The Sector 5 Undercity, also known as the Sector 5 slums, is a location in the Final Fantasy VII series. The town is located beneath the Sector 5 plate, and is home to the Sector 5 Slums Church, as well as the adopted hometown of Aerith Gainsborough.
The town is where Aerith spent most of her life most of her life under the care of her adoptive mother, Elmyra Gainsborough. During this time, she avoids capture from the Turks, Shinra's intelligence agency, as Shinra is seeking her for her Ancient heritage. Aerith spends most of her time at the Sector 5 Slums Church and her ability to grow flowers in the metropolis's inhospitable climate becomes an inspiration for the locals. Aside from the flowers, the Sector 5 slums also house an abundance of scrapyard piles.
- 1 Story
- 2 Geography
- 3 Gameplay
- 4 Musical themes
- 5 Other appearances
- 6 Behind the scenes
- 7 Gallery
- 8 References
Story[edit | edit source]
In Episode 11 the Player Turk protects Aerith from kidnapping from the terrorist group Avalanche, in what they call "Operation Laura". The Avalanche commanders, Shears and Fuhito, are caught by surprise by the Turk's appearance, since none of their intelligence stated a Turk had been dispatched.
The Player Turk stumbles upon the Avalanche attack by accident and Shears defeats the Turk, capturing them and Aerith. Aerith is brought to the Avalanche leader, Elfe, and is told to reveal the location of the Promised Land so it wouldn't end up in Shinra hands. The Turk breaks in and fights the Avalanche leaders, but seems beaten. He or she is saved when Elfe collapses, forcing Avalanche to retreat.
Zack Fair falls through the upper plate after being defeated by Angeal Hewley up in the Sector 5 Reactor. He falls the 150 meter drop into the slums, but the church flowerbed saves his life by softening the landing. He thanks Aerith by giving the compensation of one date. While Zack and Aerith are out, a boy steals his wallet in the marketplace.
After wandering around asking the less than helpful citizens for help, Zack finally gets it back; the boy's wallet had been eaten by a group of monsters in the Sector 6 park, so Zack defeats them and gets the boy his money back. Aerith and Zack go to the playground where they discuss SOLDIER members' supernatural abilities. Their date is cut short when Zack receives a call from his superior, Sephiroth, telling him to return to the Headquarters. Afterward, Zack can travel to Sector 5 slums whenever he wishes by boarding a train from Sector 8.
Later on, Zack builds Aerith a flower cart and helps her sell flowers at the park, although this does not go well.
Five years later, after Zack has disappeared from Aerith's life, Cloud Strife falls into the church through the roof. Aerith offers Cloud to be her bodyguard in exchange for a date, just like Zack offered her many years ago. He helps Aerith escape from the Turk Reno and back to her adopted mother's house. Cloud spends the night at the house, but leaves in secret at Elmyra's urging. He tries to sneak away, but Aerith follows.
Later on, after Sector 7's destruction, Cloud, along with Barret Wallace and Tifa Lockhart, uses Aerith's house as a temporary base to plan their next move, and Elmyra recites the story of Aerith's childhood. Barret's daughter, Marlene, is kept in the house for a time, until she is later moved to Kalm by Reeve.
The town is largely destroyed along with the rest of Midgar by the fall of Meteor.
Geography[edit | edit source]
Sanctuary Way[edit | edit source]
Sanctuary Way comprises a long road connecting the Sector 5 Slums Church to the rest of the slums. Surrounding the church are rocky hills, as well as piles of rubble in the form of construction material, rusting structures, and shanty houses that are entirely abandoned. It is mostly barren and lifeless outside of the church itself, a colorful building which is a contrast to its surroundings, though some growths are found along the rooftops of the abandoned houses.
In Final Fantasy VII, the area has a path alongside streets that leads directly towards the Center District. In Final Fantasy VII Remake, this leads to the Sector 5 Undercity Station, and through abandoned warehouses with more material and vehicles used for construction. A fence blocks the way to the station itself.
