The Gold Saucer is a location in Final Fantasy VII. A towering amusement park built over the ruins of Old Corel, it is a world famous tourist attraction operated by Dio. Cait Sith joins the player's party during their first visit here.
The Gold Saucer is notable in gameplay for being home to a number of minigames, particularly at the Battle Square and Chocobo Square. It is divided into seven attractions (possibly an allusion to the game's title), and uses GP as its own currency, which can only be won from its minigames.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Design
- 4 Structure
- 5 Gameplay
- 6 Musical themes
- 7 Other appearances
- 8 Non-Final Fantasy guest appearances
- 9 Behind the scenes
- 10 Etymology
- 11 References
History[edit | edit source]
Cloud Strife's party first arrived at the Gold Saucer in "Sanctuary of Amusement", after traveling through North Corel. Before boarding the ropeway to the Gold Saucer, Barret Wallace explained he blames himself for the destruction of the old Corel as he supported construction of a mako reactor by the Shinra Electric Power Company, who later destroyed the village to keep the secrets of the reactor's construction and mako's energy potential from rival companies. The party decided to take a break and see the saucer's sights, and split up to explore, though Barret ran off from the group, frustrated after Aerith Gainsborough attempted to cheer him up. Cloud and another party member met Dio at the Speed Square, who told them a young man in a black cape came by recently asking about a "Black Materia", and invites them to the Battle Square.
At the Wonder Square they met Cait Sith, who told Cloud's fortune but fails to produce a result relevant to Cloud's question, the location of Sephiroth. When his third fortune read "What you pursue will be yours. But you will lose something dear", Cait Sith invited himself to accompany the group to see what it meant. At the Battle Square, the three saw several guards wounded, and a survivor says the assailant had a gun-arm. This led Cloud and his friends to assume Barret was responsible, though thereafter, they were arrested and thrown into Corel Prison.
In "The Desert Prison", Barret found Dyne, his former best friend who had a gun-arm, who had been responsible for the shooting. After telling Dyne that his daughter Marlene had survived Corel's destruction, Dyne challenged Barret to fight, in a battle ending in Dyne's defeat. With the prison without a boss, the group approached Mr. Coates and presented Dyne's pendant as a sign of his death. Coates introduced them to Ester and told them they were free to leave if they won a chocobo race in the saucer's Chocobo Square. Cloud raced and won the group's freedom. Having explained to Ester about Dyne before the race, Cloud received a letter from Dio pardoning them and giving them the Buggy as a gesture of good will. They used it to cross the desert and the river beyond. Dio also detailed his encounter with Sephiroth, telling them he was headed south to Gongaga.
Later, in "Secret Date", the party returned to find the Keystone needed to enter the Temple of the Ancients. It was on display in the Battle Square as one of Dio's trophies, and he offered it to them if Cloud fought in the Battle Square to entertain him. Cloud won the Keystone, but the ropeway out of the park broke down. The group stayed in the inn and that evening Cloud was approached by a party member for a date. As Cloud and a companion returned to the inn, Cait Sith was holding the Keystone, and Cloud chased him through the park until he reached a Shinra B1-Beta Helicopter and handed the Keystone to Tseng. Cait Sith revealed he was a robot controlled by a Shinra executive and had been spying on the group, and was holding Marlene hostage in Midgar to ensure the group lets Cait Sith accompany them as they follow Shinra to the Temple of the Ancients.
The Gold Saucer shut down after Meteor's summoning, until Cloud returned. Dio had contemplated on shutting off the park for good, but reopened to let the people of the world enjoy their final days to the max.
Geography[edit | edit source]
The Gold Saucer is located in the midst of a desert to the southeast of the planet's western continent. The desert surrounding it is impassable, meaning it can only be reached by a free cable car from a ropeway station in North Corel. The Gold Saucer is an immense building that towers over the nearby land.
The Gold Saucer's attractions are situated entirely on discs held up by the structure itself. The discs appear to reach high above ground level, as clouds can be seen from the Saucer's exterior. Directly below it is Corel Prison, the remains of the old town of Corel.
Design[edit | edit source]
As implied by its name, the Gold Saucer is an entirely gold-plated tower structure with seven mushroom-like discs stemming from the main structure. These discs hold each of the Gold Saucer's attractions, and are as such suspended high above ground level. The resort is brightly lit by neon lights illuminating each of its signs, as well as by multicolored flashlights and apparently constant fireworks displays.
Frequent throughout the Gold Saucer's design are chocobo and moogle imagery, and many of the staff even dress in such costumes. Beyond this, each of the attractions has an entirely different theme to it, and thus, a different interior design.
Structure[edit | edit source]
Overview[edit | edit source]
The Gold Saucer is entered through the ropeway station, where the Terminal Floor station is located. This contains a map to the Gold Saucer, and guides visitors to one of its seven attractions. The attractions are each visited by taking a hopping into a tube pointing directly to one, and these tube stations are located to the entrance of each of the Gold Saucer's attractions.
