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The Northern Cave, also called the Great Cavity (大空洞, Daikūdō?) is a location and the final dungeon of Final Fantasy VII. It is situated at the bottom of the North Crater that takes up much of the Icicle Area. The inside is a large cave system where the game's most powerful monsters reside. It is visited twice in the game, once briefly towards the start of Part 2, and again at the end of Part 3.
- 1 Story
- 2 Locations
- 2.1 Reunion Area
- 2.2 Cave Opening
- 2.3 First Descent
- 2.4 Horizontal Fork
- 2.5 Vertical Fork
- 2.6 Up Descent
- 2.7 Down Descent
- 2.8 Right Descent
- 2.9 Final Descent
- 2.10 Inside the Planet
- 2.11 Planet's Core
- 3 Treasures
- 4 Quests
- 5 Enemies
- 5.1 Spiral Descent
- 5.2 Winding Descent
- 5.3 Platform Descent
- 5.4 Red Passage and Horizontal Fork
- 5.5 Vertical Fork, Rocky Descent, Above Mako Stream, Mako Stream, Light Cavity
- 5.6 Lake Crossing and Lake Path
- 5.7 Spiral Upper, Spiral Lower, Hatchery, Spine
- 5.8 Final Descent
- 5.9 Core (Upper)
- 5.10 Core (Lower)
- 5.11 Lifestream
- 6 Musical themes
- 7 Other appearances
- 8 Behind the scenes
- 9 Gallery
When Sephiroth was defeated by Cloud Strife at the Nibelheim mako reactor during the Nibelheim Incident, he traveled through the Lifestream to the Northern Cave to recuperate. Controlling Jenova and making her use his form, he leads the Sephiroth Clones to the crater along with Cloud and his party for the Reunion. They bring the Black Materia, which is used to summon Meteor. The Weapons awaken, sensing the cataclysm, and rampage across the world. Sephiroth seals the crater's entry with a force-field, and begins to remake his body to prepare for his ascension into godhood.
Shinra Electric Power Company uses the Sister Ray cannon to destroy the Diamond Weapon and blast through Sephiroth's shield. With the defense down, Cloud Strife and his party storm deep into the Northern Cave to defeat Sephiroth and release the trapped Holy Aeris had summoned before her death. After Sephiroth's defeat, Holy is released in a massive burst. The party escapes on the Highwind before being caught in the uproar of magical energy.
Though Sephiroth and Jenova are defeated, Jenova's remains linger within the Northern Cave. The Turks steal them before the Remnants of Sephiroth can get a hold of them to resurrect their master, but Elena and Tseng are captured during the ensuing battle, and are rescued by Vincent Valentine.
This area has walls composed of Materia, and is the resting place for Sephiroth, and where Jenova, being controlled by Sephiroth, leads the Sephiroth Clones for the Reunion. The Weapons also rest here.
This part of the cave is only visited once in Part 2. Beneath this area of the cave continues a path down towards the center of the Planet. These parts of the cave are visited as the final dungeon in Part 3.
This area has set enemy formations including the Tonberry. Random encounters here are disabled, and the player never has control of the character in the area, so they are never fought. Thus, Tonberries can only be encountered on the Gold Saucer Battle Square. Another battle exclusive to this area is a battle against a Killbin and two Gremlins, two enemies never otherwise fought together.
A circular path from the mouth of the crater leads into the North Cave beneath the crater where Sephiroth awaits. The long and winding path leaves the party open to many random encounters.
Enemy formations encountered here are of the weaker variety available in this dungeon although the Master Tonberry and Scissors are able to kill party members in a single blow. Gargoyles encountered here can also inflict slow numb on party members and are immune to all attacks until they wake up in the battle and begin to move.
Some of the rock formations will fall as the player steps on them but this will never result in anything negative or damaging and only happens the first time the player visits the area. The player may turn around and leave the dungeon at any time. Should they choose to, they will appear in a small cave near the mouth of the crater opening and can climb out a rigid rock formation appearing on the players right hand side facing the screen, which means this is not a point of no return.
The player must enter the water to get through the area.
Above Mako Stream
Cloud and his allies gather here before the final battle against Sephiroth. Moving beyond this point is the point of no return.
Inside the Planet
This is where Sephiroth has reconstructed his new body and where the final battle takes place.
The Northern Cave has significantly more items than any other location in the game.
|Spiral Descent||Save Crystal (see Save Crystal glitch), Guard Source|
|Winding Descent||Power Source, HP Absorb Materia, Elixir, Guard Source, Magic Source, Mind Source|
|Platform Descent||Mind Source, Hero Drink|
|Red Passage||Power Source, Guard Source, Megalixir|
|Rocky Descent||Remedy, Elixir, X-Potion|
|Above Mako Stream||Turbo Ether, Vaccine, Magic Counter Materia|
|Mako Stream||X-Potion, Turbo Ether, Mega All Materia, Speed Source|
|Lake Crossing||Magic Source, Remedy|
|Lake Path||Shield Materia (see Infinite Shield glitch), Imperial Guard, Vaccine, Hero Drink|
|Light Cavity||W-Magic Materia, Counter Materia (Command)|
|Spiral Lower||Mystile, Elixir|
|Hatchery||Tetra Elemental, Speed Source, Megalixir, Megalixir|
|Final Descent (before reunion)||Luck Source|
Item duplication trick
The items received from party members at the bottom depend on which way the player sends the characters when splitting up. This can be used to get a third Mystile armor from Tifa.
