Take a good look. It's because of that great big pizza in the sky that people down there gotta struggle to survive.Barret Wallace
Midgar is the capital city and power base of the Shinra Electric Power Company in the world of Gaia. It is a major location in Final Fantasy VII, Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-, Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, and Final Fantasy VII Remake, and also appears in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-.
Midgar opens Final Fantasy VII and is the location for the game's beginning. The city can be accessed again after the party has the Highwind by finding the key in Bone Village, but only the Sector 5 Slums and the Wall Market can be explored. Midgar is often seen only at night, especially the topside area. Gameplay in Final Fantasy VII, Before Crisis, and Crisis Core all keep the city in the dark while the player is above the plate. It is only when they are in the slums that sunlight can be seen trickling through the metal structure. Also, the Midgar area of the Final Fantasy VII world map is always in night time. One notable exception is the opening cinematic in Final Fantasy VII Remake, which begins with a daytime flyby of the city.
Midgar is one of the most iconic locations in the Final Fantasy VII games and the whole Final Fantasy series. It embodies many themes put forward in Final Fantasy VII, of the greedy capitalism of Shinra and the authoritarian power the company can project, the environmental disaster that faces the planet, and how new is rapidly replacing the old, displacing the lives of many people. The first part of the Final Fantasy VII Remake project takes place entirely in Midgar. The developers chose to focus on Midgar as it best represents the world of Final Fantasy VII and is said to have strong elements of color and variety.
- 1 Profile
- 2 Story
- 3 Layout
- 4 Location
- 5 Musical themes
- 6 Other appearances
- 7 Non-Final Fantasy guest appearances
- 8 Behind the scenes
- 9 Gallery
- 10 Etymology
- 11 External links
- 12 References
Powered by eight giant mako reactors that were erected by the Shinra Electric Power Company, Midgar is known as the city of mako. Rising 300 meters above ground level, the steel plates surrounding the Shinra Building offer comfortable residential districts for its well-heeled citizens. Below these plates, however, are the dark and derelict slums for the impoverished.Loading Screen, Final Fantasy VII Remake
Midgar is the most technologically advanced city on the planet. Its large circular structure is supported above the ground by eight mako reactors and a central pillar, with various other supports around the city. On top of the structure lies the city proper, divided into eight sectors, while underneath it lie the slums for the city's unfortunate and downtrodden. Midgar was once eight individual towns, but their names have been forgotten in favor of referring to the different areas as sectors.
Governed as a police state, the city is home to some of the richest and most powerful people who run most of the city's affairs from the central Shinra Building, which dominates the cityscape. Among these people are the Shinra executives, the de facto world leader, President Shinra, and the figurehead city leader, Mayor Domino. Midgar's construction and development is overseen by Shinra's head of urban development, Reeve Tuesti.
Construction of the city began in 1976, to provide residence for the Shinra Electric Power Company's growing investment and employment base. The city is under continuous construction throughout the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII.
Thanks to its eight mako reactors, the city's massive power demands are met, but at a cost to the surrounding countryside, which has become a barren wasteland due to the city sapping the surrounding life energy. Due to this, the city and its reactors are a prime target for terrorism/rebel groups like Avalanche who seek to restore the planet to its former state and stop Shinra from sapping its life energy. Shinra's darkest secrets lurk miles underground with an entire hidden city home to their Deepground program. The city runs on Midgar Standard Time, the only known time zone in the series.
Genesis War and the first incarnation of Avalanche
In Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, steel girders and the lack of the fortress-like walls around the city perimeter suggest that parts of Midgar are still being constructed. A mail received partway reveals the Shinra Building's completion is scheduled in two years, and the surrounding city in seven.
Midgar serves as the headquarters for Zack Fair and other SOLDIER members who spend their stand-by time on the 49th floor of the Shinra Building where they can train, manufacture materia from discovered mako stones, or pick up official Shinra equipment. Zack takes orders from Director Lazard Deusericus two floors above.
