If the Don doesn’t give her some answers, she’s going to “Smash them” with her bare hands! As if Don Corneo wasn’t scared enough already, this seems to be the one that confirms for him that these three mean everything they say.

Finally, Don Corneo spills everything he knows. Shinra knows all about AVALANCHE and wants to crush them while they can. And he means LITTERALLY crush them. They have planned to go so far as to intentionally destroy the support beam holding up the Sector 7 Plate and allow it to come crashing down onto the slums below.

It’ll be easy too. Once the support is gone, the plate will fall and everything below it will be destroyed. Sure, lots of people are going to die that have nothing to do with this fight, but those are acceptable loses as far as Shinra is concerned.

Hearing this, Tifa insists they rush off to Sector 7 to warn everyone. Unfortunately, Don Corneo isn’t going to let them leave that easily. They threatened his life and made him tell his secrets. Can they even imagine how that makes him feel?

Cloud guesses that he’s pretty much given up on life at this point. But that was apparently the wrong answer. Reaching over to a lever by the side of the bed, Don Corneo pulls it and the floor drops out from below our heroes. As they fall to the pit below, Don Corneo does a little dance, happy to have gotten one over on the people who threatened him.

As our group falls into the unknown, we are treated to a view from inside the Shinra Headquarters. Heidegger is reporting in to the Shinra President with his progress towards destroying AVALANCHE. Thankfully, not everyone at Shinra are monsters, as we see Reeve try to plead for reason. AVALANCHE is a small group with only a few members. There has to be a way to stop them that doesn’t involve destroying 1/8th of the city.

Unfortunately, this brings Reeve’s loyalty to the company into question. He assures them he is on board, but as head of the Urban Development Department, he was personally involved with building Midgar. It must hurt to see it destroyed in such a petty way.

On top of his own objections to the plan, the Mayor of the city is strongly against it as well. Unfortunately, we learn from Heidegger that the mayor is just a figure head. He doesn’t have any real power anymore. Instead he just sits in his office all day stuffing his face.

It’s clear that Reeve has lost this argument, and Heidegger simply walks away laughing to himself. The Shinra President tries to brush off Reeve’s suggestions as if he’s simply tired and needs a vacation. Either way, the plan is going to move forward. They’ll destroy sector 7 and blame the whole thing on AVALANCHE. Then they’ll swoop in with a rescue team and play the whole thing up like they are the heroes.

We return to the real heroes of this story and discover they have been dropped into the sewer system below the slums. They’re dirty, and smelly, but otherwise they appear to be uninjured. So I guess things could be worse.

And because OF COURSE things can be worse, they instantly become worse. No sooner do they all get back on their feet are they attacked by Aps, a giant monster that lives in the Sewers. It’s also a fairly powerful monster capable of causing a small tsunami with the sewer water. Thankfully it’s not a very smart monster, because it ends up taking more damage than we do from that attack.

Thankfully, Sewer Tsunamis are pretty much this things only attack. It takes a little while, but it is ultimately defeated without much trouble.

Even though they defeated the monster, all these delays cause Tifa to fall into despair. They’re taken too long to warn everyone in time, they’re probably all dead already. Luckily Aerith isn’t the type to give up. She reminds Aerith that it isn’t that easy to simply destroy the support pillars. Plus I doubt Barret and everyone else are just going to sit back and watch it happen.

With those words of encouragement, they make their way out of the sewers. There isn’t much to explore here, but we are lucky enough to find a “Steal” Materia that someone must have accidentally flushed down the drain. We choose to equip it to Tifa since she just gives off the most thief like vibe to me. Shortly after, we find a ladder leading up to the surface, and we are done running around in filth.

As luck would have it, we emerge right in the middle of the Sector 7 Train Yard. If we can get past the broken down trains, we’ll be able to warn everyone about what’s going to happen.

We start to make our way through the wreckage, fighting various battles along the way. Now that we have the Steal Materia, it’s always a good idea to see what types of items we can get off different enemies. I’m not going to list everything we can steal off of every enemy, but if I find something I think is interesting, I might share it. For starters, these dragon like Deenglow enemies are very common in this area and it’s possible to steal Ether off of them. Since the magic attacks generally do more damage than the physical, it might be worth it to stock up on Ethers to restore MP when needed.