The player has two paths to choose from: the right path, and the left path. If taking the left path, the player will have another two paths to choose from (upper-left and lower-left). It is possible to duplicate all of the items found on the paths the player sends the party members to that Cloud won't go himself.
List of all the items that can be duplicated:
- Send an ally right:
- Send an ally left at first, then up:
- Send an ally left at first, then down:
If in any junction where the party splits the player sends Yuffie alone in any way, once the party gathers up at the bottom, she will not give the items she found to the player, and will lie and claim she found nothing. At this point, any characters sent alongside Yuffie remind her, and she grudgingly gives up the items, but if Yuffie was sent alone she will keep the items.
At the Northern Cave at the point where the party is split down the two paths, the player should send Tifa down the right path, and tell Cloud to go left. When Cloud's path divides, the player should choose the lower path for Cloud and everyone else should go the upper path (except Barret and Cait Sith). When going down at the bottom where all the paths converge, the player must not approach the stairway that leads further down as this cause the other party members to appear, which causes all specific chests to be registered as "open" when talking to them and the third Mystile will be missed. Instead of going down, the player should go back up the cave by taking the entrance to the lower path up to where the left and right paths split, then go down the right path and grab the second Mystile. Also, the player should collect all items on both previously unexplored paths before entering the meeting field in the Final Descent (see Infinite Shield glitch).
The player can now go all the way down to the end again and approach the path leading down, causing the other party members to appear. When talking to Tifa she should give a third Mystile (though in the PlayStation version the player will appear to have received 'Mythril', which is a key item; a Mystile will still be added to the player's inventory).
The player should not go to the Mako Stream screen without first receiving the items from every party member, otherwise the items will be missed.
Alternatively, if the player is feeling brave, they can send Barret the upper-left path, and Cait Sith with Tifa along the right path, and then travel alone for an extra Vaccine and Elixir.
Suggested combination to get valuable items guaranteed:
- Barret: Vaccine
- Tifa: Mystile
- Red XIII: Shield
- Yuffie: Counter (Command)
- Cait Sith: Elixir
- Vincent: Magic Source
- Cid: Imperial Guard
On the other hand, if the player plans to focus on getting only Shield, Counter (Command), and Mega All from Red XIII, Yuffie, and Vincent respectively, then Cloud should go down the right path while all party members who are sent down the left path have a 50/50 chance to give one of the two possible items they can give.
Since the game doesn't decide paths for the party members whom the player sent until they enter the meeting field for the first time, the player can use the save crystal to save the game in this place (or save the game inside the Highwind) and try get the desired items by saving after a random battle.
Infinite Shield glitch
The Shield Materia can be picked up on the same frame as Cloud initiates the underwater ride, and when Cloud re-surfaces both menu and movement will be enabled. Shield is received when the text box opens and isn't removed from the field until the text boxes is closed, so all the player has to do from here is keep the text box open while the player exit the field, and the Shield will still be on the field when it return.
The following E.Skills can be learned from the enemies in the Northern Cave:
- Laser and Dragon Force from the Dark Dragon
- L5 Death from Parasite
- Angel Whisper from Pollensalta
- Pandora's Box from Dragon Zombie
- Roulette from Death Dealer
Laser, Dragon Force, L5 Death and Angel Whisper are only learned by manipulating the enemies that hold them into casting the spells onto the party member(s) with the Enemy Skill Materia equipped. Pandora's Box is used as a final attack and only once per save file, and so it is easy to permanently miss learning it.
Movers give 800 AP each, for a total of 2400 AP per battle, but are very rare. Players can also steal Elixirs from Gighee or exploit the W-Item duplication bug to give themselves 99 Elixirs to feed the Magic Pots to amass EXP and AP fast. Equipping the EXP Plus Materia expedites the process, and using any Double or Triple AP equipment helps level up Materia rapidly here.