During their off-time, Shinra employees go out into the city, seeing sights, such as LOVELESS Avenue in Sector 8, or visit friends by the rail system to travel down to the slums. The Sector 8 square is a short walk away from the Sector 1 train station, which is directly connected to Sector 5.
Genesis Rhapsodos sends his army to attack the city and rescue Dr. Hollander. SOLDIER defeats the attack, but Hollander is taken by the Genesis Army. When Zack leaves for Nibelheim, he can no longer return to Midgar.
A so-called "Ultimate Summon," Zirconiade's summon materia is so powerful it needs four support materia to be fully summoned into the world, which were hidden around the planet long ago. In Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII- Fuhito, the demented scientist of the first incarnation of Avalanche, seeks the support materia and plans to summon Zirconiade to eradicate all life on the planet to return all the world's spiritual energy to the lifestream so the planet could heal from the influence of the Shinra Electric Power Company. On the highways out of Midgar, the Turks—the members of Shinra's intelligence agency—find Fuhito and Avalanche summoning Zirconiade, the summoning incomplete because Zirconiade needs more energy. As the player Turk and Fuhito fight, the five materia pieces react to each other, fusing into one. Fuhito seizes it and rushes to the site of Zirconiade's summoning to complete the summon.
The Turks pursue Fuhito into Midgar as he attempts to get to the site of Zirconiade's appearance. Fuhito inserts the complete Zirconiade materia into his own body and offers himself as a sacrifice to complete the summon. Fuhito is transformed by Zirconiade's power, but is defeated by the player's Turk. Though Fuhito is killed, Zirconiade manifests and the Turks head to find it, battling monsters spawned by Zirconiade that invade Midgar. Transported into a pocket dimension, the Turks destroy Zirconiade and save the planet, but much of the Sector 6 plate is destroyed in the battle. In Final Fantasy VII Remake meanwhile, it is said that the Sector 6 plate fell during a construction accident many years ago.
The second incarnation of Avalanche and Meteorfall
Cloud Strife, working with a new Avalanche cell led by Barret Wallace, fights Shinra to protect the planet. Shinra uses extreme measures to defeat the terrorists by dropping the Sector 7 plate to crush the slums. Aerith is kidnapped for Shinra's Neo Midgar project, and Avalanche attacks the Shinra Building to save her. The invasion fails, and they are imprisoned. The legendary SOLDIER First Class Sephiroth appears to return from the dead and murders President Shinra, and the party begins to tail him around the world. Rufus Shinra succeeds his father as the new head of the company, and instead of using Aerith, tries to track down Sephiroth to the promised land instead. Neo Midgar is never built however, as even if Shinra discovers what they imagine is the promised land in the North Crater, the world is plunged into chaos as Sephiroth summons a Meteor to destroy the planet.
The Sister Ray, a powerful mako cannon, is moved to the city to dispel the force field Sephiroth eventually erects around the North Crater. The Diamond Weapon, one of the colossal monsters roused by the planet after Sephiroth summoned Meteor, ascends out of the sea, and approaches Midgar. Unable to detect Sephiroth because of the barrier he's erected, the Weapons have taken to attacking Shinra's sites of power instead. Rufus orders the cannon fired. It destroys Diamond Weapon, but the monster fires back and the Shinra Building's top floors are destroyed. Rufus is thought dead and Shinra crumbles and the Turks abandon their objective to hunt down Cloud's party.
Professor Hojo takes control of the Sister Ray, and prepares to fire it again to help Sephiroth by giving him a boost of mako energy. Cloud and his team parachute down into Midgar to defeat him. Along the way, they fight the Shinra executives Scarlet and Heidegger, who are controlling a giant robot called the Proud Clod. They destroy the machine and possibly kill both of the executives inside. The party makes its way up to the cannon where they kill Hojo and his hideous mutant forms.