Undercity Station[edit | edit source]
Appearing only in Final Fantasy VII Remake, the Undercity Station is a concrete platform that connects the Sector 5 Undercity with the rest of Midgar. The station is incomplete, as construction equipment and vehicles are found nearby warehouses seen behind fences, and a large banner advertising Shinra construction is seen on a metal structure behind the train. The southern Station Way road leads directly to the Center District of the slums, while a road east leads up to Nuts 'n' Bolts Hills.
Backstreets area[edit | edit source]
Appearing only in Final Fantasy VII Remake, the backstreets area comprises several scrapyards named Twilight Alley, Steel Mountain, and Nuts 'n' Bolts Hills. The scrapyards are homes to monsters that live near the slums, but also hideouts for other Sector 5 residents. Much like the rest of the slums, abandoned construction material, destroyed vehicles, and empty warehouses are seen along the way. A public cemetery for the slum is also located here in the southeast.
Center District[edit | edit source]
The loveliest location in the slums, the Sector 5 Center District is home to markets crowded with people, as well as caravan and slum homes with residents. The district also contains a Slum Monitor where Shinra broadcast the news. A road from the district leads to Aerith's garden in Petal Lane, where Aerith's house is situated. As with the rest of the slums, limited vegetation grows here.
Nearby the Center District, a stone wall is seen between Sector 5 and Sector 6, with a hole through which travelers can walk to the Sector 6 slums.
In Final Fantasy VII Remake, the Center District is marked by an immense tower made of rusting metal, connected to the slums monitor for Shinra broadcasts. A restaurant, known as Fifth Cafe, is also located, where Aerith helps out. Furthermore, a road to Aerith's garden named Petal Lane is located, which is a road through abandoned with more vegetation and growths than the rest of the slums, as well as a plaza with abandoned houses found behind a gate along the way.
The district in Final Fantasy VII Remake is also home to the Leaf House, an orphanage by Petal Lane for children that Aerith volunteers at. The children have a hideout just east away from the district, which connects to underdeveloped land with abandoned buildings through rocky hills with a river running through it. Here, monsters dwell in the abandoned warehouses and marshes.
Aerith's garden[edit | edit source]
Aerith's garden comprises three different islands between a river beneath a waterfall connected by wooden bridges. Aerith's house is located on the west island, while flowers cover the other two. The garden is a very sharp contrast to the rest of the slums due to its bright colors and abundance of vegetation, with light shining in from above.
The depiction varies significantly between appearances, with some ignoring the river between the two lower platforms and even omitting the upper platform entirely.
Aerith's house[edit | edit source]
Aerith's house is located on the western side of Petal Lane, Aerith's garden. In contrast to most houses in Midgar's slums, it is made of stone, and has a charming appearance. The house has a hexagonal theme with some irregularities. Flowers grow on some of the roof sections and pinkish-red roof tiles, granting it an almost fairy tale appearance. Unlike the garden, the house exterior remains relatively consistent between appearances.
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
Final Fantasy VII[edit | edit source]
Sector 5 Slum is visited after Cloud and Aeris leave the Church in the Slums during "The Woman at the Church." The area is visited a few times in later quests, and is also the first location visited in Midgar after obtaining the Key to Sector 5.
Sector 5 Slum comprises a number of screens, including the entrance to the church, rooftops outside of it, streets towards the market, the market, Aeris's garden, and Aeris's house. In the market, several items can be obtained throughout the game, and during the return to Midgar, but the area is mostly visited when traveling to Aeris's house.
Final Fantasy VII Remake[edit | edit source]
The Sector 5 Slums appear in the following chapters:
The role is similar to that in Final Fantasy VII, but has been greatly expanded. In "Budding Bodyguard," Cloud meets Aerith in the church. After a battle against Reno, the two leave to Aerith's house in the Center District, fighting monsters along the way. Later on, after helping the children from the Leaf House orphanage, Cloud and Aerith agree to help the locals in a variety of sidequests, many of which involve combat missions. After a boss battle against Rude, Cloud attempts to leave Aerith's house at Elmyra's request, without causing a distraction.
