The Northern Crater Cave
You have now reached the final chapter of the game. The game continues on the deck of the Highwind with instructions to proceed into the Northern Cave Crater. However, at this point in the game you can backtrack and turn around after visiting most sections of the the Northern Cave Crater.
It is recommended that you turn around and exit the Northern Cave Crater to complete any of the numerous side quests, but before you leave you should travel into the Northern Crater at least for the sake of picking up all of the useful items, weapons, equipment and Materia that can be found throughout. There will be plenty of warnings in this walkthrough when you are about to reach a point of no return.
This walkthrough will assume that you are proceeding directly through to the end of the game without turning around to do any side quests. The end-game bosses will be much easier if you completed the side quests and continued to level up your characters.
Walk towards the screen until you reach the side of the crater. Choose “Alright, let’s go!” once you and your team are ready to proceed. Cloud will automatically slide down the side of the crater.
Inside the Northern Cave
The first cave on the north side of the screen is the direction you would take when trying to exit the Northern Crater. Open the treasure chest to find a Save Crystal. The Save Crystal item allows you to create a Save Point anywhere in the Northern Cave, but be very careful using it as there are a host of glitches and errors that can be caused if you use it in the wrong location that can ruin the game. More information can be found in the Final Fantasy Wikia page entry on the Save Crystal Glitch. For this reason, the recommendation is that you do not use the Save Crystal while in the Northern Crater.
There are several enemies in the Northern Crater that use Sudden Death attacks, such as L4 Death, which will not be prevented by any of your Ribbon accessories. Equip one of your characters with the Safety Bit accessory that you picked up in the Great Glacier. Dark Dragon enemies (pictured below) can also teach you the Dragon Force enemy skill through your Enemy Skill Materia. You will have to Manipulate the Dark Dragon and have it use Dragon Force on your party members.
Jump over the hole created by the chunk of rock that falls down the crater. Continue following the pathway around the opening until you reach the next treasure chest which contains a Guard Source.
The next section of the Northern Cave contains a split pathway going left or right. Travel down the left side of the pathway and press the OK button to climb up onto the ledge at the top left side of the screen. The treasure chest on the left contains a Power Source and there is a hidden HP Absorb Materia on the right side of the ledge. Go down one more ledge to pick up another treasure chest that contains an Elixir. Continue downwards until you reach the last treasure chest that contains a Magic Source.
Now travel all the way back up to the top and take the pathway down the right side of the screen. There is a treasure chest that contains a Mind Source and one that contains a Guard Source. Continue down into the next area once you have obtained all of the items.
The next area is a blue-looking cave with a number of ledges on different levels (shown in the screenshot below). Jump down off the first ledge and then walk to the right. Cloud will automatically drop down to the ledge next to the treasure chest. Open it to receive another Mind Source. Walk to the right side of this ledge and turn around and face left and you will be prompted to “Press (OK) button to jump”. This will cause Cloud to jump up one level.
Walk to the other side of the platform and jump down. Enter the cave to find a treasure chest that contains a Megalixir. Exit the cave and walk towards the left and Cloud will automatically fall down a few levels. There is a Hero Drink in the treasure chest to the right on this platform.
Enter the cave and grab the treasure chest in the middle of the screen that contains another Guard Source. Proceed upwards from here to find another treasure chest at the top-right side of the screen. You will have to go through the cave located just under the treasure chest in order to reach it. Use the screenshot below for reference. The treasure chest contains a Power Source. Take the exit to the left of this treasure chest area at the top of the screen.
Travel to the right this time and drop down again, but this time continue to the right again to drop down one more time. Enter the cave and follow it around and back out of the cave again. Drop off the left side of this ledge and then continue downward until you reach the bottom.
Your remaining unused party members will be visible at the bottom of this screen. Climb down the rock formation to meet up with them and they will decide that it is time to split up into two groups.