Despite Cloud and his party's best attempts to stop the cataclysm, Meteor falls directly over the city. Reeve had prepared for the disaster by moving the population of the upper plate into the slums, but the tornado-like storms generated by the gravity between the Meteor and the planet tear much of the city to pieces. The Turks from Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII- return to evacuate everyone. Aerith's Holy spell fails to stop the falling rock, and only with the lifestream's intervention is Holy able to destroy Meteor and save what remains of the city and its citizens. Midgar is only thirty-one years old by the time it is destroyed.
After Meteorfall, Midgar in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is but a sad ruin, uninhabitable despite attempts to rebuild. The mako leaks created by the reactors that once kept the city running now make living in the ruins impossible. Midgar stands as a crumbling monument to its former glory and to the folly of man's abuse of the planet, as well as a tribute to the sacrifices made to save the planet two years before. Most of the citizens have moved to the areas directly around the former capital, constructing a new city called Edge.
Cloud, living in Edge with Tifa, Marlene Wallace and Denzel, leaves Tifa to live in the Sector 5 slums church in the Midgar ruins, suffering from Geostigma in solitude. Tifa and Marlene come to investigate Cloud's whereabouts, but one of the remnants of Sephiroth, Loz, attacks them. Tifa and Loz fight through the church, and Tifa seems to have the upper hand, but thanks to Loz's super-speed, he wins.
Once Loz and his brother Yazoo have been defeated, only Kadaj remains. He grabs the remains of his "Mother", Jenova, and escapes into Midgar. Cloud chases him on his motorcycle, and they find themselves at Aerith's church. Thanks to the purified spring beneath the flowers, Cloud's Geostigma is healed. Kadaj flees, and fuses with Jenova to become Sephiroth.
Cloud and Sephiroth fight through the city. Their battle rains further destruction on the ruined city, and a large chunk of the Shinra Building collapses. Cloud defeats Sephiroth and healing rain sent by Aerith falls from the sky, curing the world of Geostigma.
Midgar is home to a battle in Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- between the forces of Deepground and the World Regenesis Organization, the latter of which launches a two-pronged attack from land and air to protect the planet. The secretive Reactor 0 acts as Deepground's base of operations.
Vincent Valentine must infiltrate the Shinra Building's remains to enter Reactor 0 from its only entrance, the President's secret elevator, and also goes through the Train Graveyard. Deepground summon the ultimate Weapon, Omega, but Vincent, using the power of Chaos, defeats it before the world is drained of all life.
Water returns to the city outskirts, and a small amount of vegetation, such as grass and flowers, start growing in the once lifeless desert.
Five hundred years after the end of Final Fantasy VII, Red XIII and his cubs run to the cliffs overlooking Midgar's ruins now overgrown with vegetation. Part of the Midgar area is covered by a shallow sea. Edge is overtaken by the natural world, as well.
Powered by eight giant mako reactors that were erected by the Shinra Electric Power Company, Midgar is known as the city of mako. Rising 300 meters above ground level, the steel plates surrounding the Shinra Building offer comfortable residential districts for its well-heeled citizens. Below these plates, however, are the dark and derelict slums for the impoverished.Final Fantasy VII Remake loading screen
Described as a "technological pizza", the city is divided up into nine sectors: Sectors 1 through 8 refer to the eight districts of the city, with Sector 0 being the central district that holds the main headquarters of Shinra. Between each sector is a mako reactor that provides the sectors with electricity, each reactor situated counterclockwise to a sector (e.g. No.1 Reactor sits between Sector 8 and Sector 1) with No.1 being the most northern, and the sectors increasing in number going clockwise.
The ground-level slums are accessed either via the city's train system running through the Corkscrew Tunnel or via hidden paths threaded throughout the city's sewers. A secret city, known as Deepground, is located below both Midgar and the slums, only accessible via the Sector 0 reactor.
In the original Final Fantasy VII, the raid on Midgar glitch allows one to skip the entire return to Midgar on Part 2.
- Sector 0
The Shinra Building dominates the Midgar skyline from Sector 0. Mayor Domino works in the building's upper floors. Although supposedly in control of the city, he is little more than a librarian; President Shinra himself rules the city from the top floor, with executive Reeve Tuesti in charge of the city's urban development.
