Visiting Gongaga and the ruined reactor is not mandatory - you can actually skip by it and drive right past it in your Buggy.
Assuming you did stop at Gongaga, hop in your Buggy and proceed directly west out along the lower edge of the continent and across the shallow portion of the river between the two forested areas (shown in the screenshot below). Continue west and drive around the rocky cliff onto the rocky pathway.
You can see Cosmo Canyon in the distance as you work your way through the trail. If you try to go past Cosmo Canyon with your Buggy it will break down. Use the mini-map below to help guide you if you are having trouble finding it.
Make sure that Barret is in your party when you enter Cosmo Canyon if you plan on obtaining the Best Bromance Trophy. Read the information window below for more details.
Speak to the guard at the top of the stairs after ‘Nanaki’ goes running past. Tell the guard that you are not familiar with Cosmo Canyon or he will not let you pass. Nanaki / Red XIII will speak to the guard in order to allow passage for Cloud and the rest of the team.
Finding all of the doors and passageways hidden throughout Cosmo Canyon can be fairly difficult. An easy way to make them all visible is to press the Button (or the [Touch Pad Button] in the PlayStation 4 version of the game) to highlight all doors and to put a small finger-pointer icon over Cloud.
Make sure that Barret is in your party when you enter Cosmo Canyon. Follow Nanaki up the stairs and in to the shop. Find Barret in the room behind Tiger Lily’s weapon shop and suggest talking to him more about AVALANCHE:
|“Go on”||+ 3 to Barret|
|“Not really”||No change|
|“And then?”||+ 3 to Barret|
|“Yeah, whatever...”||No change|
If you are attempting to obtain the Best Bromance trophy you should now have all of the proper points in place to go out on a date with Barret when returning to Gold Saucer.
The first stop is the door behind the fire in the middle of Cosmo Canyon shown in the screenshot below. The main floor is called Pub “Starlet”, but more importantly, on the second floor of the building, which is called the Shildra Inn, there is a Turtle’s Paradise No. 5 posted on the wall - part of the Turtle’s Paradise side quest.
Enter the Shildra Inn bedroom and search in the barrel on the left side of the room to find an Elixir. The ladder to the right of the Pub/Inn leads to the Item Store where you can purchase the following items:
Take this opportunity to stock up on a few Antidotes (not available at this point in the game in the PlayStation 4 version of the game).
Travel up the stairs leading to where Nanaki / Red XIII is waiting - speak to him to continue the story. Follow him into the next room and save your game at the Save Point.
There is a piece of paper posted to the left of the Weapon Shop which is actually Turtle Paradise Newsletter Number 4. Read it and you will have read five out of six of the newsletters.
The Weapon Store here sells a number of high-end weapons. They have high attack power but unfortunately you will have to give up the double growth rate of your previous weapons in order to use them. The weapons on sale include the following:
You can also purchase Silver Armlet armor. Purchase the Silver Barrette for Red XIII as you will be forced to use him in your party very shortly.
Proceed through the pathway on the left and continue climbing up the stairs. This room is called the Gate of Naught. The doorway on the bottom right leads to the Materia Shop - it’s the room where Yuffie is standing. You have to talk to him twice in order to purchase anything.
Despite Yuffie saying that the Materia here ‘sucks’, this Materia Shop sells HP Plus Materia and MP Plus Materia. It’s very expensive but definitely worth the gil. Sell some of your Ethers if you are having trouble coming up with the gil to buy 3 (one for each party member).
Climb the ladder in the area outside of the Materia Shop up to the Observatory and go in through the front door. Speak to Nanaki / Red XIII and Bugenhagen, Red’s grandfather, to continue the story.
Climb back down the ladder when you are instructed to and speak to Cait Sith in the room beside the Materia Shop to form up a party of three. Speak to Bugenhagen again to initiate another cutscene.
Travel down to the fire pit in the center of Cosmo Canyon to continue the story. Speak to all of your party members and then speak to Nanaki / Red XIII last. You will have to form up a party that includes Red XIII, Cloud and one other party members.
