A large facility constructed with the sole purpose of studying a single specimen. The area is highly classified—only a handful of Shinra researchers and executives are even aware of its existence. Utilizing the cells of the top secret test subject, the research team is able to produce countless man-made creatures.
The Drum, labeled on-screen as 68th Floor - Hojo's Laboratory: Restricted Level on the top floor or Classified Research - The Drum on lower levels, is a field map in Final Fantasy VII Remake within the Shinra Building. It is based on the Drum portion of the Shinra Building, a vast laboratory used by Professor Hojo. It is explored by two separate parties, one with Cloud Strife and Barret Wallace, and the other with Tifa Lockhart and Aerith Gainsborough. Red XIII is a guest who joins both parties at various points.
The Drum is explored during chapter 17, "Deliverance from Chaos". During the quests within "Find the Others" the player switches between a party led by Cloud and a party led by Tifa using a PHS system to progress through the dungeon. The party-switching mechanic is reminiscent of a similar system introduced in Final Fantasy VI where the player switches between two parties within a dungeon to progress. The Drum is new to Final Fantasy VII Remake, and not based on any location in the original Final Fantasy VII.
Comprising only the Incubation area, a linear path circling the room. In the topright is a staircase from Passage A on Level 2. Monodrives are fought here, and a Poison Materia is found near the south end. At the end, Unknown Entity enemies are fought, Red XIII joins the party, and a staircase leads up to Passage B on Level 2.
Cloud lands in Level 2 at the start of "Find the Others". The level comprises Passage A, on the east side, Passage B on the west side, and 1st Ward - Passageway on the southwest.
Passage A is a short, linear passage where Cloud first lands. A lever must be pulled to create a path across. At the end, a staircase leads down to the Incubation on Level 1.
Passage B is reached from Level 1. A path to the top leads up to a treasure chest with a tuft of phoenix down, while a path down can only be reached by commanding Red XIII to flip a switch on the opposite side. The south end of Passage B has a room with a bench and vending machine, and a hallway leads into the first ward.
1st Ward - Passageway (labeled The Drum - 1st Ward on the map) leads to a staircase up to the next floor where the ward continues
The first area is 1st Ward - Training Area, entered from 1st Ward - Passageway on the lower floor. Here, "Find Barret" takes place as he joins the party, and both Monodrives and Mark II Monodrives are fought. Unknown Entity enemies appear thereafter, followed by an M.O.T.H. Unit.
Outside is Passage C that holds a treasure chest with Cloud's Twin Stinger, and a staircase leads up to Passage C on Level 4.
Divided into an east and west portion around the Central Control Terminal. As Cloud's party, Passage C on the south end of the east portion is reached from a staircase from the level below, and leads to the Monitoring Area platform further along east after directing Red XIII to pull a lever on the other side. At the Monitoring Area, Cloud's party moves along the outer platform, while Tifa's party is within the room locked away by a forcefield, and a PHS Terminal is used to switch party. Within the room itself, a staircase leads up to Passage F on level 5.
Passage D is located on the northeast end, and a path leads towards it from the Monitoring Area's outer platform after pulling a level on level 6 with Tifa's party. Blast-Rays and Shock-Rays are fought here, and the path forks: at the top, a path continues Passage D up to the 2nd Ward, and a bridge at the bottom leads to the Central Control Terminal after a lever is pulled. Though Red XIII can be commanded to continue the path at the top, he cannot create the path across, until it is created by Tifa's party on level 6. Once created, it leads to the 2nd Ward. Adjacent to its entrance is a break room with a bench and a vending machine, and a chest containing a mega-potion. The door must be opened from the Central Control Terminal first.
The Central Control Terminal is a circular passageway with bridges leading to outer portions, used by different parties at various points. It is first reached by Cloud's party from Passage D. The terminal has a Time Materia on the floor, and a PHS Terminal. Four switches control each ward. During the quest "4th Ward", the Swordipede battle continues here with a party of Tifa and Aerith.
The 2nd Ward opens with the 2nd Ward - Biological Testing in the north end, connected by Passage D, and reached by Cloud's party. This is a series of hallways leading to a large room at the end, where zenenes are fought, and a door leads to the 2nd Ward - Robotics Testing area. This similarly is a set of hallways leading to another wide room where Shock-Rays and a M.O.T.H. Unit appear. In the northeast on the hallway, an astral cuff is found in a treasure chest. At the end of the Robotics Testing area, a hallway leads into the 2nd Ward - Prototype Inspection area, where three sledgeworms are fought. A gap leads up to level 5's 2nd Ward - Control Deck.
Passage E's south portion is reached from a staircase from level 5, and is a short platform containing a chest with a bottle of ether. The north portion, only accessible with Red XIII in the party during "To the Central Terminal", connects to the Central Control Terminal and leads into the south exit of the 2nd Ward once a lever is pulled; doing so begins a battle with Slug-Rays and Shock-Rays. The platform has an elevator that is accessible after "4th Ward".
Divided into an east and west portion, though the east portion is considerably smaller. Tifa's party visits Passage F, located on the east end, after taking a staircase from the Monitoring Area on the lower floor. At the end of it a staircase leads up to level 6, continuing Passage F.
Passage E is reached from a staircase from the exit to the 3rd Ward on level 6. On the south end, a staircase leads down to Passage E on floor 4. In the north end, three Sentry Launchers are fought, and a ladder leads up to Passage G on level 5. When backtracking for "Rescuing Red XIII", enhanced shock troopers and Unknown Entity enemies are fought here.