- Sector 1
- Sector 4
- Sector 5
- Sector 6
- Sector 7
- Sector 8
- Midgar Highway
- Midgar Slums
A large slum that developed under the elevated city, they are a warren of desperation and underhand/criminal activity.
- Midgar Wasteland
A wasteland that surrounds the city and slums of Midgar, the Midgar Wasteland is the result of Shinra's siphoning of the area's Mako energy, sapping the planet of its life energy.
Midgar is located to the northwest on Gaia's eastern continent directly at the center of the Midgar Wasteland.
While the city as a whole has several themes, "Under the Rotting Pizza" (腐ったピザの下で, Kusatta Piza no Shita De?) is the most prominent in Midgar, playing during most of its slum areas. The theme is named after the "pizza" plate of Midgar above the slums. For the upper areas, "Lurking in the Darkness" (闇に潜む, Yami ni Hisomu?) plays as the main theme.
Throughout the rest of Midgar's slums, "The Oppressed" plays in the markets, while in the Sector 5 slums church "Flowers Blooming in the Church" (教会に咲く花, Kyōkai ni Saku Hana?) plays. "Anxiety" (不安な心, Fuan na Kokoro?, lit. Anxious Heart) plays in Midgar's Train Graveyard. When infiltrating the Shinra Building, "Infiltrating Shinra" (神羅ビル潜入, Shinra Biru Sennyū?) plays.
Dissidia Final Fantasy (2008)
One of the rooms from the Online Lobby is named Midgar.
Midgar is present as a room for preset characters of the game's Multiplayer Mode Online Lobby.
Midgar is one the six default stages in the initial arcade release.
The battlefield resembles a rectangular trapezium, being more open away from the Shinra building, but more smaller towards it. Various platforms of different elevation can be used on different sides of the stage.
Midway through battle, Meteorfall commences.
Midgar returns in the FMS for "Main Theme of Final Fantasy VII" , and BMS for "Let The Battles Begin!", "Fight On", and "Encounter. The streets of Midgar appear in the FMS for "The Chase". Two other versions of Midgar appear in the BMS for the Advent Children versions of "J-E-N-O-V-A" and "One-Winged Angel", respectively.
Non-Final Fantasy guest appearances
Midgar is present as a map in Itadaki Street Special.
Midgar returns as a stage in Itadaki Street Portable
In SSB4, Midgar is sold as a downloadable stage for both the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS versions, coinciding with Cloud's release as a playable character. The stage consists of a large floating platform with three smaller platforms floating over it, making it similar in shape to another stage, Battlefield. Shinra Headquarters' tower shows prominently in the background.
Stage hazards consist of several summons from Final Fantasy VII coming in and attacking the stage. These hazards first appear as Materia bouncing around, which players can collect to use to attack other players. These summons include:
- Odin: Cuts the stage into two separate parts with its sword.
- Leviathan: Floods the arena, making the main platform surf across a huge body of water.
- Ramuh: Electrifies the three floating platforms.
- Ifrit: Attacks with fire magic, tilting the stage to the side.
- Bahamut ZERO: Attacks with a devastating flare, which destroys the city in the background and creates a damaging pillar of light on the stage.
The alternate Ω Form stage removed the stage hazard summons and flattens the stage into a single large platform.
Midgar also returns in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and is available in the base game.
Rampage Land Rankers
Midgar appears as a "Legend Dungeon".
Behind the scenes
In the earliest ideas for the game, Final Fantasy VII was to take place in the real-world New York City, from which the fictional city of Midgar was born. Yusuke Naora, the art director for Final Fantasy VII, designed many of the locations for the game and is most proud of his work on Midgar.
I had the image of a pizza in mind when I designed that city, and I really like how it turned out.Yuusuke Naora
The "pizza" theme is referred to in the game with Barret calling the upper plate such, there being a track called "Underneath the Rotting Pizza" on the soundtrack, and the mayor of Midgar—Domino, and his deputy, Hart (Hut)—being named after pizza chains.
