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Nibelheim is a small mountain village located in Final Fantasy VII. It is the hometown of both Cloud Strife and Tifa Lockhart, located at the base of Mt. Nibel in the Nibel Area. Years before the start of the game, a devastating incident occurred in the town that was never revealed to the public. Shinra Electric Power Company owns a mako reactor on the nearby Mt. Nibel, providing the town with power, as well as a manor on the outskirts of town that was the base for the company's scientific research for many years before it was left abandoned.


Nestled at the base of Mt. Nibel, Nibelheim was initially just a popular getaway for mountain climbers. Upon Shinra Electric Power Company rising in influence, Mt. Nibel was selected as one of the first choice locations for a mako reactor due to its abundant mako, as well as its safe distance from the Republic of Junon. Shinra started constructing the Shinra Manor and the Mt. Nibel reactor in 1960, the latter opening eight years later. Though its abundance of mako and being a town directly associated with Shinra allowed the town to prosper, monsters began to appear near the town at a greater rate after the reactor's construction and Mt. Nibel eventually became too dangerous to be feared and forbidden to traverse.[1]

A local legend of hidden treasure known as the Seven Great Wonders was known in Nibelheim.

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)

Shinra Mansion[]


Shinra Mansion in Nibelheim.

The Shinra Mansion on the outskirts of Nibelheim was the first structure built years before the town was established, and it holds many secrets of Professor Hojo's experiments. The mansion, having been in the Shinra Electric Power Company's possession for a long time, was the setting for the experiments that would become the Jenova Project. It is a derelict house of grandeur with a walk leading from the town outskirts to the entrance.

Many years ago the head of Shinra's Science Division, Hojo, used the basement for his experiments. In competition with his rival, Hollander, he tried to create a human with the powers of an Ancient. He injected Jenova's cells into his colleague and lover, Lucrecia Crescent, while she was in early stages of pregnancy. This led to the birth of Sephiroth, a child born fused with Jenova cells. Although Sephiroth did not possess the powers of an Ancient, he was raised to be the ultimate SOLDIER while Lucrecia was unable to have a role in his life.

Vincent's Coffin

Vincent inside his coffin.

The Turk Vincent Valentine, whose assignment was to monitor the scientists during their experiments, fell in love with Lucrecia. When he heard of the ghastly things being done to her and her unborn child, Vincent confronted Hojo who shot Vincent. Lucrecia, realizing Vincent had been trying to protect her, tried to save his life.

She discovered a way to use Chaos, the servant of the Omega, to save Vincent, giving him the ability to transfigure. Hojo, seeing the use of this ability, implanted more and more monsters within him, but Vincent began to see himself as an abomination, and as a failure for failing to save Lucrecia. He repented by resigning to a coffin in the mansion's basement, where he slept almost undisturbed for 23 years.

Cloud and Tifa's childhood[]

FFVIIR young Cloud and Tifa

Cloud and Tifa under the starry night sky.

Nibelheim remained a peaceful town where Cloud Strife and Tifa Lockhart grew up. While Tifa played with her friends, Cloud isolated himself. His mother was his only family, as his father had died while he was young. He considered the other children childish and himself superior.

Tifa's mother died and she believed she could find her again by climbing Mt. Nibel. She injured herself during the trek and fell into a coma. Cloud, who had followed her, was blamed for the incident and Tifa's father forbid him from getting close to Tifa. Cloud idolized Sephiroth, the hero SOLDIER of the Wutai War, and thought if he became a hero like him people would accept him, and he would win Tifa's attention. Before leaving for Midgar he met up with Tifa and told her his plans to become a SOLDIER, promising he would come to her rescue whenever she needed protection. Cloud departed and Tifa began training with Zangan, a martial arts expert, and worked as a guide on Mt. Nibel for tourists and visitors.

The Nibelheim Incident[]

Nibelheim Photo

A photo of Zack, Tifa, and Sephiroth.

