Mako Reactor 1 is one of the eight Mako Reactors built by the Shinra Electric Power Company to power the city of Midgar, appropriately found in Sector 1, in Final Fantasy VII. Its layout is the same as the Sector 5 Reactor. Mako Reactor 1 is the northernmost reactor in Midgar, and is even referred to as the "Northern Reactor".
- 1 Story
- 2 Geography
- 3 Gameplay
- 3.1 Final Fantasy VII
- 3.2 Final Fantasy VII Remake
- 4 Musical themes
- 5 Behind the scenes
- 6 Other appearances
- 7 Gallery
- 8 References
The eco-terrorist group Avalanche, in an attempt to save the Planet from the corrupting ways of Shinra, attacks the reactor. The effort is led by Barret Wallace who is accompanied by Biggs, Wedge, Jessie, and the recently hired mercenary Cloud Strife. The team captures a train and uses it to break into the reactor grounds, which are defended by Shinra guards.
The team fights its way down into the main generator, and prepares to put the charges in. Cloud has a brief flashback to the incident in Nibelheim and suffers a psychic disturbance. Before the charges can be pulled, the robot Guard Scorpion attacks, and is defeated by Cloud and Barret before they and the rest to Avalanche make their way back out before the reactor explodes.
The explosion causes massive destruction with unknown numbers of civilian casualties. Cloud and Avalanche scatter to regroup at the train heading for the Sector 7 slums. The reactor remains closed, and when Shinra places the Sister Ray cannon within Midgar, seven reactors charge up its blast, Mako Reactor 1 still out of commission.
Mako Reactor 1 is an unrevisitable location visited at the start of Final Fantasy VII during a mission to destroy the reactor. The area just outside the reactor that is visited includes the platform, a train station reached by a set of stairs, a walled-off area just north of the station, and a walkway connecting Sector 1 and Sector 8 entered in the walled-off area. The utility access is reached through a walkway connecting Sector 1 and Sector 8. After entering, it is a set of rooms filled with machinery leading to an elevator, which travels down to a series of vast rooms and piping. Ladders can be traversed to eventually lead down to the core of the reactor. The interior of Mako Reactor 1 has a brown-ish tint, in contrast to the Sector 5 Reactor with a similar layout.
The Platform is the first area in the game and visited as soon as the opening movie finishes. The area comprises a stone platform alongside the railway track, with metal gates on the lefthand side, and the sign "1-0b" painted on the wall. At the fair end of the platform on the left is the exit onto the North Edge Station.
North Edge Station
At the end of the platform is the entrance to the North Edge Station. Inside, train schedules are listed and vending machines and poster ads are seen in corners and walls, respectively. These posters include ads for an apple juice named "Banora White", a purse named with the tag "Elegance", a "Hair Tonic" for scalp care promising "astonishingly radiant & spiky hair", a camera named "7" with Shinra-X sensor technology, a music gallery named "Air", LOVELESS, the third book in a series titled The Adventures of Stamp, and posters both for the Shinra Electric Power Company and Shinra Construction.
Additionally, vending machines for mineral water of the brand "Clear Icicle" and for an energy drink named "Redlord" with a logo shaped like a bomb are found along the walls. Trains to Sector 5 are also seen across displays, as well as a map of the trainline routes, and ticket stations are seen past the barrier at the entry. Near the back are stairs to an upper level, which is still under construction, as evident with the presence of construction materials and lack of proper lighting.
Upper station area
After going through the station's upstairs area, Cloud exits on to the upper station area. Here, Cloud heads north to join with the members of Avalanche. The station is a wide, stone building with a gale roof and four turbines on each corner. It is situated atop a stone wall overlooking the railway, and adjacent to the wall surrounding the Sector 1 plate. In the surrounding area is a path north towards a stone wall in front of the restricted Reactor Gounds, where the mission continues.
The Reactor Grounds, misleadingly labeled "Sector 1" in the original game, is a walled-off area reached from station. It comprises a few small metal structures across a stone floor alongside the wall surrounding the compound. Within the area are metal pipes, metal framing around the structures, and dim lights.
Above some metal framing is a screen, showing the words "INTRUDER", "WARNING", and four Kanji characters. In the center of the area is a narrow building resembling a bunker at its front with a large clock tower at its top. A winding series of areas follow, and construction equipment can be seen scattered everywhere.