You can speak to your other party members to swap between them which will allow you to pull the Materia off your other primary party member if you have not been using Red XIII in your party.
Work your way back up towards the Observatory until you reach the Gate of Naught where Bugenhagen is standing (shown in the screenshot below). Bugenhagen will open the locked door allowing the team to enter the Cave of the Gi.
Travel down the ropes and ladders until you reach the bottom of the sealed cave and proceed through the opening on the right side of the screen.
Cave of the Gi
There are several enemies in the Cave of the Gi, including Sneaky Steps and Gi Spector (pictured below) that can cast a move called Death Sentence on your party members. This is a skill that can be learned using your Enemy Skill Materia. You should make sure to learn it before you leave the cave.
Walk down the pathway and you will come across a hole in the cave. Each cave has a “strange looking rock” inside which you can break open. There are five holes in the wall, each with a rock and each time you break the rock open you will be thrown into battle until you find the correct rock which will cause the doorway up ahead to open.
The cave with the non-boobytrapped rock is the third one shown in the screenshot below. Break the rock inside to open the doorway to the right of the cave.
The pathway splits in the next area with one path going upward and one going to the left. Proceed down the left pathway but be careful of the oily substance just up ahead. If you run across the substance you will be launched into a set of spikes and it will cost you some HP.
Make sure to walk across the oil by letting go of the Button. Travel south of the oily area back into the previous screen and pick up the Added Effect Materia.
Travel back up to the oily spot and take a right. Go north once you reach the right side of the screen. Take a left at the next intersection and go down the stairs.
There is a treasure chest to the north that contains an Ether and a chest to the south that contains a Black M-phone weapon for Cait Sith. Travel back up to the top of the stairs and head down the path leading northwest. Bugenhagen will talk to the team one more time before you move in to the next area.
The next area has five separate caves that you can travel through. Take the fourth cave and touch the spider web to initiate a fight.
Battles against these spiders, which are called Stingers in the game, are fairly difficult. They will use a move called Sting Bomb on your entire team. It cannot actually kill you as it operates similar to Demi spells - it will reduce a party member’s HP by around 70-80%.
While it can’t actually reduce a team members HP to 0, it does it for a large amount of HP which makes it easy for one of the Stingers subsequent attacks to KO a team member. Continue down the pathway after you have defeated the Stinger to find a treasure chest that contains an X-Potion.
Return to the area with the five separate tunnels. Travel through the second cave and loop over to the left and back south to pick up a treasure chest.
You have to stop halfway through the tunnel and press right on the directional pad in order to reach the treasure chest. Use the screenshot below to guide you. The treasure chest contains a Fairy Ring.
Go back up to the previous section of the pathway and go north to find one final spider web. Walk through it and battle the Stinger and then take the hidden pathway on the left side to grab the treasure chest on the left side of the screen. This chest contains a Turbo Ether.
Walk towards the huge face in the stone to initiate the next boss battle.
All Final Fantasy games tend to have at least one undead boss. In Final Fantasy VIII it is the Abadon in the Great Salt Lake, in Final Fantasy IX it is the Soulcage at the Iifa Tree and in Final Fantasy X it is the Evrae Altana in the Via Purifico.
Reward: Wizer Staff
A video demonstration of this battle is included below for reference:
Pick up the Gravity Materia on the ground after the battle is over and follow Bugenhagen and Nanaki / Red XIII into the next area.
Red XIII will rejoin the party as you attempt to leave Cosmo Canyon. You will now automatically have a weapon for Red XIII in your inventory called a Seraph Comb (with a description mentioning that it is a memento from ‘father’).
The Seraph Comb has an incredibly high attack power of 68 which is nearly double that of your other character’s highest weapons.
The Buggy will now be repaired if you managed to take it far enough past Cosmo Canyon that it broke down. The next stop is Cloud and Tifa’s hometown of Nibelheim.