The other stealable item I want to point out right now is the Striking Staff which can be stolen from Eligor. Fighting Eligor can be rather difficult because of the various status effects Eligor can inflict on the party. It also has a “Mono Laser” attack which it fires off several times in a row before our party has a chance to react. It’s worth it in the end though, because the Striking Staff is an amazing weapon for Aerith. It has literally twice the attack power of the Mythril Rod we were able to buy for her back at the Wall Market.

Once we’re satisfied stealing things from the enemies, we head off through the Train Yard. Sadly, our path is blocked by a derailed train car. Not a problem, we’ll just jump inside a couple of the trains that still are on the tracks and push it out of the way.

We make it out of the Train Yard and it looks as if we’re not too late after all. However, the battle has already begun. A crowd has gathered around the base of the support pillar, and up above we see gunfire being exchanged between AVALANCHE and Shinra.

In the middle of the exchange, Wedge is unfortunate enough to take a hit and fall completely off the pillar. He lands with the thud next to us, barely a breath left in him. But Barret is still up there fighting, we need to go help him, or everyone is going to die as well.

Cloud and Tifa set their sights on climbing the tower to help, but before that, Tifa asks Aerith for a favor. Her bar is just around the corner, go find Marlene and get her somewhere safe!

Not wasting any more time, we head up the tower to where Barret is fighting. Along the way, we find Biggs and Jessie. Much like Wedge, it doesn’t look like they’re going to make it out of this, even if we do stop Shinra from destroying the tower. The only one left fighting is Barret.

We finally make it to the top, and Barret is pinned down from Helicopter fire. We have a tough battle ahead of us if we’re going to save the slums, and to the game’s credit, it gives us a quick moment to prepare ourselves before that happens.

The helicopter makes a fly by, and Reno from the Turks jumps off it down onto the platform. With one push of a button a bomb is set and the fate of the support pillar is sealed. Quite curious that they built a self-destruct feature into a support beam. I hope that’s not a standard construction feature that I’m simply unaware of.

We’ll have to fight Reno now if we have any hope of stopping the bomb. Unfortunately, Reno is not to be taken lightly. On top of being a strong enemy, he has a very unique attack that traps our party members inside small pyramids. Once inside, that party member cannot perform any actions to help the flow of battle, however, it is easily destroyed if attacked from the outside by one of the other party members.

Sadly, we never manage to defeat Reno. He’s no idiot, and knows enough not to stick around for the bomb to explode. With time running out, she runs from the battle, jumping off the side of the platform to get away.

With Reno gone, Tifa and Cloud do the best they can to disarm the bomb, but they won’t have any luck. Turns out, it’s not a normal bomb. On cue, Tseng of the Turks shows up to inform us that it is a special bomb that will explode if anyone is stupid enough to touch it.

Only a Shinra Executive has the ability to disarm the Emergency Plate Release System. Hearing this, Barret points his gun arm at the helicopter and opens fire, apparently content to simply take them down with him if this is going to be the end.

However, Tseng isn’t alone. While we were all busy climbing the tower, the Turks were busy kidnapping Aerith. We leave her alone for 2 minutes and this happens, she’s just as bad as Princess Peach.

They’ve been trying to get her for a long time, so I’m sure the Shinra President will be happy to hear this news. Before she is taken away, Aerith manages to tell Tifa that Marlene is safe. So at least we have that to be happy about. No dead 4 year olds in this game!

With that, the helicopter flies away. Just in time too. As soon as they start flying away, the pillar starts exploding, sending large chunks of debris crashing down to the slums below.

There’s no stopping it now, the plate is going to fall. There’s no time to run down the stairs, we have to find another way off the tower. That’s when Barret manages to break loose one of the tower’s guide wires. We can use it to swing down to the ground like Spider-Man.

The plate starts to fall, and we see firsthand that not everyone was able to escape. There were still plenty of people living in the slums who are going to be crushed to death. But we also see that there were plenty of people still on the plate that are now falling to their doom as well.

Meanwhile, we see the Shinra President standing by his window in his office, looking down on the carnage below. Not a hint of emotion or regret can be seen from him. This was an acceptable loss in order to defeat his enemies. A chilling glimpse at the type of corporation Shinra really is.