In the original game, the path to this door is found to the right of the central building, after passing it is a path left straight to the door.
The Reactor Grounds area leads to a short yet tall hallway leads to a switch, which opens up into the walkway outside the reactor, with another door to the walkway at the very back of the area, leading to Sector 8.
The walkway outside the reactor, known as "No.1 Reactor" in the menu of the original game, is used to access Mako Reactor 1, and to escape. It comprises a metal walkway connecting Sector 1 and Sector 8, and a path in the middle leading directly to the Mako Reactor 1. The walkway is suspended above a vast abyss over the lower area of the city.
The interior is a metallic, brown-ish area full of large pipes, rusting doors, and machinery. It is a set of joined rooms with terminals, and the doors between the room are locked until their codes are deciphered. At the northeast-most location, an elevator leads down to the lower areas of the reactor.
The elevator connects the entrance with the main staircase. It is a dimly-lit enclosed space with a purple tint, and has a valve and flashing lights on the wall at the back, while the elevator door is located on the left.
The main staircase is a large, expansive room, with a red tint on the stairways, dark brick walls, and metallic pipes, accessed by the elevator.
The elevator opens atop a large structure within the room, with a staircase used to descend this structure to the floor of the room, where a door leads to the upper piping. The structure also contains a small, round tower atop it that can be climbed using ladders, though it contains nothing of interest.
In contrast to the main staircase of the Sector 5 Reactor, Mako Reactor 1 has no pipe leading down from the door in the back-end of the room, which is instead unreachable.
Scaffolding line the walls of the large core area. Thick sheets are laid on the some parts of the railing. Hung on the lower part of the railings are small rectangular electric lamps emitting white light. Long wires messily run on the surface of most areas of the platforms and are held down by red duct tape. The scaffolding platforms are held by thin yet strong wires from the ceiling and is also connected to the wall structure to prevent them from swaying.
The scaffolding consists of dark gray and black hues, with certain colors indicating extreme caution, as mako is pumped directly below the platforms. Yellow and black stripes border the railings on the platform surface, accompanied by lines of red light, as the presence railings doesn't guarantee safety. A yellow line is also present at the edge of each stair.
Pipes, ranging from large to humongous, and fans, which regulate temperature, fill the walls of the large core area. Large circular vents, located on the level of the penultimately highest platform, direct the smoke emitted by mako upwards, which can be seen outside as a huge cluster of smoke emanating from the top of the reactor building.
The highest platform is located in the south of the large core area is accessible through the lowest level of the main staircase area, from the sweeper units area. To the west of the highest platform is a ladder leading downward to a long platform. Just before the end of the long platform are stairs to the immediate east leading to a platform not connected to the wall and has two ladders both leading downwards:
- The ladder immediately visible from the stairs leads downwards to a long platform that almost bisects the reactor leading to the eastern wall.
The core is where Cloud and Barret fight the Guard Scorpion (Final Fantasy VII)/Scorpion Sentinel (Final Fantasy VII Remake) and set the bomb. The core itself is surrounded by metallic pipes and heavy machinery, with a single narrow walkway leading towards it. The walkway contains a save point, and an inaccessible door. On the end of the walkway is the core itself, which is a large, tubular structure built into a wall, with "1998" written at the top, and a set of pipes leading to a valve at the bottom.
|Platform, Sector 1 Station, Sector 1|
|Outside Reactor (after Guard Scorpion is defeated)|
Random encounters at the platform are available until the player leaves the screen and returns, in the player's first visit.
Inside, various enemies are fought as random encounters, though most are dispatched with only one or two hits by Cloud or Barret, and deal little damage. The Sweeper, fought around the lower piping, is the most durable among them, which takes several hits to be defeated first. When encountered alongside other enemies, the smaller enemies should be defeated first to remove the damage they deal; otherwise, they are best dispatched by casting Bolt from Cloud.
The Guard Scorpion is fought as a boss in the core. This boss should be attacked by Cloud's Bolts while Barret uses normal attacks. When the Guard Scorpion raises its tail, it will counterattack until the tail is lowered. The player should either use Potions to heal in this time or simply avoid attacking until its tail is lowered, and then continue to damage it until it is destroyed.
|Potion x2||Platform (from either guard, or two from one of the guards)|
|Potion x1||Entrance, upper piping|
|Assault Gun||Core (dropped by Guard Scorpion)|
At the platform, the guards are left behind unconscious after being knocked out by AVALANCHE. Two Potion items can be picked up from them. Though both guards can have the items, their items are shared meaning the player can pick up both Potion items from one guard. This is known as the Quantum Potion bug.
