Storming the Shinra Building is the eighth chapter in Final Fantasy VII, part of the first act, "Banner of Revolution". After meeting with Elmyra, Aerith Gainsborough's mother, Cloud Strife, Barret Wallace, and Tifa Lockhart set off to the Shinra Building, after climbing a wire in Wall Market. The three set off to infiltrate the building and rescue Aerith.
- 1 Walkthrough
- 2 Behind the scenes
- 3 References
Entering Shinra Building
When entering the building, the player has two options: either to go through the main entrance, or via the staircase at the back. Barret wants to go through the doors, but Tifa prefers the sneaky route. Regardless of which option Cloud chooses when asked in dialogue, they can take either route.
Regardless of which is chosen, the party will reach floor 59.
Using the doors
If the party goes through the main entrance they will have to fight set battles and make their way to the elevators. When taking an elevator, the party must fight battles until they reach Floor 59. The elevator always starts at Floor 6 and when Cloud presses a button it will advance 7-15 floors; the chance for it to advance 7-13 floors is 12.5%, and the chance for it to advance 14 or 15 floors is smaller, at 6.25%. Usually, the party encounters 4-5 battles in the elevator and the enemies depend on which floor they end up in. On floors 29, 38, 47 and 56 there is no battle, but the party runs into a Shinra employee instead.
|13||2x Grenade Combatant|
|14||3x Grenade Combatant|
|16||2x Mighty Grunt|
|17||2x Grenade Combatant|
|18||3x Grenade Combatant|
|20||2x Mighty Grunt|
|21||3x Grenade Combatant|
|22||2x Mighty Grunt|
|23||2x Grenade Combatant|
|24||2x Mighty Grunt|
|26||2x Grenade Combatant|
|27||3x Grenade Combatant|
|32||2x Sword Dance|
|36||2x Sword Dance|
|40||2x Sword Dance|
|46||2x Sword Dance|
|54||2x Sword Dance|
|55||2x Sword Dance|
Using the stairs
If the player takes the stairs, they come out at the 59th floor. The stairs have no random encounters.
The stairs section of the building is accessed from the side entrance. There are nine screens of stairs in total. The first and last set of stairs are shorter than those in-between, and those in-between have identical layout. Stairs 2 to 8 use the same field, but use a variable to know what to display on each ones and what scenes should play out. A value of 0 means the displayed stairs is Stairs 2, and a value of 6 means the displayed stairs is Stairs 8.
Stairs 1 is the lowermost flight and the exit at the bottom leads to the side entrance at ground level.
Stairs 5 has an Elixir.
Stairs 9 is the uppermost flight and the exit at the top takes the party to floor 59.
Regardless of the chosen option, the party will arrive on floor 59. From here, the goal is to head right to see a group of guards by a door, at which point they will run towards Cloud and a battle with three Mighty Grunts. These enemies have fairly high HP and deal moderate damage, but become more vulnerable after taking damage and losing their armor. Physical attacks should be sufficient to defeat them.
Once they are defeated, the next goal is to use the elevator and travel up to floor 60.
Floor 60 - Passing the guards
Cloud, Barret, and Tifa must sneak past some guards unnoticed by hiding behind posts while they are looking at the hallway. There are guards at the top and the party must cross the areas between the posts when the guards are looking away. The guards are continually moving in a set pattern; the left guards are slower than the right guards.
Cloud should be moved to the right side of the screen, and then signal to Barret and Tifa with the confirm button to follow when it is safe. Cloud goes first, then Barret, then Tifa. Tifa is slightly slower than the others. Getting spotted ends in a battle against Mighty Grunts, after which the party has to try again from the beginning.
If the party is caught four times, they dispose of all the soldiers and do not need to complete the sneak-in, and Barret complains about Cloud's sloppiness.
On floor 61, a few employees are present who can be interacted with, but only one needs to be talked to in order to continue. Around the bottom side of the screen, by the elevators, is an employee in a grey suit. When he asks who Cloud is, responding with "......" will lead him to assume Cloud is a member of the Shinra Repair Division and give keycard 62. This allows Cloud to travel up to the second room.