The slums are revisited for "A Broken World" and "In Search of Hope" with a party of Cloud, Tifa, and Barret. "A Broken World" is brief as the three return to Aerith's house to talk to Elmyra, but in "In Search of Hope," a variety of combat quests are available around the Sector 5 Slums and church.
Though all the landmarks from the original game are present in the Sector 5 Slums, the layout of the map is very different as the slums is greatly expanded with new areas. The Leaf House is entirely new, and all the areas in the backstreets and underdeveloped lands are new areas, whereas in the original there were a few screens for streets connecting the church with the Center District.
Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-[edit | edit source]
|Strength Up||1,000 gil|
|Vitality Up||1,000 gil|
|Magic Up||1,000 gil|
|Spirit Up||1,000 gil|
Musical themes[edit | edit source]
In Final Fantasy VII "Flowers Blooming in the Church" (教会に咲く花, Kyōkai ni Saku Hana?) plays in Aeris's church, Aeris's house and the areas nearby to the two areas. "Under the Rotting Pizza" (腐ったピザの下で, Kusatta Piza no Shita de?) plays inside the Sector 5 slums.
In Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- the theme of the slums is "Where Light Does Not Reach". "A Flower Blooming in the Slums (from FFVII "Aerith's Theme")" plays in scenes involving Aerith.
Other appearances[edit | edit source]
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
Various Japanese text can be seen around the backgrounds on Sector 5 in Final Fantasy VII. The pipe with the man inside reads "Safety First". In the screen before the church there is a graffiti on a piece of metal that reads "We Gods". The big red graffiti on the wall leading to Sector 6 reads "Yamato" (大和), an old name of Japan.
When Cloud stays at Aerith's house in Final Fantasy VII he is supposed to sneak out at night without rousing her. In most versions Cloud is supposed to walk across the landing avoiding a creaky bit on the floor, but in the iOS version Cloud must run instead of walking. This might be because the walk/run were reversed to the iOS version, the player now running by default.
In Final Fantasy VII Remake, co-director Naoki Hamaguchi considers the scene in which Cloud and Aerith hop across the rooftops of the abandoned slum houses from the church to be his favorite nod to the original game. He was happy that the modern technology allowed players to take in the scenery of the slums.
The reason why flowers grow in Aerith's garden despite Midgar being considered barren is because a river runs through the outskirts of Sector 5 undercity, bringing fresh nutrient-rich water from the lifestream to both Aerith's house and the dilapidated church. Aerith uses this water to tend to her flowers. Another reason Aerith is so successful in cultivating flowers is her heritage as an Ancient.
In both the original and the remake, the player must sneak out of Aerith's house without her hearing. In the original game, the floor is creaky. In the remake, there are various noisy items strewn about the floor the player may bump into. If the player fails at sneaking out Aerith comes out of her room and tells Cloud to get back to bed. In the remake, the number of obstacles on the floor diminishes if the player fails at averting them. It has been explained that despite being mad at Cloud, Aerith cleans up the mess bit by bit, making it easier for the player to sneak out. The aim was to spook the player a bit when Aerith scolds Cloud. However, later on it is shown that Aerith knew Cloud was going to leave and waited for him.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
- Final Fantasy VII
- Final Fantasy VII Remake
References[edit | edit source]
- Patrick Shanley, Josh Wigler (July 6, 2020). Inside the 'Final Fantasy VII Remake' Team's "Familiar Yet New" Adaptation of a Classic. Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on July 14, 2020.
- Sal Romano. Final Fantasy Portal Site: Digging Deep into the World of Final Fantasy VII Remake special interview part one. Gematsu. Archived from the original on 16:17, August 06, 2020 (UTC).