According to the Ultimania Omega, in an early draft of the script, Midgar was built by a group of "cultured" people wishing to escape the world below, which was rapidly running out of Mako energy. This early version of the script described Midgar as "a misshapen city built in the sky, covered in iron plates and the stench of sewage".
A giant Midgar model was shown at the Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete press screening party in the Sony Building in Tokyo. It was similar to the model of Midgar found on Floor 65 of Shinra Headquarters in Final Fantasy VII. It even features an incomplete Sector 6 plate, which was still under construction during the events of Final Fantasy VII.
When rebuilding Midgar for the Final Fantasy VII Remake, the team referred to Advent Children and other previous works, but one of the main things they set out to redo was the scale of the city to make it more realistic regarding the size between the buildings and the density. Though the team haven't done everything to the same level of detail as the visitable areas, they mapped out the entire city and what would be in each area. The team even worked out the right size and construction for how a city like Midgar would exist in the real world, how big the supporting pillars would need to be and their honeycomb structure, as well as where the tunnels would have to go for it to still work as a physical structure. The city is being built from the center outwards and the the architectural style changes further out from the central pillar.
The Remake strives to show more of the ordinary life of regular citizens living in Midgar. The original version starts with the bombing mission as the developers wanted to start in the middle of the action. Yet, going straight from the bombing mission into the streets amid panicked citizens wouldn't convey the impact the destruction of a mako reactor has on people's everyday lives, and thus it was decided the Remake would start with a "domestic kind of scene". The playground serves to distinguish the economic inequality between citizens, which exists not just between the slum dwellers and those who live above the plate, but also within each sector, as each plate is its own city. The playground is used to show there are impoverished areas in the upper plate areas too.
The size Midgar has been depicted as has varied, but Final Fantasy VII Remake offers a 1/10,000 model of the city that could be used to compare it to real world settings. However, the Shinra Building would then appear impossibly large on a city of this size, as it towers over the metropolis and is visible from various vantage points. When Cloud stands next to the model, he is about as tall as the Shinra Building; Cloud's height multiplied by 10,000 would be over 17 kilometers (nearly 11 miles).
In Final Fantasy VII Remake, the Sector 5 slums are directly connected with the Sector 6 slums, and it's possible to freely move between them, making the complete map seem much smaller than Midgar's size would suggest. The upper plate is not scaled to reflect this, placing both the Sector 5 and 6 slums under the same plate: the broken down Sector 6. This is especially noticeable by looking at the sector's pillar outside the Sector 5 slums church; the pillar is only visible from Sector 5, but it disappears from view if the player goes to Sector 6.
- Screenshots and backgrounds
- Final Fantasy VII Remake
Midgar's name derives from Midgard. Midgard is one of the nine plains, or worlds, in old Norse mythology. Midgard is considered cut-off from the other realms by a great sea and an endless desert, and was crafted from the slain body of Ymir, king of the jötunn (frost giants) whose body sustains the city's inhabitants. Midgard translates to "middle world" or "middle earth", reflecting its status as world that is both literal and figuratively in the middle of the eight realms. During the world-ending battle, Ragnarok, Midgard will be destroyed and a new world will emerge.
These parallels are present in Final Fantasy VII. Midgar being surrounded by a desert wasteland and the city is powered by Mako drained from the planet. The centrality of the mythological Midgard is reflected both in the Shinra Headquarters surrounded by the eight sectors, and Midgar serving as Shinra's base of power from which they monopolize the world's resources. In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children where Edge is built out of Midgar's ruins after it is destroyed during Meteorfall, alluding to Midgard's destruction during Ragnarok.
- Producer Yoshinori Kitase talks FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE (Accessed: June 15, 2019) at Square Enix Games
- Final Fantasy VII – 1997 Developer Interviews (Accessed: March 06, 2020) at shmuplations
- Producer Yoshinori Kitase and co-director Naoki Hamaguchi detail the big changes to the iconic city ahead of its PS4 debut. (Accessed: March 06, 2020) at PlayStation Blog