Fort Condor is a fort near Junon in Final Fantasy VII. A condor, incubating its egg, sits atop the fort covering up the mako reactor. The player can play a strategic minigame here. Fort Condor can be visited any time from after the party passes through the Mythril Mine until the end of the game for its optional minigame, but only appears once in the main story.
The Shinra Electric Power Company constantly tried to storm the fort to reach to the mako reactor. When Cloud Strife's party arrived to the fort, they found it defended by poorly funded ragtag fighters who were desperate for their help. Ultimately, Cloud's group agreed to aid them.
During "Struggle for the Huge Materia", Shinra made one major push against the fort to take the Huge Materia. The party, led now by Cid Highwind, defended the fort from Shinra's attack to take the Huge Materia for themselves. After a successful battle, the condor's egg hatched, and the people protecting Fort Condor gave the Huge Materia to the party.[note 1]
Fort Condor is located to the south of Gaia's eastern continent, in the middle of a patch of badlands. It is just southwest of the Mythril Mine, on the eastern side of the continent.
Within the fort is a village comprised of several rooms and stores across underground caves. The village is entered through a rope at the bottom of a hill. A ladder within the village leads to a shed overlooking the condor and the rest of the fort, from which the army is commanded. The vast battlefield stretches across a rocky hill beneath the condor, which sits across atop a metal building. Several metal pipes are also found in plateaus dotted across the battlefield.
Fort Condor is available after traveling through Mythril Mine as an optional location that can be visited to participate in the strategy minigame and to use the shop and the inn. If visited by a party led by Cloud, he can refuse to help the fort, though one will not be able to use the shops there until Cloud accepts to help; if the party is led by Tifa or Cid, they will agree to help automatically.
Throughout most of the game, Fort Condor can be visited at any point to participate in its real-time strategy minigame where the player must place units to prevent opposing enemy units from reaching the shed at the top; if an enemy reaches it, the party must fight a normal boss battle against CMD.Grand Horn to survive the skirmish. Beating the boss will count as a win, but will not earn an item reward. Though the minigame is a time and gil investment, it can reward the player with useful items for completing it. Repeated wins unlock more powerful stages, but also more powerful combat units to fight in said stages, and better rewards.
During "Struggle for the Huge Materia", regardless of if the player has played in Fort Condor's minigame before Shinra will make a major push for the Huge Materia and a large battle takes place while Cid is the party leader. If the player repels the attack, the party gets the Huge Materia. If they fail to stop enemies from reaching the shed, and lose the subsequent boss battle, the game does not end, but the player is ejected from the fort and loses the Huge Materia, being unable to return as the rope to climb up is be missing.
Behind the scenes
Fort Condor originally had a mechanic where the player had a limited number of losses they could sustain before the fort falls. Unused lines exist in the script for Cloud, Tifa, and Aerith in the Huge Materia quest battle, suggesting the final battle for the fort would have been connected to this mechanic instead. In the final game, remnants of this mechanic exist wherein the man at the top of the fort keeps track of the player's losses after losing the minigame and the subsequent battle, and warns they will not be able to return if they keep losing. However, this is inconsequential as the fort cannot fall before the Huge Materia quest.
- If Shinra reaches the top and the party loses the consecutive battle, the inhabitants of the fort are implied to have died, and the party loses the Huge Materia.