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
- 4 Behind the scenes
- 5 Other appearances
- 6 Gallery
- 7 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 and Final Fantasy VII Remake during a mission to destroy the reactor (the chapter "No. 1 Reactor Bombing" in Final Fantasy VII, or "The Destruction of Mako Reactor 1" in Final Fantasy VII Remake). 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.
The entrance to the reactor 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 in the original Final Fantasy VII has a brown-ish tint.
North Edge Station
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.
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
The upper station area above the station is where Cloud joins up 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 grounds. Along the wall are posters for Shinra Construction, with graffiti all across them. A locked door, with "RESTRICTED AREA" above it, marks the way forward.
The reactor grounds comprise a walled-off storage 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.
The storage area leads to a short yet tall hallway leads to a switch, which opens up into the walkway outside the reactor.
The walkway outside the reactor, also referred to as the gate passageway, is used to access Mako Reactor 1. 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 utility access contains a large staircase. It is a large, expansive room, with a red tint on the stairways, dark brick walls, and metallic pipes, accessed from 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 an armory is located. The structure also contains a small, round tower atop it that can be climbed using ladders (though it contains nothing of interest).
At the bottom of the utility access is an armory, and a room leading into mako storage. Along the walls are many inactive sweeper units, and several Shinra guards on patrol. At the end of the armory is a long hallway leading into the mako storage room.
The mako storage area is the site of the core. Pipes, ranging from large to immense, and fans, which regulate temperature, fill the walls of the large storage 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 scaffolding is located in the large area above mako storage, and lines the walls of the large core area, while 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 does not guarantee safety. A yellow line is also present at the edge of each stair.
The highest platform is located south of the large core area, and is accessed from the lowest level of the utility access (from the sweeper units area). From here, a series of ladders and platforms connect to the lower scaffolding that leads down to a ladder at the bottom of the core.
The core is located at the Mako Storage, where Cloud and Barret fight the Scorpion Sentinel (named Guard Scorpion in the original) and set the bomb. The core itself is surrounded by mako, and heavy machinery, with a single walkway connecting two platforms suspended above the mako. A ladder leads down to the first platform, and the second has the core itself, a large, tubular structure built into a wall and a set of pipes leading to a valve at the bottom.
Along the way to reach the core, MP, Guard Hound, Mono Drive, and 1st Ray enemies are fought. At the end, a battle with the Guard Scorpion takes place. The player must then flee the reactor, and the location cannot be revisited.
Mako Reactor 1 is visited in the opening chapter, "The Destruction of Mako Reactor 1". Cloud Strife is controlled for the majority of these quests, but Barret Wallace also joins from the quest "Breach Security" onwards.
The quests play out much like those in the original Final Fantasy VII, but are longer: the group must infiltrate the reactor to plant the bomb, fight the Scorpion Sentinel, and flee in "Escape from the Reactor". Along the way, the group fight guard dogs, Monodrives, security officers, Sentry Rays, Sweepers, and shock troopers.
The primary difference from the original Final Fantasy VII is that the Mako Reactor 1 map comprises a larger area, including the station outside the facility. In the original game, the station outside and the grounds leading into the reactor are instead part of the Sector 1 field.
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.
- Final Fantasy VII
- Final Fantasy VII Remake