Inside the reactor, a Potion is found in a treasure chest in the room on the southeast of the entrance, and another is found lying on the ground at the bottom end of the upper piping. By the reactor core, a Restore Materia can be picked up before reaching the core, and after defeating Guard Scorpion, the Assault Gun is obtained.
Infiltrating Mako Reactor 1
The mission begins at the Platform, commencing immediately after the opening movie finishes. When entering the Platform, the cast exit off the train to Sector 1 and knock down two troops. Heading north in this scene ensues the first battle of the game as two soldiers run towards the player. After this battle, the player can take an exit on the left to enter the Sector 1 Station area. Two Potion items can be picked up here from the guards.
The player then enters from the Sector 1 Station from the bottom-left of the screen. Here, other members of AVALANCHE will be standing around before running towards the exit. After a conversation, the player gets to name the Ex-SOLDIER, which defaults to "Cloud". Another member of AVALANCHE will then run on screen, the second playable character who can then be named, default "Barret". After the North Gate is open, a small scene occurs and the character automatically runs into the Sector 1 area.
In this area, the player must run right, up, and then to the left of the screen where they will find the exit to a walkway outside the No. 1 Reactor. The door on the far left exits out into Sector 8, and the door at the top of the screen leads into the No. 1 Reactor. The area is two straight pathways in a T-formation. Next to the door to Sector 8 is "N-8th" is written on the wall next to this door.
Destroying the Reactor
After infiltrating the reactor, Cloud and Barret begin at the entrance. Here, the player must interact with Biggs to decipher the code of the first door, and then with Jessie to open the second door and the elevator. After this, the elevator must be activated to the main staircase. Dialogue with Barret will initiate until the elevator reaches its destination.
Following this, the player must descend down through the main staircase to reach the piping. Along the way, the player will encounter a variety of enemies in random encounters, though these enemies are straightforward and can be defeated in one or two hits. After reaching the piping, the player must interact with the ladder to descend down further. A Potion can be picked up in the upper piping before descending down to the lower piping. The Sweeper can be fought as an encounter here; this enemy is more durable and can take multiple hits, meaning that it is best to defeat its accompanying enemies before focusing against it.
Eventually, the player will reach a walkway towards the core. Along the walkway, a Restore Materia can be picked up before reaching the core. Here, a short scene commences, and the Guard Scorpion must be fought. Once defeated, a timer initiates. The player must run back and ascend up the Reactor to the exit before the ten minutes expire, at which point the Reactor will explode. Though the player can still fight random encounters, it may be wise to run away if time is low. Along the way, Jessie will be found caught in the pipes; she needs to be rescued along the way or the player will be unable to escape. Upon escaping the Reactor, the next quest commences in Sector 8.
Escaping Mako Reactor 1
The player returns to the walkway just outside the reactor after planting the bomb inside. Upon reaching the area outside the reactor, the player meets up with Wedge, and a cutscene plays. The characters run from the reactor out to Sector 8.
I'm afraid the jury's still out on that one.
|Mako Reactor 1|
|Mako Reactor 1 - Interior|
|Mako Reactor 1 - Utility Access|
|Mako Reactor 1 - Core||
|Mako Reactor 1|
|Potion x2||Above the station, just after climbing the staircase|
|Grenade x2||Above the station, behind the stair railing, beside some vending machines|
|Ether x1||Inside the Reactor Grounds, its first portion, in a narrow space to the north|
|Potion x2||Wide area with a forklift and crates, just before the switch|
|Mako Reactor 1 - Interior|
|Phoenix Down x1||In front of the elevator leading to Utility Access|
|Mako Reactor 1 - Utility Access|
|Potion x2||After passing through all the lasers, before the stairs|
|Ether x1||After Jessie's introduces the sweeper, turn around and head for the left of the staircase|
|Phoenix Down x1||Above the core area, after climbing down the first ladder, head to the end of the platform|
|Ether x1||One ladder above the lowest platform, to the west|
Enter the Reactor Grounds
Mako Reactor 1
The mission begins at the Platform, commencing immediately after the opening movie finishes. When entering the Platform, the cast jump off of the train to the platform and knock down two Security Officers. As Avalanche's hired mercenary, Cloud jumps off the train and follows their lead.