Cloud meets his idol Sephiroth, but never attains his goal of becoming SOLDIER First Class, becoming a mere Shinra infantryman who follows Zack Fair on missions. Sephiroth and Zack and their guards head to Nibelheim to investigate a broken section of the Nibel Reactor. Cloud is too ashamed to show his failure to his hometown, and keeps his helmet on when they meet with Tifa, their guide. When a picture is taken of the party before heading out, Cloud stays out of it.

As the group makes its way to the reactor, a bridge collapses and a Shinra infantryman goes missing. Upon arriving at the reactor, Sephiroth and Zack fix a broken valve, but find the hideous by-products of Hojo's experiments—makonoids—within pods who once were humans. The back of the reactor has a sealed door, inscribed with the name Sephiroth had come to associate with the mother he had never met: Jenova. Sephiroth wonders if he is no different from the monsters, and his former friend, Genesis Rhapsodos, who had earlier deserted Shinra, appears to confirm his suspicions. Wanting to learn more, Sephiroth locks himself away in the Shinra Mansion basement. For several sleepless days, reads about the Jenova Project. The answers drive him insane.

Nibelheim Burns

The razing of Nibelheim.

Believing himself to be the heir to the Cetra legacy, due to a misconception that Jenova was an Ancient, Sephiroth slaughters most of the townsfolk and burns the town to the ground. Zack, Tifa, Zangan, and Cloud try to help, but their efforts are in vain. Cloud's mother and Tifa's father are killed. Sephiroth climbs Mt. Nibel to find his mother, Jenova, inside the reactor. He breaks into the sealed room and speaks with an angelic effigy that masks Jenova from view about finding the promised land. He tears the effigy off the machine, revealing an alien monster in a tank whom he refers to as "mother".

Tifa and Zack confront Sephiroth in the reactor. Tifa picks up the discarded Masamune and rushes at Sephiroth, but is disarmed and incapacitated. Zack fights Sephiroth but is defeated and cast aside. Finally Cloud charges at Sephiroth, impaling him with Zack's Buster Sword. Cloud leaves to check on Tifa and Zack, but Sephiroth staggers out of Jenova's chamber, holding her severed head. Cloud attacks Sephiroth again, but is disarmed and impaled through the chest. Using the sword as a lever, Cloud picks up Sephiroth and tosses him into the lifestream below the reactor.

Zangan rescues Tifa, but the player Turks of Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII- capture Cloud and Zack. In Episodes 12 and 13, the player, along with the Turk leader, Verdot, helps Hojo start his new experiment and hide the incidence. Cloud and Zack are used as test subjects in Hojo's Jenova Reunion Theory. They, and the survivors of Sephiroth's rampage who were caught and rounded up, are injected with Jenova cells and kept in mako tanks. The town is then rebuilt as a complex for the treatment of Mako Poisoning, with hired actors and applicants to cover up the Nibelheim incident. Various travelers and visitors in time eventually also come to notice this by more nuanced details, from the absence of the local dialects to associated customs anyone would expect of Nibelheim.


Zack and Cloud escape their confinement.

Years later, having a vision of Angeal Hewley, Zack breaks free from his stasis and releases Cloud, who is suffering from mako poisoning, before the two escape Nibelheim. Zack is unaffected by the experiments, possibly due to having already been exposed to mako by way of becoming a SOLDIER. He learns of the coverup and that Shinra has sealed up Sephiroth's records and pronounced him KIA.

Zangan had brought Tifa to Midgar after her injuries were treated, with Tifa joining Barret's Avalanche cell and running their headquarters, the 7th Heaven bar in the Sector 7 Slums.

Original continuity[]

Five years later, Cloud and Tifa have reunited and search for the resurfaced Sephiroth across the planet. Their search leads them to their hometown of Nibelheim, now rebuilt and infested with Sephiroth-clones who chant on about Sephiroth and the Reunion. Not one of the town's inhabitants recognizes either of them, since they are fakes put in place by Shinra. In Tifa's old house Cloud finds a letter detailing what happened in Nibelheim since they have been gone.

In the Shinra Mansion basement they find Vincent Valentine locked in a coffin, who can be coaxed to join the party. They encounter Jenova in Sephiroth's disguise who tells Cloud to follow across the mountains.

During the events Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-, Vincent Valentine returns to the Shinra Mansion.

