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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.

Story[]

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 basement was used for experiments by the head of Shinra's Science Division, Hojo. 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, which 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 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 a monster, 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[]

Cloud and Tifa under the starry night sky.

Nibelheim remained a peaceful town and Cloud Strife and Tifa Lockhart grew up there. 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 and Cloud, who had followed her, was blamed for the incident and forbidden from getting close to Tifa by her father. 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[]

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 Nibelheim 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 and for several sleepless days, reads about the Jenova Project. The answers drive him insane.

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 throws him into the Lifestream below the reactor.

Zack and Cloud escape their confinement.

Zangan rescues Tifa, but Cloud and Zack are captured by the player Turks of Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-. In Episodes 12 and 13, the player, along with the Turk leader, Verdot, help 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, are injected with Jenova cells and kept in tanks of Mako. Zack escapes with the help of his old mentor, Angeal Hewley, who aids him from the lifestream.

Zack frees Cloud, who is suffering from mako poisoning, and 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. The town is rebuilt and repopulated with actors hired by Shinra to ensure word of the incident never gets out. Shinra seals up Sephiroth's records and he is presumed dead. Zangan had brought Tifa to Midgar where she recovers and sets out to get revenge on Shinra, joining the resistance group Avalanche and running its headquarters, the 7th Heaven bar in the Sector 7 Slums.

Hunting for Sephiroth[]

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 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 has 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.

In the Remake, Nibelheim is mentioned first by Sephiroth, who mocks Cloud that his hometown burned so bright when he set Nibelheim ablaze, and then during Cloud and Tifa's conversations.

Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-[]

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

Spoilers end here.

Geography[]

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.[1]

Gameplay[]

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.

Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-[]

The main town area of Nibelheim.

The player enters Nibelheim in Chapter 9. From the main area of town, the player can access the outskirts and the inn. Here the player can talk to a boy, who is at the heart of the Seven Wonders sidequest.

Later in Chapter 9, 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 10, 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.

Inn[]

Inn second floor.

The inn can be entered from the main area of Nibelheim, and has three rooms. The first is the room on the first floor that has a Save point. Upstairs is where Sephiroth stands, and in the room with the beds.

Outskirts[]

The Nibelheim outskirts can be accessed through the town's main area. The outskirts lead off into two more places, Mt. Nibel's trail, and the Shinra Manor. There is a chest containing an Ether here.

Shinra Manor[]

Shinra Manor can be reached from the outskirts.

Mt. Nibel[]

The path of Mt. Nibel can be accessed through the Nibelheim outskirts.

Nibel Plains[]

The player enters the Nibel Plains after leaving Nibelheim in Chapter 10. Here a minigame takes place involving using a sniper to shoot robots. After the minigame is a save point. Turk Cissnei also discovers Zack here.

Seven Wonders[]

The Seven Wonders is a sidequest that allows the player to obtain items. When the player enters Nibelheim, there is a boy who stays around the town. The first four wonders can be done at this point. The remaining three can be done after returning from the Nibel Reactor.

Lately, the town's drinking water has been coming
out red. Could it be... blood?

If the player goes up the water tower in the center of town they will discover the Phoenix materia.

The boy will tell about the painting of a girl. In the upstairs of the Inn, through the doors in the room, there is a painting of a girl in the corner. If the player talks to him again, and says they have seen it, he tells about the second wonder.

That girl sometimes leaves the painting
and wanders around in our world.

When the player returns to the room, the painting on the wall will be gone, replaced with a version without the girl. After going up and down the stairs a few times the clerk walks up the stairs. If the player follows him into the room, the clerk explains the wonder and the player receives 2,000 gil. After this, the player can get a smaller amount of gil (between 3 and 108) by going up and down the stairs until the picture in the room has the girl.

You know Mt. Nibel, right?
The dangerous mountain will all the monsters?
Well the most dangerous monsters there
are the bombs.
Now, rumor has it one of the bombs is
different from all the others.
No one has seen it yet, but they say that it
has a different face.

The third wonder requires the player to head to the outskirts, and then on into Mt. Nibel. If the player heads east at the intersection, they'll come into contact with three Bomb-type enemies: a Touchy Bomb, a Remedy Bomb, and a Gray Bomb. Defeating them without any of them blowing up earns a Gold Shard. After solving this wonder, the boy gives the player a Safety Bit, and explains about the fourth wonder. The Gold Shard can either be kept or sold. If the Gold Shard is kept, the player can show it to the boy early, saving them the time to go up Mt. Nibel to get one.

Do you know about Shinra Manor?
It's an old mansion in the back of the town.
We call it the haunted mansion.
Anyway, they say there's a safe in the mansion, and
every night, you can hear laughter coming out of it.
But no one knows the code to open the safe,
so we can't check what's inside.

The player can find Shinra Manor by heading through the outskirts. The safe code is not the same as in Final Fantasy VII, and it changes every time.

