Bone Village is an archaeological dig site in the Icicle Area in Final Fantasy VII. It is the entrance to the Sleeping Forest. It is accessible as soon as the player obtains the Tiny Bronco, but the digging minigame won't be available until after completing Temple of the Ancients. The Bone Village is a useful place to visit for the double growth armor they sell and for the few unique items that can be dug up during the minigame. The player can retrieve certain missed items by digging at Bone Village.
Aeris travels through the Bone Village on her way to the Forgotten City of the Cetra, but Sephiroth is following her. Her plan is to use the White Materia to summon Holy and stop Meteor. Cloud and his party follow them, but are stopped by the Sleeping Forest that will not allow them to pass unless they have dug out a Lunar Harp.
One of the diggers notes that Aeris used "a Lunar Harp" to go through the forest, indicating it is not a unique item.
The Bone Village is located to the south on Gaia's northern continent.
Talking to the person sitting at the doorway will allow the player to excavate items hidden throughout the village. For 100 gil a head, one can hire up to five people to dig in one place each for an item. The player can excavate many items, like the key item Lunar Harp required to continue with the game. One can also get such things as Vincent's weapon, the Buntline, a Megalixir, and a Mop, a weapon for Cid. After the player has the Highwind and Cloud returns to the party, one can also find the Key to Sector 5 to access Midgar.
Due to a glitch, the ladder in Bone Village can only be climbed using while the player is excavating, even if customized controls are being used (the player does not need to switch back to normal controls for this to work). During normal gameplay however, the currently set [OK] button will work for this ladder.
There are eight predetermined spots around the village that hold treasures. If the player fails to search on one of the designated spots, they will either get a Potion or nothing (50% chance).
The list of items that can be found are as follows:
- Location 1
- Lunar Harp (Only once)
- Location 2
- Key to Sector 5 (Only once)
- Location 3
- Location 4
- Location 5
- Location 6
- Megalixir (Only once)
- Bahamut ZERO (Only once, and only if the player failed to save any Huge Materia)
- Location 7
- Location 8
Text for obtaining Steal Materia and Catastrophe (Barret's ultimate Limit Break) exist in the game data, but these treasures are never placed on the map, meaning they cannot be dug. This may be because neither can be be missed.
The excavation works by placing searchers on the site and detonating a bomb, at which point all the units will face toward the treasure. The player then places a digger on the spot of their choosing. There is no need to place the search units if the player already knows where the treasure is; they can go straight to placing the digging unit. The placement of the treasures on the map doesn't change, so the player can easily dig without hiring searchers, meaning the player can obtain items such as Ethers and Elixirs for free.
When wanting to dig, the man asks the player to choose between a Good and Normal treasure. This doesn't affect the treasures that are buried, but it affects which dig spot the searchers will face. Thus, if the player places no searchers, it makes no difference choosing Good or Normal. Before Lunar Harp has been dug, the searchers always point toward it. Choosing "Good" treasure has the searchers pointing toward Buntline/Phoenix Materia, Megalixir/Bahamut ZERO and Mop/W-Item. Choosing "Normal" treasure has the searchers pointing toward Elixir, Ether, Turbo Ether, or Potion. The "Normal" treasures, apart from the Potion treasure, can also be the Key to Sector 5 when it is available.
After asking the Bone Village staff to search for the treasure overnight, it counts as staying at the inn, and the party will be healed by the morning.
The dig spots are marked by very small polygons, a fraction of a pixel in size. When the game is rendered at 3840x2160 or 4k it is possible to better make out the small teal polygons for exact treasure locations.
The man who offers to dig also sells items:
|Diamond Bangle||3,200 gil|
|Rune Armlet||3,700 gil|
The theme that plays in Bone Village is called "Provincial Town".
Behind the scenes
Dummied dialogue suggests a person in Bone Village gives details on the puzzles in Ancient Forest. The dialogue would allow the player to find information about Pitcher Plants (which carry insects and launch the character), "Big Eaters" (大喰らい, Ō Kurai?) (not translated in the English version, shut and damage the player when ran over), and Inchworms (しゃくとり虫, Shakutori Mushi?) (the pink bouncy rope-like things that can be jumped onto). A dialogue-option for Scent Balls (くす玉草, Kusudama Kusa?) (which neutralize Big Eaters) exists, but no dialogue for its explanation exists in the data. The reason for the Ancient Forest tutorial being planned for the Bone Village, far away both in time and place from the actual forest, may be because at one point in development the Ancient Forest may have been just beyond the Sleeping Forest. In the game code the fields are ordered in a way that (mostly) matches with the order the game introduces areas, and the Ancient Forest is placed right after the Sleeping Forest immediately before Corel Valley.
The person on the ladder excavating the wall can never be talked to in a normal playthrough, but if the flag that allows the player to talk to her is activated in the game data, she will say: "The memory of this planet is buried layer by layer in this geological stratum. Kind of romantic, don't you think?" The ability to talk to the NPC may have been removed because talking to her while climbing the ladder messes Cloud's climbing animation up.
The entrance to the Sleeping Forest may have been planned to be closed at one point, as dummied dialogue suggests the way in would have opened for Aeris with "a loud noise".