Remake continuity[]

Cloud hallucinates burning Nibelheim from FFVII Remake

Nibelheim water tower ablaze in Cloud's vision.

Five years after the Nibelheim Incident, Cloud and Tifa have reunited in Midgar. In "Fateful Encounters" in Final Fantasy VII Remake, a resurfaced Sephiroth torments Cloud by trapping him in a hallucination of his burning hometown and gloating about having personally killed Cloud's mother.

In Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, "Fall of a Hero", Cloud tells his version of the Nibelheim Incident to Barret, Tifa, Aerith, and Red XIII, reminiscing how he was deployed to the town alongside Sephiroth, visited his mother, met Tifa, climbed Mt Nibel to the reactor, and afterward Sephiroth went insane and torched the town and killed the townspeople while he was unable to do anything to stop him. Cloud even remembers Tifa being so badly injured he thought she would surely die. He fails to recall what happened after confronting Sephiroth at Jenova's chamber, and when they are alone, Tifa confides to Aerith that Cloud never came to Nibelheim five years ago.

The party's search for the resurfaced Sephiroth eventually takes them to Nibelheim in "The Long Shadow of Shinra", as Cait Sith requires a Shinra terminal to access documents on the whereabouts of the Temple of the Ancients. Cloud and Tifa are shocked that the town has been rebuilt, and is now a sanatorium for those suffering of "mako poisoning", though all patients seem to be the black-robed men they have been following to find Sephiroth. The staff are wary of them being outsiders but recognize Cait Sith as being affiliated with Shinra and let them stay for a short time.

The group splits with Cloud's group traveling to find the Nibel survey team for permission to access the terminal in the Shinra Manor, Cloud starting to remember Zack. They learn the survey team were attacked by Wutai ninja and pass clearance to Cait Sith as he leads the others into Shinra Manor while Red XIII remains behind to wait for Cloud's group.

Cait Sith leads Barret and Aerith through the Shinra Manor basement and they reunite with Cloud's group. They discover Vincent sleeping in the basement whose permission they need to use the terminal. Vincent turns on them when Cloud wanders into an experimentation room and has a flashback of one of the mako tanks, but they defeat Vincent's Galian Beast form and Cait Sith completes his inquiry, finding out the temple is in the northern continent but requires a keystone for entry.

Outside the manor, Roche arrives to again challenge Cloud, but the former's mental state has strongly deteriorated ever since undergoing Professor Hojo's experimentation that led to Roche being tattooed with a number designation like many of the robed men. Though much strong now, he still loses to Cloud. Other robed men from the village converge upon Roche who turns into a ghoulish version of his former self, just another black robe, and joins the procession of them. When Cloud and friends depart Nibel Region to hunt for the keystone, Vincent unexpectedly comes with them.

After Sephiroth's partial "Reunion of the worlds", the black-robed men at Nibelheim begin to leave town.

Spoilers end here.



Location of Nibelheim, indicated by crosshair.

Nibelheim is located to the west on Gaia's Western continent, specifically in the Nibel Area. The town is located at the base of Mt. Nibel, and runs through the town from the entrance to lead up to the mountain. The Nibel Reactor located within Mt. Nibel presumably powers the town.

Nibelheim comprises several buildings which are an architectural mix between classical style houses, with a few technological details added on. In the center of the town is a well tower, around which the houses circle it. Past this plaza is the Shinra Manor, a grander building surrounded by a fence. Nibelheim is light on vegetation, with a few flowers close by the buildings and trees inside the manor's fence, but is built on otherwise barren ground beneath the mountain.

Beneath the town is a large man-made sewer-system that stretches from the reactor upon Mt. Nibel to the town beneath Shinra Manor.[2]


Final Fantasy VII[]

Nibelheim is first visited during "The Tragedy of Five Years Ago" purely in the flashback scene, in which Cloud describes his version of events that took place in the Nibelheim Incident. Throughout this, the player can interact with the town, and when attempting to enter Cloud or Tifa's house, he will be asked by other party members who seek clarity about his story.