Speed Square[edit | edit source]
The Speed Square is home to the Shooting Coaster attraction. This is a roller coaster around the square's disc, in which riders can shoot a number of targets including ghosts, balloons, planes, and UFOs. Thematically, the first portion of the roller coaster's background resembles a canyon, with cacti dotted around, though the path later leads through a glacier, and eventually into space.
Battle Square[edit | edit source]
The Battle Square's main attraction is a battle arena, in which participants can fight various monsters in a gauntlet-style match. Only one participant may compete at a time, and victory in battle rewards them BP, a currency unique to the Battle Square, which allows many extremely valuable items to be obtained.
Thematically, the Battle Square resembles a medieval castle suspended above the disc on which the square is located, with its logo being a shield symbol with two-crossed swords above the entrance, as two drapes on purple cloth either side depict a sword and shield. A purple carpet leads from the staircase at the entrance leading into the square through the square's lobby and into the arena itself, where a skull symbol above the arena entrance marks a warning to all challengers.
The arena itself resembles a castle dungeon, with a moat surrounding the battleground. At the back of the Battle Square is the Gateway to Heaven, a stone room covered in slime with a circular trapdoor at the bottom as its gate. The gate is used to bring monsters in for battle to be used in the arena, with chains on the walls of the room to restrain them. Those arrested at the Saucer are also thrown down the gate to be tossed to the Corel Prison below the Gold Saucer.
The Battle Square is also home to Dio's museum in a showroom. Here, Dio keeps a number of his prized possessions, including the Keystone, and a portrait of himeslf, all showing a conceited nature.
Chocobo Square[edit | edit source]
The Chocobo Square is the site of chocobo races, in which participants ride chocobos that they have bred and raised to beat their opponents. Participants who race can win prizes and earn GP to spend at the Gold Saucer, and races are also held at the Corel Prison below so prisoners can earn their freedom. Non-participants place bets on these races for various gil rewards.
Thematically, the Chocobo Square has a high-tech look, with metal structures and bright neon signs and lights both from the outside and within the ticket office. Its entrance uses metalic tubes to transport to other parts of the Saucer, with a brightly lit staircase into the square itself. The Chocobo Square also has a waiting room in the back with an elevator directly to the Corel Prison, for those who have been given permission to use it. The waiting room has a more basic design, and does not resemble its high-tech theme, likely because most visitors will never see it.
The race track, much like the roller coaster in the Speed Square, has an inconsistent theme. Beginning with the mouth of a moogle above the finish line, the race begins with a rainbow-colored starting track into a farmyard with a large moogle, chocobo chicks, cows, and farmers are seen. After this, a volcanic path leads into a forest, and from there is a bridge up to a waterfall leading through an aquarium tank, after which a cave leads to the outside of a canyon. The end of the track is a transparent track through a background resmebling outer space, where pyramids, flying dragons, and penguins can be seen in the surrounding track before it leads back to the finish line.
Ghost Square[edit | edit source]
The Ghost Square is the Gold Saucer's inn, though travelers must pay in GP. Thematically, the Ghost Square is a haunted mansion, and on its outside is a graveyard where tombstones transport visitors to the Saucer's other squares. The inside of the Ghost Square retains the haunted, medieval theme, with holographic ghosts seen throughout the hotel, and the hotel is lit by candlelight.
Event Square[edit | edit source]
The Event Square is home to the Gold Saucer's theater, a prestigious theater that is known to be more competitive than the Sector 8 theater in Midgar. Among other things, the Event Square holds plays in which the hundredth couple of the night can perform as the lead roles. The Event Square retains the chocobo and moogle theme of the Gold Saucer, as large chocobo statues hold up the sign for the stage, and the wallpaper is a simple design of a farm with chocobos and moogles, vaguely resembling the farm seen on the Chocobo Square race track.
Round Square[edit | edit source]
The Round Square is home to the gondola ride. The square itself is a particularly small platform with a Fat Chocobo model perched above a ticket booth. The gondola ride on the other hand gives visitors a tour around the entire Gold Saucer carried by cable car. Visitors enjoy a large fireworks display as well as a few from the top of all the other squares.
Wonder Square[edit | edit source]
The Wonder Square is home to an arcade full of a wide variety of attractions. These include arm wrestling, basketball hoops, G-Bike racing, snowboarding, virtual battling, and a submarine game. This makes it a hub of games that are used to obtain the GP currency required throughout the rest of the Gold Saucer. The Wonder Square is also home to fortune tellers, including, at first, Cait Sith.
Thematically, the Wonder Square resembles the downtown of a metropolis at night. It has tall structures resembling skyscrapers with large screens on their walls, and sky bridges to traverse between them. Inside these, the Wonder Square is home to a brightly lit casino. As the topmost square, the transports to other squares from the Wonder Square are all holes that one can drop down to to be transported to another.
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
Final Fantasy VII[edit | edit source]
The Gold Saucer is first visited in the chapter "Sanctuary of Amusement", when Cloud's party arrives there after passing through North Corel. This is where Cloud's party recruits Cait Sith, and the player can partake in a few early minigames. In the following chapter, "The Desert Prison", Cloud returns briefly for a mandatory first Chocobo race at the Chocobo Square.
