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- Adding a Locations section with images and brief descriptions of the areas within the whole location.
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The Forgotten City, sometimes translated Forgotten Capital, and also known as the City of the Ancients (古代種の都, Kodai-shu no Miyako?), is a ruined city in Final Fantasy VII. It is located in the Icicle Area inside Corel Valley, beyond the Sleeping Forest, and far to the east of Icicle Inn.
The city was the primary capital of the ancient Cetra civilization, but after the Calamity from the Skies struck the planet nearly wiping out the Cetra, the few survivors gradually assimilated into human culture and the city has been an abandoned ruin for a long time.
Many of the remaining houses still contain furniture and artifacts indicating the area appears just as it did when it was abandoned. The city contains a machine, which allows one to communicate with the planet, and an underground section with several crystal buildings surrounding an altar. The city's inhabitants incorporated nature into their buildings, many having roofs made up from conch shells and other organic materials.
The area's general layout invokes an aquatic motif; many of the buildings have a shell-like appearance and the ground resembles the sea floor. Within the "upper city" there are several crystals that when touched give off a flash and cause the current main character to explain they heard something they didn't understand. Below the ground level is a hidden "castle" with medieval-style towers connected to the surface with a staircase made of light. This area holds a spring and an altar.
At some point a scientist visited the Forgotten City and tried to decode the ancient writings on the floor of the orb. The scientist was barely able to make out the words "key" and "music box."
Cloud Strife and his party visit the Forgotten City in search of their comrade Aerith Gainsborough, the last living Cetra who left the group to invoke Holy in hopes of averting the cataclysm Sephiroth plans to cause with Meteor. The party, finding the place eerily silent, spends the night before a strange sound wakes them. Their investigation leads them to an underground part of the city where they find Aerith praying to summon Holy. Cloud comes forward and is nearly compelled by Sephiroth’s will to kill her, managing to resist and step away. Sephiroth, acting through the body of Jenova, swoops down from the ceiling and kills Aerith.
A livid Cloud demands to know why Aerith had to be murdered. Sephiroth brushes off Cloud's outrage by calling him a “puppet" while dropping a piece of Jenova that becomes Jenova∙LIFE for the party to fight. Following the fight, the badly shaken group pays their last respects to Aerith as Cloud lays her body to rest in the nearby pool.
Bugenhagen, an elder from Cosmo Canyon, visits the city with the party after Meteor has been summoned. They discover what Aerith was trying to do before Sephiroth cut her down, and need the Key to the Ancients to work the dormant machines inside the city. The key is found at the Bottom of the Sea using the submarine. When the key is used, the scene of Aerith's death is replayed and Bugenhagen realizes she succeeded in summoning Holy, but Sephiroth is blocking it and must be killed to save the planet. The party's planning is cut short when the Diamond Weapon begins its advance toward Midgar, the party races to stop it.
Following Meteorfall, the remaining members of the party return to the Forgotten City to pay their respects to Aerith before going their separate ways to each find their place in the world.
Two years later, the three remnants of Sephiroth based themselves in the Forgotten City where they interrogate the Turks, Tseng and Elena, for the surviving Jenova fragment the Turks stole. Yazoo later brings the Geostigma-infected children to the city so Kadaj can turn them into trackers by having them drink infected lake water so they would be under the disease's control. Loz also kidnapped Marlene to further force Cloud to follow after them, with Cloud overwhelmed by the remnants before he and Marlene are saved by Vincent.
During the fight against Whisper Harbinger when the party experiences memories of possible future events, there are brief snippets of Aerith's materia falling and Cloud laying an unidentified person in the water.
Giant Conch Shell
Giant Conch Shell
Battles available in Part 2 onwards.
- [24/64] Boundfat x3
- [22/64] Trickplay, Boundfat x2
- [18/64] Trickplay x2
- [8/64] Boundfat x3 (Back attack)
- Jenova∙LIFE (boss)
The theme that plays in Forgotten City is "Listen to the Cries of the Planet" (星の声が聞こえる, Hoshi no Koe ga Kikoeru?). During the Jenova∙LIFE battle and during the events preceding it and the events after the battle, "Aerith's Theme" plays.
The Forgotten City appears in the Field Music Sequence for "Main Theme of Final Fantasy VII".
Behind the scenes
The Forgotten City's concept art was the first scenery designed in Advent Children, drawn by art director Yusuke Naora. The artwork depicted Sephiroth standing over the pool where Aerith had been laid to rest, and was selected as a set for Aerith's appearance in the film.
Final Fantasy VII
When the player first arrives at Forgotten City in Final Fantasy VII, they cannot continue onwards toward Icicle Inn because a party member will come out and stop Cloud, saying they need to find Aerith. A similar event was programmed to happen when attempting to leave the village, with a party member coming out to tell Cloud they are tired and that they should find somewhere to rest. This scene is never triggered in the final game due to a programming oversight, and the player can leave the village, and must discover that they are supposed to sleep in one of the houses by themselves. At night, Cloud cannot leave the village to the north, saying he must find Aerith, but the similar event upon leaving from the south entrance never triggers.
The word "shit" was turned into symbols for the PC versions of Final Fantasy VII that had a slightly altered script. One occasion of profanity was missed, however: if the player returns to Forgotten City with Cid as party leader, and examines the blue lights in one of the houses, Cid will react and say the word without the censorship.
In the localization of Final Fantasy VII, the area's name is translated as "Forgotten Capital" in the menu for many of the outside areas and the inside areas. However, the areas pertaining to the lake, the blue central path and all areas beyond (including the underground), and the giant conch shell area, are all translated as "Forgotten City" in the menu. The name of the city is only otherwise mentioned in one place in the game, where someone in Bone Village says
The City of the Ancients? Oh, you must mean the Forgotten City.
Outside of the original game, Final Fantasy VII titles refer to the city as "Forgotten City" universally, including in voiced dialogue in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. Final Fantasy Record Keeper (for its dungeon) and Dissidia Final Fantasy (in Mognet) both use "Forgotten Capital," however.
- Final Fantasy VII
- Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children