Split Pathways - Two Groups
There are now a set of split pathways and you can choose which party members are sent which direction. Any party members that are sent to the left will be given another option of either heading down the upper or lower pathway. Any party members that do not come with Cloud will meet up with Cloud later on and provide him with the items they have found. This means that you can get two copies of each of the items if you send the right party members to each area and if you go get the treasure chest with Cloud himself. So what items can you get?
|Team Member||Right Pathway||Left/Upper Pathway||Left/Lower Pathway|
|Cid||Speed Source||Imperial Guard||Elixir|
|Red XIII||Mind Source||Shield Materia||Speed Source|
|Tifa||Mystile||Hero Drink||Turbo Ether|
|Vincent||Megalixir||Magic Source||Mega All Materia|
Note: If your only goal is to get to the end and complete the game you can choose whichever pathway you want your party to go down. If you save your game or return to the Highwind before you meet up with your team members you will not receive the proper duplicated items.
If you take the right pathway with Cloud you will not be given the option to choose whether the other party members take the upper or lower pathway when they go left. As such, they have a 50/50 chance of giving you either item listed under the left pathway columns in the table above.
Barret and Cait Sith get lackluster items no matter which direction you send them. Tifa will give you a fairly nice piece of armor (Mystile) if she takes the pathway to the right. Cid, Red XIII and Yuffie all give very nice items if you send them down the left / upper pathway (Imperial Guard, Shield Materia and Counter Materia). Vincent would give a fairly useful item too if he were to take the left / lower pathway ( Mega All Materia) however, when compared to the other items you can receive, the Mega All Materia is of limited value at the later stages of the game. Having one copy of it will suffice. It is not worth sacrificing the extra Imperial Guard, Shield Materia and Counter Materia just to get another Mega All Materia.
Keeping in mind the items above and the justifications provided, split up your party as follows:
- Cloud: Left
- Barret: Left
- Tifa: Right
- Red XIII: Left
- Yuffie: Left
- Cait Sith: Left
- Vincent: Left
Choose your new party members out of the six who have gone left with Cloud and then travel down into the next screen. At the second fork in the road, split up your party as follows:
- Cloud: Down
- Barret: It does not matter but send him Down and you can add him in as a party member
- Red XIII: Up
- Yuffie: Up
- Cait Sith: It does not matter but send him Down and you can add him in as a party member
- Vincent: It does not matter but send him Down and you can add him in as a party member
- Cid: Up
Choose your new party again one more time out of the remaining party members (Barret, Cait Sith and Vincent). You have likely been left with having to use party members that are not part of your core team. As such, you should take precautions to make this new party as strong as possible. All of the Materia that your other party members were carrying will have returned to your inventory. Equip your new party members with Materia and some of your strongest armor (Escort Guard, Ziedrich, Dragon Armlet, etc.). Touph Rings are also quite helpful.
The first area to explore now is the lower pathway. Use the screenshot below to make sure that you have entered the appropriate cave. There is a treasure chest at the bottom of the steps on the left that contains a Remedy. On the right side of the screen is a treasure chest that contains an Elixir. The chest at the bottom of the screen contains an X-Potion. Proceed to the next screen by continuing towards the bottom-right.
Jump off the top floor and grab the chest on the right side of the screen which contains a Vaccine. There is a chest around the pathway that contains a Turbo Ether. Touch the glowing wall on the left side of the screen to pick up a Magic Counter Materia. Exit on the bottom-right side of the screen to proceed into the next area.
Jump down and open the treasure chest to receive an X-Potion. There is a another treasure chest further down the pathway that contains a Turbo Ether. There is a floating purple Materia on the next platform but Cloud will automatically jump off the platform as soon as he lands. Press the Circle as soon as Cloud lands to pick up the Mega All Materia. The treasure chest on the opposite platform contains a Speed Source. The next screen down is the last screen before the end of the game. You can continue downward but the next screen is the Bottom of the Northern Cave. If you enter this room any further than just the doorway at the entrance you will not be able to get duplicates of the items listed above. Instead, travel all the way back up to the split pathway.