Later, the Gold Saucer is returned to in "Secret Date", where Cloud must partake in a mandatory first gauntlet at the Battle Square, before taking one of four characters—Aeris, Tifa, Yuffie, or Barret—on a date, based on date mechanics. The Gold Saucer is then once again open up to more minigames.
After the player has the Highwind, the Gold Saucer is closed while Tifa and Cid are party leader, but reopens once Cloud becomes later. At this point, its minigames become much more valuable. The Battle Square has more challenging battles with greater rewards, including Cloud's ultimate Limit Break manual, Omnislash. The Chocobo Square on the other hand allows players to take bred Chocobos to race in order to improve them and unlock further Chocobos, which can in turn be used to access Materia Caves.
Aside from these, the Gold Saucer is home to a number of minigames used to obtain GP to spend there. The Wonder Square is home to a huge number of minigames, many of which are based on minigames available throughout the game (such as G Bike, snowboarding, and Submarine Game), while others are entirely new. Speed Square also has its own unique roller coaster minigame.
Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-[edit | edit source]
Musical themes[edit | edit source]
The background music is simply called "Gold Saucer" (ゴールドソーサー, Gōrudo Sōsā?)."Cait Sith's Theme" plays on the Wonder Square when he is first met. The track "Racing Chocobos - Place Your Bets" plays on the Chocobo Square. The track "Hurry Up!" plays during battles on the Battle Square and the track "Debut" during the play at the Event Square.
The "Interrupted by Fireworks" plays during Cloud's date on the gondola ride, unless the "date" is Barret, in which case "Barret's Theme" plays instead.
A piano arrangement of "Gold Saucer" is included on the Piano Collections: Final Fantasy VII album. Pub-theme arrangement is included on Beer SQ. "Gold Saucer ~ The Highwind Takes to the Skies / X'mas Edit" (from Final Fantasy VII) is a track on the X'mas Collections music from SQUARE ENIX. "Gold Saucer" is included on the second disc of the Final Fantasy VII Vinyl Limited Edition collectors' edition compilation album. A live recording of "Gold Saucer" is the fourth track on the A New World: intimate music from Final Fantasy - Volume II album.
"Interrupted by Fireworks" is included on the Piano Opera Final Fantasy VII/VIII/IX. "Interrupted by Fireworks" is also part of the "FINAL FANTASY VII Symphony in Three Movements" symphony arranged and orchestrated by Janne Valtonen and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra for the Final Symphony concert series. It is the second movement of the symphony and deals with the themes of love, loss and uncertainty as Cloud is undecided in his feelings towards Aerith and Tifa. The movement begins with "Interrupted by Fireworks" and then moves forward representing the themes of Tifa, Cloud and Aerith.
Other appearances[edit | edit source]
Gold Saucer, alluding to the Final Fantasy VII amusement park, is a place full of minigames in Final Fantasy XIV,. It is referred to as the Manderville Gold Saucer, as it is owned by Godbert Manderville.
The arranged version of background music "Gold Saucer" from Final Fantasy VII will be used.
Gold Saucer appears as the FMS for its eponymous theme.
Non-Final Fantasy guest appearances[edit | edit source]
The Gold Saucer is present in this crossover between Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy as a stage.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
When Final Fantasy VII was in development, Square had staff who had free time between projects and some new staff as well doubling as training; Square had them make things that needed specialized programs. The roller coaster and submarine minigames playable at Gold Saucer were such projects.
Analyzing unused text from the game hints at a different version of the script for the date event, indicating the player would have been forced to pick the Chocobo and Speed Squares before going to the Event Square. In the earlier build the date event was more free-roaming, allowing the player to choose which areas to visit, and less of a predetermined route of scenes. After the Event Square, Cloud's date takes Cloud to the gondola in the final game.
Serendipity in Final Fantasy XIII-2 is reminiscent of the Gold Saucer. The game's director, Motomu Toriyama, has confirmed that the resemblance to the Gold Saucer is intentional, including the fact that the camera view is set at a distance rather than following the characters closely.
Etymology[edit | edit source]
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and atomic number 79. It is a dense, soft, malleable and ductile metal with a bright yellow color and luster, the properties of which remain without tarnishing when exposed to air or water.
References[edit | edit source]
- Final Fantasy VII script § "Barret's Past"
- Final Fantasy VII script § "Sanctuary of Amusement"
- Final Fantasy VII script § "The Desert Prison"
- Final Fantasy VII script § "Secret Date"
- Final Fantasy VII script § "North Corel optional dialogue"
- Final Fantasy VII script § "Gold Saucer optional dialogue"
- Final Fantasy VII script § "Costa del Sol optional dialogue"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "The Jessie Job"
- Weekly Famitsu Issue no. 1224 Yoshinori Kitase Interview translated by TheLifestream.net (Accessed: February 10, 2020) at Wikipedia
- Final Fantasy VII: The Unused Text – Part 8 (Accessed: February 10, 2020) at The Lifestream
- The Complete Official Guide to FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 (Piggyback Interactive), p312