Heading north past Barret causes two Security Officers to appear, against which Cloud will battle, after the basics of battle are introduced. After defeating them, the player must continue heading north of the platform and turn left to enter the station, where a fight against another pair of officers commences and the tutorial on the ATB gauge and commands appears. This is the chance for the player to try out Fire as the officers are weak against the fire element. After the battle, the game informs the player on how to access menus and the map, and auto-actions.
The player must head inside the main area to fight three officers, where the player will learn to guard and evade. After defeating the troops, the player must head upstairs to receive a tutorial on opening chests, and can then open the chest in front of Cloud to obtain two potions. The player can turn left and head for the small area behind the staircase railing to find and open a chest, located beside a "Clear Icicle" vending machine, that contains two grenades. The player must head out into the balcony of the upper station area to receive a tutorial on Shinra boxes. The player can destroy one set of boxes to the right (breaking it may yield a Moogle Medal) and another in front of Wedge. Shinra boxes may yield a potion, a mako shard (restores MP when collected), both, or neither. The player approaches Wedge for Cloud to get acquainted with the team and to proceed to the Reactor Grounds.
Infiltrate the Reactor
Once inside the compound, the player must head towards the enemies—one Security Officer and one Guard Dog—to open the tutorial on locking onto targets. Afterwards, the player can head north towards a short alleyway to open a chest containing a bottle of ether. The player must then proceed east towards a warehouse, where Cloud is called out by Wedge to catch up.
The player must ride an elevator to get to the upper level of the warehouse, and turn left, leading down a ramp. To the left of the ramp are two Shinra boxes. When following after the group, Biggs informs Cloud of the enemies, consisting of two Security Officers and one Guard Dog, behind him. The player must defeat them to progress and follow after the team into a hole in the fence.
When first turning left, the player can destroy boxes to the left side of the passage. The player must turn left again to proceed outside of the wire fence enclosure and must turn right to battle a couple of Security Officers. A chest containing two potions located in front of the forklift can be opened once the battle is done. The player must proceed towards the narrow yet tall hallway to pull down a switch that opens into the walkway in front of the reactor. Wedge is left in front of the Sector 8 entrance to secure the group's escape for later while the rest proceed to inside the reactor, with the player following after them.
Mako Reactor 1 - Interior
The player must talk to Biggs, who hacks the door to the first room where Cloud proceeds first, but is seen by four Security Officers, who quickly close the door and battle Cloud. Once the player defeats them, the team hacks their way inside once more. The player must talk to Jessie, who opens the door leading to room where the elevator is located. Biggs is left behind the keep watch. Before riding the elevator, a set of Shinra boxes can be broken and a chest to the left can be opened, containing one tuft of phoenix down. The player must press the button to right of the elevator for the three to proceed inside the elevator and up onto utility access.
Mako Reactor 1 - Utility Access
Upon arriving at utility access, Barret Wallace joins the player's party to destroy three Sentry Rays located at a high location where Cloud's melee attacks can't reach them. Tutorials regarding Barret's battle style also appear. After the player utilizes Barret to destroy the Sentry Rays, four Monodrives quickly appear, which are fairly easy to defeat and that Cloud can follow up in the air at a moderate height.
Reach Mako Storage
After the battle, the player must head down the first staircase.
Down the stairs, where Jessie informs them of the laser defense system. The player must go through the area, where they must avoid running into the lasers when they're currently on. The premise is also the same when the player proceeds downstairs, but at a faster cycle rate. After passing through the last laser set, a box can be destroyed to Cloud's immediate left and a chest can be opened to the right near the next set of stairs, containing two potions.
The player must head down a deep staircase once more, where Jessie informs the party of the presence of a sweeper. Once the cutscene finishes, the player can quickly turn around and head for the left area below the staircase, where a chest containing a bottle of ether can be found at the end of the narrow path. The player must proceed to battle the sweeper, which is effective against lightning-elemental attacks. When pressured and staggered, respective tutorials appear to inform the player on the details of the stagger feature. The player must press forward and catch up with Jessie, who leads them to the metal platforms above the main area of the core.