Floor 62 - Mayor Domino's password
Mayor Domino offers the party to guess the word he is thinking to get his keycard, a puzzle which is solvable with clues found in the library. If the player guesses correctly on the first try, Domino gives an Elemental Materia along with the keycard. If the player guesses the password on the second try, they get an Elixir, on the third time they get an Ether, on the fourth try a Potion, and if it takes more than four guesses to get the password, the player gets no item reward, just the keycard. In the English and Japanese versions one of four passwords is randomly chosen each game, although ORBS and HOJO are never the correct answer. In other localizations, MAKO is always the correct answer.
Domino's assistant Hart hands out hints for a price. Cloud can pay him 500, 1000, and 2000 gil for hints, but doing so is not necessary.
The Mayor has moved books into sections in which they do not belong, in a vindictive if pretty harmless attempt at vandalism. All of the books, including the misplaced ones, have a number before the title; together, the number and title give a single-letter clue. Given the example of a misplaced book called "5 Midgar City Map", the clue it would give would be "A", A being the 5th letter in the title.
Any of the following books are correctly placed in the "Urban Dev. Research Library"; if they are found elsewhere, they are clues.
- An illustrated guide to City Planning
- Midgar City Map: Sectors 0-4
- Midgar City map: Sectors 5-8
- New plans for Urban Planning
- Problems with Plate construction in Midgar
- Reactor Construction Chart
Any of the following books are correctly placed in the "Scientific Research Library"; if they are found elsewhere, they are clues.
- Data on experimental animals living near Midgar
- File on Dr. Gast, Biologist
- Final evolutionary stages in land dwelling life
- Mako energy and the rise in life forms
- Report on high Mako levels in living beings
- The Ancients in History
Any of the following books are correctly placed in the "Peace Preservation/Weapon Dev. Research Library"; if they are found elsewhere, they are clues.
- Breakdown of SOLDIER members by class
- Economic report: anti-Shinra activities
- Heidegger's Shinra peace keeping law
- Materia production and its military uses
- Plan for new land weapons
- Ranks and extended use of Mako weaponry
Any of the following books are correctly placed in the "Space Dev. Research Library"; if they are found elsewhere, they are clues.
- Diminishing Mako energy and Planet movements
- Economic report: Space Dev Program
- Modern history of Midgar space program vol. 1
- Modern history of Midgar space program vol. 2
- Results of the failed space mission "YA-79"
- Shinra rocket space travel
So with the full list, the task is easy. Without it, the puzzle is equivocal. Though it is still possible if the player keeps a record of all possible solutions, it is by no means straightforward.
The fastest solution of all, suitable for speed playthroughs, is to memorize four titles and their corresponding solutions:
- 2 Economic report: Space Dev Program : BEST
- 1 Results of failed space mission "YA-79" : KING
- 1 Breakdown of SOLDIER members by class : BOMB
- 10 New plans for urban planning : MAKO
One of these is always found as the left book in the middle rack of the green shelves in the top right room: the 'Space Dev. Research Library'.
Alternatively, the player can simply run out of the building and save, run back to the 62nd floor, and reload and run back repeatedly to guess again at the answer.
ORBS and HOJO are never the correct answer.
After receiving the keycard, the floors up to 65 are all available. Floor 63 and 64 are optional, but can grant rewards.
Floor 63 has an entirely optional puzzle, but completing the puzzle by optimally unlocking the doors in a way to obtain three coupons will grant a Star Pendant, a Four Slots bangle, and an All Materia.
Floor 64 contains a free rest point in the room on the left-hand side in which the party can sleep, as well as a save point. The lockers in the top of the room contain a Phoenix Down and an Ether, and entering 250 gil vending machine in the gym room at the bottom will grant an item in a later chapter.
Floor 65 - Midgar parts puzzle
Floor 65 is the next mandatory floor. To obtain its keycard, a puzzle must be solved in which the parts of the Midgar model in the center must be collected to fill the model in. On this floors, the Hammer Blaster and Sword Dance enemies can be encountered. Hammer Blasters can become difficult as they can confuse a character and hide from being targeted, but can be defeated by casting Bolt, or by using a few physical attacks. Sword Dances have low HP and can be dealt with quickly, but can hit the whole party for mild damage.