Later, the party return to Nibelheim in "Unnatural Hometown", where they find the rebuilt town. At this point, the objective is simply to pass through the town, though entering Shinra Mansion will allow them to recruit Vincent and fight Lost Number. Returning to the town will allow the player to obtain very valuable items, especially the Final Heaven for Tifa, by playing the piano in her house.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth[]

Nibelheim in chapter 1 from FFVII Rebirth

Nibelheim in chapter 1.

The original Nibelheim is a playable location in chapter 1, "Fall of a Hero", but no items or EXP gained in this chapter carry forward.

The rebuilt Nibelheim is playable from chapter 11, "The Long Shadow of Shinra", onward. The player can use the inn and shops here, play against Queen's Blood opponents, play the piano in "Tifa's" house, and do some odd jobs. During the party's initial stay, party interactions count toward affection mechanics.

Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-[]


The main town area of Nibelheim.

The player enters Nibelheim in chapter 8. From the main area of town, the player can access the inn and the outskirts, which also lead out to Shinra Manor and to Mt. Nibel. In the town, the player can talk to a boy, who is at the heart of the Seven Wonders sidequest.

Later in chapter 8, when the town is burning, a chest containing a Fire Ring sits outside the building. The player can talk to the boy to save his mother from the building as part of the Seven Wonders sidequest.

In chapter 9, when the player discovers a restored Nibelheim, they are attacked by Shinra infantrymen. After returning to and exiting the Shinra Manor, a final fight with some infantrymen takes place in a lit-up nighttime Nibelheim.

Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-[]

Nibelheim is accessed in Chapter 5 of Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-. Vincent attempts to enter Shinra Manor through the town sewers. Nibelheim had been compromised by Deepground at the time.

Nibelheim Sewers[]

DoC Nibelheim Sewers

Nibelheim Sewers.

The Nibelheim sewers is a large man-made sewer-system that stretches from the Reactor upon Mt. Nibel to the town of Nibelheim beneath Shinra Manor. There are 33 Sahagin enemies located in Nibelheim Sewers.

Following the path, the player will find a Potion on the right-side, and a Handgun Bullet x72 on the left. Further down on the left is a Phoenix Down. Further on, a Cardkey gate will block the way, on the right is a ladder for the player to climb. Here is a Mako point. From here the player can jump into the water to initiate a Sahagin attack, one of which having the Cardkey. After opening the Cardkey gate, the player should head to the red dot as seen on the map.

Back in the water, through the southern tunnel, and up the stairs is a Rifle Bullets x52 behind the player on their right. Heading left and forwards takes the player to an 1,000 gil pick-up. In the tunnel is a Limit Breaker. Back out and on the opposite side of the room is another room with boxes containing Machine Gun Bullets x70, and 900 gil. Back out there, and following the sewer going down the left leads to an end where the player can turn left again to get a Blizzard Materia. Back out and on the opposite side is a tunnel.

Down the tunnel and then out on the left will lead the player to a Potion on their right. Further down on the left is Rifle Bullets x40. A Cardkey barrier is opened by a nearby Sahagin's Cardkey. After getting the Handgun Bullets x72 pick-up in the center, the Cardkey gates will appear, keeping the player in. A subsequent Sahagin will have a Cardkey. Heading forwards in their original direction will get them 2,500 gil. Turning back east up the ladder is a Mako Point, and further on is a switch. The player can jump in the water to pick up a Potion and 500 gil. The red dot on the map takes the player to the sewer's exit.

Storage Unit

The sewers exit out into a storage unit occupied by Deepground soldiers. In here the player will find an elevator taking them to the second and third floor. A smaller room has a small entrance where the player can crouch and move underneath. In here is a line of items, being a 100 gil pick-up, a 400 gil pick-up, and a Power Booster. An infinite DG Soldier respawn also occurs in here.

On the second floor there is a pathway taking them downstairs to a vending machine. On the third floor, the player finds Machine Gun Bullets x45, Handgun Bullets x90. This eventually links up to the library of Shinra Manor.