Set the Charge
To the left is a ladder leading down the first metal platform, where the player can immediately destroy a set of Shinra boxes. At its furthest end is a chest containing a tuft of phoenix down. The player must head down the stairs where they can destroy another set of boxes and Jessie will wait for them to return from setting the bomb below. The player must climb down the ladder onto another platform, where they will face three Monodrives and one Sentry Ray located atop a pillar in battle. Afterwards, the player must head to the right, down a set of stairs where four Monodrives and a set of boxes are located at the end of the platform. The player must then head down the last ladder onto the main core area.
Mako Reactor 1 - Core
The player must proceed near the core and a cutscene plays; Cloud sets the bomb and the player is given two choices to set the bomb to either 20 or 30 minutes, and the two are ambushed by a Scorpion Sentinel, ensuing a boss battle. The battle will include tutorials on being bound by enemies and, near the end of the battle, limit breaks. After the battle, a cutscene plays where the Scorpion Sentinel goes haywire, its laser hitting almost everything, which makes the core area fall apart. Debris fall on the bomb and activate it, leaving the player the amount of time they chose before the boss battle to escape the reactor.
Escape from the Reactor
Barret leaves the party and runs ahead of Cloud, leaving the player to catch up with him.
Mako Reactor 1 - Utility Access
The player must climb up the ladder and head left, up the stairs, where they can choose to either fight two Monodrives or catch up with Barret. Once the player heads up the next ladder, Cloud is about to catch up with Barret, but stops when debris fall on the platform Jessie was standing on, leaving her stuck on a separate platform and Cloud to go after her. He jumps and catches onto a railing, to which the player must move left, climb onto said platform, and help Jessie get the debris off of her. This separates Cloud, who is currently with Jessie, and Barret, leading them to compromise to go on different routes and meet up at the highest platform.
Rendezvous with Barret
The player follows Jessie and heads down where a set of boxes can be destroyed. The player must then follow her on the scaffolding leading to another metal platform. The player must go up two sets of ladders leading to a scaffolding where they can jump off to the highest platform and finally meet up with Barret.
Security Officers and Monodrives, two each, suddenly corner the three, who let Jessie run ahead for the player to fend off the enemies. After the battle, the player must proceed ahead to the sweeper room, where one unit is suddenly activated and fights the party, leaving the player to choose to run or to fight.
After defeating the sweeper or running towards the staircase, the player must head up the laser areas, now with the lasers deactivated, and choose to fight or flee from the Monodrives and Shock Troopers as the player ascends. Once the player approaches the elevator, they must press the button to the left in order to ride it. A cutscene plays, showing all the machinery in the reactor going haywire and firing at everything, making most of the area explode except for the bomb.
Sprint to Safety
Mako Reactor 1 - Interior
The two successfully make it back up to the surface, where the player must run back out onto the walkway until debris nearly falls on Jessie once again. A cutscene shows Cloud helping Jessie up, Cloud almost falling from the walkway as it collapsed, the destruction of Mako Reactor 1, and the loss of power throughout Sectors 1 and 8. Sneak peeks of the following scenes are shown and the demo ends.
"Mako Reactor" plays inside the reactor itself until the Guard Scorpion battle begins, where the background theme changes back to "Bombing Mission".
Behind the scenes
During the mission Cloud has a moment where he breaks down and hears a voice that says, "This isn't just a reactor". In a scene that was scrapped from the final version of the game, Cloud would have had a conversation with Sephiroth where the latter would have explained what Mako Reactors really are. The "This isn't just a reactor" memory is a remnant of this deleted scene.
The PC port had a bug that occurred intermittently to crash the game at the start of the game as the train pulls into the station and an AVALANCHE member kicks a soldier. QA reported this bug as the port was being finalized, and all the programmers were scrambling to reprogram and debug it.
Final Fantasy VII demo
The Mako Reactor 1 bombing mission is the setting for the two PlayStation demos of Final Fantasy VII. Two versions of the demo exist, often differentiated by the third playable character: Aeris or Tifa. The Aeris demo is of earlier build and still has many changes from the final version. The Tifa demo is closer to the playable segment in the full game. In the final game of course, neither girl is playable, and only Cloud and Barret are in the player's party. Both demos end when AVALANCHE escapes the exploding reactor.
A former member of SOLDIER has come to destroy one of the Mako Reactors--machines that harness the planet's Lifestream to generate power.
Mako Reactor No. 1 is the first dungeon available whose completion unlocks Mako Reactor No. 5 in the Final Fantasy VII realm.