There are five chests on floor 65, four of those being locked, and a sixth chest containing a keycard by the stairs. Any part can be placed into any sector. When a part is input into a sector of the model, a corresponding chest unlocks. The initial unlocked chest is the left chest in the middle-left room. Observing the model so that Sector 1 is the first clockwise from the top, the sectors unlock like this:
- Sector 2 unlocks the right chest in the middle-left room.
- Sector 3 unlocks the right chest in the bottom-left room.
- Sector 7 unlocks the left chest in the bottom-left room.
- Sector 8 unlocks the chest in the top-right room.
Sector 4 does not have a corresponding chest and will unlock all parts chests on the floor. After opening a chest, they will all re-lock; however, regardless of the sector the parts are placed into next, all chests will unlock. Therefore after placing a part into Sector 4, the sector-chest correspondence no longer matters and the chests can be opened in any order.
After placing the part in the last open area of the Midgar model; a "click" sound is heard and the locked chest near the stairwell opens.
On floor 66, the goal is to eavesdrop on a conversation with the Shinra board. To do this, Cloud must enter the bathroom in the top-left end of the screen, and enter a cubicle through which a vent can be climbed in. Crawling through the vent will reveal an air duct where the conversation can be eavesdropped on.
After the end of the conversation, the party must leave and then follow Hojo up the stairs to floor 67.
Starting from floor 67, the party may encounter SOLDIER:3rd, Moth Slashers, or Warning Boards. SOLDIER:3rds can be fought to steal Hardedge, a weapon for Cloud. They are weak to Fire, but deal decent damage and can cause a character to Sleep, meaning that after stealing Hardedge, they should be defeated quickly. Moth Slashers, likewise, are good choices to fight in order to steal Carbon Bangles,. They deal moderate damage and have decent HP. Warning Boards are immune to Lightning, but do not act in battle beyond summoning Machine Guns or Laser Cannons, which are instead weak to Lightning and can be defeated using Bolt.
The goal on floor 67 is to head to the bottom end of the screen then head left into a room to follow Hojo. Partway through, a short scene will commence, following which the party must head to the top end of the room where an elevator can be used. A treasure chest containing Poison can be opened, and a save point can be used.
The elevator proceeds to floor 68.
After arriving on floor 68 and running down to Hojo, a scene will commence, followed by a boss fight. In preparation for the boss fight, Lightning is not necessary to equip as the boss halves Lightning damage. Poison damage is also absorbed by the boss, though if the player obtained the Elemental Materia, Poison be linked with Elemental on armor to resist the boss' damage. Star Pendant can also be equipped on a character to avoid Poison entirely. At least one party member should have Restore. The party during the boss fight will be Cloud, a new character coming equipped with Materia already, and either Tifa or Barret depending on player choice; choosing to send Tifa away for the battle will reduce Cloud's affection score with Tifa in date mechanics by -2, while choosing to send Barret away will improve Cloud's score with Barret by +2.
After approaching Hojo, a scene will commence, following which the player gets to name the animal inside the cage, defaulting to "Red XIII". There is then the choice to dismiss Tifa or Barret from the party, and the boss battle with H0512 commences. The boss is protected by three Sample:H0512-opt, though defeating them has no effect as Sample:H0512 simply revives them. It will use poison attacks that hit the entire party, though the boss has low enough HP that it is better to prioritize fighting the boss with Limits and spells (either Fire or Ice are sufficient).
After defeating Sample:H0512, the player can form a party of their choice; Cloud is mandatory, while Tifa, Barret, Aeris, or Red XIII can be used. If Tifa, Barret, or Aeris are in the party, Cloud's affection score with them will improve by +2. After choosing the party, the player should equip Materia on all members. The Enemy Skill Materia can be found inside the cage; this is a rare and valuable Materia that becomes important later on.
After this, the ramp in the bottom of the room should be taken, at the top of which are two Potions, and an employee. Talking to him will yield a Keycard 68.
After obtaining keycard 68 from the employee, the goal is to escape. The party must run down to floor 66 and use the elevator down to the first floor. Regardless, the party will be captured by Rude, with a cutscene following. This leads directly into the next chapter, "The Nightmare Beginning Anew".
Behind the scenes
Unused text of Mayor Domino's password guessing puzzle suggests it would have been considerably more difficult, with 256 possible answers.