From the first floor, the player can head up to the second floor and into the northeast room and look through the keyhole. The amount of books not on the shelf—that are on top of the shelf, on the floor, or on the chair—is the first number.

On the first floor, the player must look through the keyhole on the east of the room and count the Dorky Faces. Some disappear for a short time, and others hide on the edge of the room which are hard to spot.

The third number is found on the western section of the second floor. The player must add the combined amount of blue Banora apples and blue cans, ignoring the green Potions.

The fourth number is found through the keyhole of the west room on the first floor. The player must count the chairs.

The safe is found on the western section of the second floor. The player must enter the digits into the safe, and a cactuar will jump out and run out the room. From the safe the player obtains a mastered Vital Slash materia. The player can return to the boy to be told about the fifth wonder, but the player cannot complete the wonder yet.

Did you know there are caverns underneath
Shinra Manor?
Well, you can hear these bloodcurdling
moans coming from deep within.
To get down there, you have to use these
secret stairs from the second floor of the mansion.
They say a SOLDIER guy called Sephiroth
has the key.

Later, when the player has to access the Underground Caves area, a number of single Sahagins can be fought. After winning each battle, the player will get one Coffin Key. The player can repeatedly fight the Sahagin for more keys. At the bottom of the ladder, the player can go through the door in the southeastern room, and open the coffin on the right unveiling a sleeping man. After this, the player can head back out to the boy who will start the sixth wonder.

It's a legend that talks about
a "treasure within flames."

The sixth wonder plays out when the town is aflame. If the player talks to the boy he tells Zack to save his mother. The player has a minute to do this in a third-person view outside the house. The boy gives the player ATK Up++ for this.

If the player did the previous six wonders, in Chapter 10, they can head to the northeast area of the Nibelheim outskirts, and check the fence near the south side of the houses for a Wall materia.

Sniper minigame[]

The sniper minigame involves sniping a number of Shinra's robots in the Nibel Plains. Either side of the road, robots appear that the player has to snipe with the sniper rifles on the ground. Missing causes the enemy to escape, and a unit is added to the "FLED" counter. For every kill, a unit is added to the "KILL" counter. Points on the KILL counter can be used to purchase upgrades.

There are four types of upgrade. Attack Power Up, Steady Aim, and Wide Target all cost three points per upgrade, with a max level of ten. Smart Bomb is six points, but only one can be bought per sniper rifle.

Eighteen different robots exist, sixteen with 2,000 HP, two with more. GH-WEDGE has 7,777 HP, and GH-BIGGS has 9,999 HP.

Where an enemy is hit changes the damage done: a headshot is 2,000 HP, the body is 400, legs are 150, and shield is 10.

The first sniper rifle is used to take out GH-77D. The second sniper rifle is used to take out GH-R2.

Between the second and third sniper there is a battle against Alert Heads. Each one counts as an extra KILL point. If the player backs out of the area and then re-enters, another battle will spawn, and the player can get more points. This is a quick way to max-out the sniper rifle early. If an enemy escapes from the battle however, it counts as an extra FLED point.

The third sniper rifle is used to take out GH-PIET on the left, and GH-MOD7 on the right. Another enemy encounter is also between the third and forth. On the forth, the easiest method is to take out GH-GROBE on the right first, then GH-AMBUS on the left, then the remaining GH-BISCN in the center. Between the forth and the fifth is another encounter. If the player shoots the barrel with the next sniper rifle, they will destroy GH-999, GH-66DH, and GH-1138D.

The enemies on the sixth sniper are GH-BIGGS and GH-WEDGE. Three headshots will defeat GH-WEDGE on the left, and launching a Smart Bomb on GH-BIGGS will clear this area. There are a number of encounters between the two snipers. On the seventh sniper, the player can quickly shoot GH-NOMA6 and GH-RACAM. On the final sniper, one must shoot the barrel next to GH-DATTO, then quickly take out GH-LETTY and GH-JASH.

In the area with the save point will be a number of chests with the player's prize. If eleven or more escaped, the player receives nothing. If ten or fewer, the player gets a Thundaga. If five or fewer, the player also gets a Dash. If two or fewer, the player gets a Gravity. If none escaped, the player gets all the aforementioned materia and a Dragon Armlet.

Nibel Accessories[]

Shop from Mission 6-4-4.

Name Cost
Mortal Shock 15,000 gil
Venom Shock 15,000 gil
Mute Shock 15,000 gil
System Shock 15,000 gil
Paralyzing Shock 15,000 gil
Safety Bit 5,000 gil
Star Pendant 3,000 gil
White Cape 3,000 gil
Gris-Gris Bag 3,000 gil
Headband 3,000 gil
Sprint Shoes 3,000 gil
Pearl Necklace 8,000 gil


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[]

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[]

"Anxiety" from Final Fantasy VII
Music

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?).

"Memories with Lucrecia"
Music

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")"
Music

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.png
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World of Final Fantasy[]

WoFF Nibelheim.png

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).[2]

Gallery[]

Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Crisis Core
Before Crisis

Etymology[]

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.

References[]

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