- [18/64] Scissors
- [17/64] Dark Dragon
- [15/64] Parasite x2
- [14/64] Gargoyle x2
- [4/64] Parasite x2 (Back attack)
- [4/64] Scissors (Back attack)
- [15/64] Scissors
- [14/64] Dark Dragon
- [13/64] Parasite x2
- [12/64] Parasite x3
- [10/64] Scissors x2
- [4/64] Parasite x2 (Back attack)
- [4/64] Scissors (Back attack)
Red Passage and Horizontal Fork
- [14/64] Scissors x2
- [12/64] Dark Dragon
- [11/64] Parasite x2
- [10/64] Scissors
- [9/64] Parasite x3
- [8/64] Master Tonberry
- [4/64] Parasite x2 (Back attack)
- [4/64] Scissors (Back attack)
Vertical Fork, Rocky Descent, Above Mako Stream, Mako Stream, Light Cavity
- [18/64] King Behemoth
- [17/64] Allemagne
- [15/64] Armored Golem
- [14/64] Master Tonberry
- [8/64] Allemagne (Back attack)
Lake Crossing and Lake Path
- [15/64] Christopher, Gighee
- [13/64] Magic Pot
- [12/64] Magic Pot x2
- [11/64] Allemagne
- [9/64] Master Tonberry
- [4/64] Mover x3
- [8/64] Magic Pot x2 (Side attack)
- [8/64] Allemagne x2 (Ambush)
Spiral Upper, Spiral Lower, Hatchery, Spine
- [14/64] Pollensalta
- [12/64] Death Dealer x2
- [11/64] Pollensalta, Parasite x2
- [10/64] Parasite x3
- [9/64] Malboro
- [8/64] Dragon Zombie
- [4/64] Death Dealer (Back attack)
- [4/64] Death Dealer x2 (Ambush)
The final descent comprises of two screens. Battles occur when jumping to a new platform. There are five jumps on the first screen, and eight jumps on the second screen. On each platform the player has a 29.7% chance of entering a battle against three possible enemies each with a different chance of being fought.
- Jenova∙SYNTHESIS (Boss)
- Sephiroth (Boss)
The Northern Cave's official background theme is "Judgment Day", a track found in Final Fantasy VII: Original Soundtrack. The theme contains elements of "Aerith's Theme", which is fitting, as the party is attempting to free the Holy spell that she had summoned.
Dissidia Final Fantasy (2008)
The Northern Cave is the representative arena for Final Fantasy VII under the name Planet's Core (星の体内, Hoshi no Tainai?, lit. Inside the Planet). It is here that Cloud battles and defeats Sephiroth at the climax of his storyline.
Shortly after, Terra enters the Planet's Core to look for her ally, the Onion Knight, and Cloud battles her when she loses control of her esper powers to pacify her. The Warrior of Light fights Sephiroth at the Planet's Core to rescue Firion, and Cecil faces off against Exdeath to defend Golbez.
The arena consists of a large circular platform at the bottom of the arena, with floating rocks and square pillars in the air surrounding it, forming a rough path spiraling to the top of the arena. Tendrils of Lifestream connect the platforms and can be slid on using Quickmove. Powerful attacks can destroy the platforms and pillars if a character is knocked into them. In the arena's Ω form, after a period of time has passed, the arena shakes and the platforms and pillars float upwards, reminiscent of what happens after the battle with Jenova∙SYNTHESIS in Final Fantasy VII.
Eventually the stage calms down, but the stone platforms are gone, there are more floating pillars, and more strands of Lifestream have appeared on the stage. EX Cores will teleport if the platform they are on is destroyed, and the Bravery pool will continually rise.
The Materia is the battlegen item obtained through stage destruction in this area.
In Dissidia, if either character uses their EX Burst during the time when the screen flashes as the platforms stop rising in the stage's Ω version, the background for the EX Burst will be much brighter than normal.
The Planet's Core returns in this prequel to Dissidia. Sephiroth confronts Tifa in this area.
The Northern Cave returns in both the FMS and BMS of their respective themes.
The Northern Cave is the setting of at least part of Sephiroth's accompanying stage as a downloadable fighter. His reveal trailer shows off a part of the stage resembling the Core (Upper), and another resembling the background of Bizarro∙Sephiroth's battle area in the lower Core. His Final Smash seems to warp his opponents to the Safer∙Sephiroth version of the lower Core as he transforms. The scene where Cloud hands the Black Materia to Sephiroth's cocoon in Northern Cave was recreated in Sephiroth's Classic Mode congratulations screen, with Sephiroth in his shirtless attire inside a block of ice and Cloud handing him a Black Hole item.
Behind the scenes
In the 2012 PC re-release of Final Fantasy VII, in one area in Northern Cave, las2_1, (referred to as "Inside Northern Cave" in the menu) there is an Easter egg. If the player uses the Save Crystal in this area the area's name in the menu changes to "Secret Cow Level". This is a reference to Diablo. Outside of the area's name change, there is no functional gameplay difference.
An area of the Northern Cave exists that is another version of the area where the party gathers with Shinra and where the Weapon's eye is seen through the crystal. It cannot be accessed during gameplay and the area itself can be accessed only via the Debug Room, via the Field Room and selecting Yuffie's option "TRNAD53". As the scene is still used during an FMV, the screen was probably intended only as an anchor for the character models; because the area hasn't been coded with paths for the player character to walk on, it was probably never intended to be accessed during normal gameplay. Curiously, the background music for the area when accessed from the Debug Room is "Aerith's Theme" which would have been intended to play in the background of the original Japanese exiting of the crater FMV. Because of this, and the numerous oddities in the finalized scene of Aerith's death, some fans have suggested that Aeris was originally meant to die in the Northern Cave rather than the Forgotten City.
In the PC version of Final Fantasy VII, a bug exists in this area when playing on Windows XP. When the FMV showing the Weapons' rising takes place, the game will crash when the Weapons climb out of the crater. The crash could be avoided by playing this section of the game in quarter screen mode, but this will not always work.