Saturday, 2 Mar 2024

Final Fantasy VII Timeline, Explained Part 3 (Zirconiade & Final Fantasy VII)

The release of Final Fantasy VII Remake is almost upon us and we’ve been breaking down the events of the timeline, as the spin-off media is still considered to be (mostly) canon with the story.

In the last installment of the timeline breakdown, we discussed the events of Before Crisis and Crisis Core. This time, we’ll discuss the Turks and the events of Final Fantasy VII. 

Related: Final Fantasy VII – The Five Bahamuts, Explained

Zirconiade & The Turks Shining Hour

Former Turks leader, Veld, is captured by the Shinra Corporation, while the members of AVALANCHE gather the four Materia necessary to summon Zirconiade and end all life on the planet. With the help of Rufus Shinra, the Turks free Veld, but AVALANCHE manage to summon an incomplete version of Zirconiade with the help of the Materia lodged into Elfé’s hand. Elfé is reunited with her father, Veld, as the Turks destroy Zirconiade and the Materia that is used to summon it. President Shinra agrees to forgive the Turks, so long as Elfé and Veld are executed. Some of the Turks go into hiding and some choose to stay with Shinra. Elfé and Veld are spirited away by Rufus Shinra and they escape their fate.

Cloud Strife joins AVALANCHE on a series of bombing missions in order to destroy the Mako Reactors in Midgar. It’s during the bombing of the fifth reactor that Cloud is separated from the group and falls into the slums. He is awoken by Aerith Gainsborough and she hires him as a bodyguard to protect her from the Turks. Cloud finds out that Tifa Lockhart is in Don Corneo’s mansion and he dresses like a woman to sneak inside. Once he reunites with Tifa, they discover that the Shinra Corporation is planning on dropping the Sector 7 Plate. The members of AVALANCHE (except for Barret) are killed defending the plate and Aerith is captured. The plate is dropped, killing the parents of a boy named Denzel and separating Evan Townshend from his mother.

Cloud and his friends sneak into the Shinra Headquarters in search of Aerith. They reach the lab of Shinra scientist Hojo, where they see the headless corpse of a creature called Jenova. They save Aerith and a strange animal creature named Red XIII, but they are captured during their escape. During their imprisonment, the corpse of Jenova is awoken by Sephiroth and it massacres lots of people within the Shinra Headquarters, including the president. Rufus Shinra shows up and claims control over the company. Cloud and his friends steal some vehicles and make their escape, departing from Midgar and beginning their hunt for Sephiroth.

The party reaches the nearby town of Kalm and Cloud recounts his version of the Nibelheim Incident. The group catches a chocobo and uses it to pass the nearby swamp and reach Junon. After saving the life of a young girl in Junon, they use her dolphin to reach Upper Junon. The members of AVALANCHE sneak aboard a ship bound for Costa Del Sol.

The party travels from Costa Del Sol to North Corel, where they learn about Barret’s past. They make their way to the Gold Saucer and Cloud encounters a strange robot named Cait Sith, who joins the group. A massacre happens at the Battle Square and the party is blamed, but the culprit turns out to be Dyne – Barret’s old friend who was believed dead. After dealing with Dyne, Cloud enters the chocobo races and wins the group’s freedom.

The party reaches Cosmo Canyon and they learn more about the nature of the Lifestream and Red XIII’s family history. After this, they travel to Nibelheim and find that the town has been rebuilt and no one has any memory of Sephiroth’s rampage. The group travels to Rocket Town and they meet Cid Highwind. Cid helps them escape from the town when Rufus Shinra arrives and he joins the group. They use Cid’s plane, the Tiny Bronco, to travel the world and they learn that they need a Keystone to enter the Temple of the Ancients. They can find it at the Gold Saucer and have to spend the night there. Cloud learns that Cait Sith is a traitor and that the Shinra Corporation has captured Barret’s daughter.

With the Keystone in hand, the party travels to the Temple of the Ancients and they learn more about the Cetra. They discover that Sephiroth plans to use the Black Materia contained within the Temple to summon Meteor, which will crash into the planet and cause a massive wound. Sephiroth intends to be in the center of the wound, so he can absorb the Lifestream and become a god. The party manages to retrieve the Black Materia, but Sephiroth controls Cloud’s mind and forces him to hand it over. Aerith departs from the party and heads to the Forgotten Capital. The party follows her there and she is killed by Sephiroth, dropping a White Materia into the waters beneath the city.

The party follows Sephiroth across the frozen northern continent. Sephiroth summons Meteor and the planet awakens the Weapon monsters. Sephiroth messes with Cloud’s mind some more, revealing the truth about Zack and how Cloud is a fraud. Cloud falls into the Lifestream and the party escape on the Highwind airship.

The Weapon monsters go on a rampage and AVALANCHE is blamed for the mess. Sapphire Weapon attacks Junon and it’s killed by the Mako Cannon. The party manages to escape from their execution in Junon and steal the Highwind. They find a catatonic Cloud in the town of Mideel and Tifa stays behind to take care of him. Cid becomes the leader of the team as they try to stop the Shinra Corporation from gathering the Huge Materia in order to destroy Meteor. Ultimate Weapon attacks Mideel, causing Cloud and Tifa to fall into the Lifestream. It’s there that Cloud’s mind is healed with Tifa’s help and his fractured personality is restored. Cloud becomes the leader of AVALANCHE once more and they track down the White Materia, which can be used to summon Holy – the spell that can counter Meteor.

The Shinra Corporation manages to damage Meteor with a rocket ship, but it isn’t enough. Diamond Weapon attacks Midgar, but the Mako Cannon from Junon is brought there. The cannon kills Diamond Weapon, but it counterattacks and almost kills Rufus Shinra. The Mako Cannon breaks a hole in the barrier around the North Crater. Cloud and the members of AVALANCHE parachute into Midgar and deal with the remaining Shinra leadership, including Hojo, who inputs his personality into a computer before his death.

Cloud and his friends enter the North Crater and defeat Sephiroth, but Meteor is still falling. Holy is summoned, but its strength isn’t enough to stop Meteor. The Lifestream (guided by Aerith) rises from the ground and aids Holy, stopping Meteor in its tracks.

To Be Continued. 

Final Fantasy VII Remake will be released for PlayStation 4 on April 10, 2020.

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