Backtrack until you reach the screen shown in the screenshot below where the group split between the upper and lower pathway. Take the “upper” pathway which is actually in the middle of the screen (shown with Cloud standing in front of it in the screenshot). This is one of the better areas to level up in the game with enemies that give a lot of AP when defeated.
You may run into an enemy called a Magic Pot (shown in the screenshot below). They are immune to damage and do not do anything except say “Gimmie Elixir!”. Provide it with an Elixir and then destroy it to receive a large amount of EXP, AP and gil. They cannot be attacked unless you use an Elixir and can steal your items if you attack them.
Follow the pathway that leads to the lower-right side of the screen and jump over to the treasure chest which contains a Magic Source. Go back around and take the upper pathway which automatically makes Cloud go underwater to reach the other side of the room. Grab the treasure chest at the back of the room which contains a Remedy and then proceed into the next area through the doorway at the top-right of the screen.
In this next screen you cannot get the closest treasure chest just yet. Walk past it and grab the treasure chest at the back left side to receive a Vaccine. Take the pathway beside it to grab the green Shield Materia sitting at the top of the ledge. Walk downwards from this spot and Cloud will automatically enter the water and reappear beside the treasure chest closest to the screen. Open it to pick up an Imperial Guard armor. Travel back north away from the screen and through the water again. There is one more treasure chest on the right side of the screen that contains a Hero Drink. The pathway to the next area is towards the back-right.
At the very center of this bright glowing area is a tiny blue Counter Materia. This Materia is similar to Counter Attack Materia and Magic Counter Materia except that it counters with a paired Command Materia whenever damage is incurred. Command Materia are the yellow ones. There is also a purple W-Magic Materia located towards the top of the screen in behind the leaves. Another mistake made by the developers as technically W-Magic Materia is yellow. This is essentially as far as you can go so backtrack all the way back to where the team first split between the left and right pathways.
Note: There is an enemy in this section of the Northern Cave that uses a move called Pandora’s Box, one of the more difficult enemy skills to acquire on your Enemy Skill Materia. The enemy is called a Dragon Zombie and it is shown in the screenshot below. The problem is that only the first Dragon Zombie you encounter will ever use Pandora’s Box and it will only use Pandora’s Box one time at the end of the fight (this is the way Dragon Zombies were programmed into the game for some reason). Only one character can ever learn an enemy skill through an Enemy Skill Materia at a time, which means that in order to get Pandora’s Box on all four of your Enemy Skill Materia you have to make sure that they are all equipped on one single character.
Continue down the spiraled pathway around the cave stalactite until you reach the bottom. Choose to “Go down” when given the option.
At the bottom of the cave you will find a treasure chest that contains a Mystile armor. There is also an Elixir sitting on the pathway on the right side of the screen. Grab it and continue down the pathway until you reach another treasure chest which contains a Speed Source. At the very bottom-right side of the screen is another treasure chest which contains a Tetra Elemental accessory. There is one last treasure chest to the north-east which contains a Megalixir. Proceed towards the light to reach the next screen.
Follow the bones around and down and you will reach the bottom of the Northern Cave. Now that you have gone through each of the areas you can proceed into this room and obtain the duplicated items.
Bottom of the Northern Cave
There is a treasure chest on the right side of the room that contains a Luck Source. Walk around to the left side of the room to continue the story. Talk to each of your team members and if you followed the steps listed above you should receive the items listed above.
This is the farthest that you can go in the Northern Cave. This is the point of no return. Continuing beyond this point leads straight through to the end of the game and there are no Save Points from here on out. It is recommended that you travel back up to the Highwind and save your game so that you can continue on with some of the remaining side quests that are available while holding onto all of the loot that you picked up in the Northern Cave.
Check out the Disc 3 index page or the Side Quest index page for more information on the side quests that are available. Sephiroth is by no means the most difficult boss to fight so if you want more Final Fantasy VII action there are a ton of additional quests to complete.
Continue to the next page for more information about the final battles against Sephiroth.