The upper world... a city on a plate... It's 'cuz of that &^#$# 'pizza', that people underneath are sufferin'!
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- and Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, and also appears in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-. It will again be a major location in Final Fantasy VII Remake.
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 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 entirely place 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.
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 Midgar 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.
Genesis War and the first incarnation of AVALANCHE Edit
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 Headquarters' 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 returning 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.
The second incarnation of AVALANCHE and Meteorfall Edit
Neo Midgar is President Shinra's vision to build a new Midgar in the legendary Promised Land, and make it an improved model based upon the present design.
Cloud Strife, working with a new incarnation of AVALANCHE now 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. Aeris 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 Aeris 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 known as 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. Aeris'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.
Geostigma crisis Edit
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 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.
Deepground conflict Edit
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.
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 which 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 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.
Upper plate Edit
- Sector 0
The Shinra Headquarters 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
Ground level Edit
- 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.
Below ground Edit
Midgar is located to the northwest on Gaia's eastern continent directly at the center of the Midgar Wasteland.
Creation and development Edit
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. Yuusuke 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.
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".
Musical themes Edit
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 Church "Flowers Blooming in the Church" (教会に咲く花, Kyōkai ni Saku Hana?) plays. "Heart of Anxiety" (不安な心, Fuan na Kokoro?) plays in Midgar's Train Graveyard. When infiltrating the Shinra Building, "Infiltrating Shinra" (神羅ビル潜入, Shinra Biru Sennyū?) plays.
Other appearances Edit
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". 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 Edit
Itadaki Street Edit
Midgar is present as a map in Itadaki Street Special.
Midgar returns as a stage in Itadaki Street Portable
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 Edit
Midgar appears as a "Legend Dungeon".
- 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.
- As an Easter Egg in Final Fantasy VII, "Aeris's ghost" can be seen in the Sector 5 Church.
- A giant Midgar model was shown at the Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete press screening party in the Sony Building in Tokyo. It is 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.
- Midgar is often seen only at night. 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.
- In preparation for the city's extension, highways were constructed on the upper layer to provide easy access from the city center to the city edge.
- One of the rooms from the Online Lobby in Dissidia Final Fantasy is named Midgar.
- 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.
- Midgar's structural design resembles the original concept of the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, as envisioned by Walt Disney.
- The Raid on Midgar glitch allows one to skip the entire return to Midgar on disc 2.