Musical themes[]

In Final Fantasy VII, when Nibelheim is first visited in Cloud's flashback, the song "On That Day, 5 Years Ago" (5年前のあの日, Gonen Mae no ano Hi?) plays. When the party later visits the town, the background music changes to "Anxiety" (不安な心, Fuan na Kokoro?, lit. Anxious Heart). Inside the Shinra Mansion, the background music switches to "Those Chosen by the Planet" (星に選ばれし者, Hoshi ni Erabareshi Mono?). Inside the basement the music turns to "The Nightmare Begins" (悪夢の始まり, Akumu no Hajimari?).

In Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-, the only piece that plays through the sewers and Shinra Manor is "Uneasy Feelings". "Memories with Lucrecia" plays in Vincent's flashback cutscene upon exiting of the sewers, and this also plays in the scenes after entry to the mansion in addition to "Lifestream", itself based upon "Memories with Lucrecia". In the two scenes with Rosso the Crimson, "Rosso the Crimson" plays. "Arms of Shinra" plays against the Black Widow.

"The Shrouded Village (from FFVII "Heart of Anxiety")"

In Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, the track that plays in Nibelheim including its outskirts during Chapter 9 is called "The Shrouded Village (from FFVII "Heart of Anxiety")", a rendition of "Anxiety". In Shinra Manor, "The Ominous Mansion" plays, which is an eerie version of one of the recurring melodies, notable in "The Terrible Truth". During a Nibelheim in flames, the piece played in the background is "March Through Harsh Terrain (from LAST ORDER FFVII)". In Chapter 10, "The Ominous Mansion" plays in the Shinra Manor including through battles. In the outskirts "The Shrouded Village (from FFVII "Heart of Anxiety")" plays, and into the main part of town until it switches to "CRISIS CORE Theme - Blazing Through the Battlefield". Beyond this the "Night of Seclusion" piece is the only music to play except for Zack's flashback to Aerith where "A Flower Blooming in the Slums (from FFVII "Aerith's Theme")" plays. In the Nibel plains where "Wandering under the Moonlight (from LAST ORDER FFVII)" is the background music.

Other appearances[]

Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade[]

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Final Fantasy Record Keeper[]

FFRK Nibelheim FFVII
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World of Final Fantasy[]

WoFF Nibelheim

Nibelheim is the hometown of Tifa and is a rare town that has not been annexed by the Bahamutian Federation. An arrangement of "Tifa's Theme" plays in Nibelheim.

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Behind the scenes[]

The black capes around Nibelheim yield various stat-boosting sources when spoken to. The one outside the mansion gives a Mind Source, but the text box has an error, saying "Mind Plus" rather than Mind Source. Like in the quantum Potion bug, the same variable is used for obtaining this Mind Source as for the Luck Source obtained from the black cloak on the bottom floor of the inn; when the player picks up either one, the other registers as already being taken, so it is impossible to pick up both. Because players are likely to visit the inn before the mansion (as the party arrives from that side of the area), many likely never obtain the Mind Source.

Tifa's diary was originally intended to be readable in the Nibelheim flashback, and the text is given in the Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega. The three boys in Nibelheim are referred to by the names Wel (ウエル, Weru?), Dan (ダン, Dan?), and Mayday (メイデー, Meidē?). The diary also mentions that she read a book about Mako being the lifeblood of the planet written by a Mon Moth (モン・モス, Mon Mosu?) (likely a reference to Mon Mothma from Star Wars).[3]


Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII remake project
Crisis Core
Before Crisis


The name Nibelheim is based on Niflheim. Niflheim, also called Niflheimr, is a location in Norse Mythology meaning "mist world". In the story of Gylfaginning, Odin explains that creation began when the ice of Niflheimr met the flames of Muspelheim. Nibelheim is literally translated as "fog-home" in German. "Nibel" is an old-fashioned way to pronounce "Nebel", the German word for "fog", but can also be translated as "cloud" resulting in "cloud home". This is implicitly suggested by being the home of the protagonist, Cloud.

Early concept screenshots shows dialogue where the town is called ニヴルヘイム (Nivuruheim?), the standard transliteration of Niflheim in Japanese.


  1. Final Fantasy VII Remake Trace of Two Pasts, Traces of Tifa, p. 3
  2. Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-
  3. Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega, p.526-527