The 2nd Ward - Control Deck is reached from the 2nd Ward - Prototype Inspection on the lower floor. At the north-most end is a treasure chest with two remedies, and at the south end, a staircase leads up to 2nd Ward - Specimen Refinement on level 6.
As with other levels, it is divided into an east and west portion, though its east portion is largest and contains the 3rd Ward. Tifa's party arrives on Passage F on the southeast. Here, the 3rd Ward is located though its door is initially locked, along with a PHS Terminal, as well as a break room with a vending machine and a bench. At the top, pulling a lever leads to a platform across where a treasure chest contains a bottle of ether, and also creates a path on the lower floor for Cloud's party.
The 3rd Ward - Bulkhead Passageway on the southeast connects to Passage F. It contains a short break room with a lever pulled to open a gate to the next area, the 3rd Ward - Nursery. This area is split in two, with a hallway on the main path intersected with a chamber on the outskirts. In the southeast is a treasure chest with a mega-potion. Further in, bloodhounds are fought. In the north-most portion of the chamber at the back, a chest contains 5,000 Gil, a zenene is fought, and a break room opens the door to the next portion, the 3rd Ward - Feed Storage. This has a path up to the 3rd Ward - Piping System on the floor above. After dropping from the pipes into a wide area, zenenes appear, a lever opens up the path from the nursery, a ladder leads back up to the Piping System on the upper floor, and a path south leads out to Passage E.
Passage E is a short platform with a staircase down to continue the passage on level 5. Passage G is also contained on the south end, but reached from a ladder from Passage E on level 5. After pulling a lever a passage crosses to another platform with a PHS Terminal, also granting a path for Cloud's party. Later during "Rescuing Red XIII", Sledgeworms are fought here.
2nd Ward - Specimen Refinement, at the southwest end, is reached from the 2nd Ward - Control Deck on the upper floor. Further in, Brain Pods are fought, after which is a hallway out to Passage H, a short platform with a staircase up to Passage H on level 7 (which itself leads to Passage H on level 8).
Contains a portion of the 3rd Ward in the northwest, and two passages in the southwest. The 3rd Ward - Piping System is located at the top of the 3rd Ward on the level above. It contains a chest with a Force Bracelet, though it must be climbed from a ladder at the Feed Storage below.
On the southwest end, Passage H is reached from a staircase from the exit to the 2nd Ward below, and has a staircase leading up to level 8.
In the west end, Passage I is reached from a staircase down from the 4th Ward's entrance on level 8. It comprises two platforms, with a PHS terminal on the north platform. The path across must be created by sending Red XIII to pull a lever, and after doing so, Unknown Entity enemies are fought.
Level 8 contains the 4th Ward. Its south-most area is Passage H, reached by Cloud's party. This is the entrance to the ward, and is reached from a set of staircases all the way from the 2nd Ward's exit on level 6. As with other ward entrances, it contains a break room with a vending machine and a bench but also adjacent to it is a staircase down to Passage I on the lower end.
The first area of the 4th Ward is 4th Ward - Drain 1. In the southeast end is a chest with two mega-potions, and at the end is the 4th Ward - Synthesis Chamber, the main area of the ward with ladders to the drains either side. Here, after climbing a ladder, the Swordipede boss battle begins. At the top of the ward is 4th Ward - Drain 2, which can be reached from an elevator on Level 4 - Passage E by Tifa's party. The elevator here also leads to the top floor.
Visited at the start of "A Way Out", the Top Floor is also the 68th floor of the Shinra Building. Its areas are the Main Bridge, the south portion connected to the elevator from 67F - Hojo's Laboratory: Main Level; the Lower Connecting Bridge, its northwest bridge; the Upper Connecting Bridge, its northeast bridge, and the Jenova Pod in the center.
The top floor is returned to at the end of "Find the Others". An elevator from level 8 leads to the Lower Connecting Bridge, after which the party visits the Jenova Pod at the center. The bridge south to the Main Bridge has been cut off, though the northeast Upper Connecting Bridge can be taken to an elevator up to 69F in the Executive Suite of Shinra Building.
- Find the Others
|Unknown Entity||Level 1|
|Mark II Monodrive||Level 3|
|M.O.T.H. Unit||Level 3|
Level 4 - 2nd Ward - Robotics Testing Area
|Shock-Ray||Level 4 - Passage D|
Level 4 - 2nd Ward - Robotics Testing Area
|Blast-Ray||Level 4 - Passage D|
|Bloodhound||Level 6 - 3rd Ward - Nursery|
|Zenene||Level 6 - 3rd Ward - Nursery|
Level 4 - 2nd Ward - Biological Testing
|Sentry Launcher||Level 5 - Passage E|
|Sledgeworm||Level 4 - 2nd Ward - Prototype Inspection|
|Brain Pod||Level 6 - 2nd Ward - Specimen Refinement|
|Enhanced Shock Trooper||Level 5 - Passage E|
|Slug-Ray||Level 4 - Passage E|
|Poison Materia||Level 1|
|Phoenix Down||Level 2 - Passage B|
|Twin Stinger||Level 3|
|Ether||Level 6 - Passage F|
Level 4 - Passage E
|Time Materia||Level 4 - Central Control Terminal|
|Mega-Potion||Level 6 - 3rd Ward - Nursery|
Level 4 - Passage D
|5,000 Gil||Level 6 - 3rd Ward - Nursery|
|Force Bracelet||#Level 7 - #3rd Ward - Piping System|
|Astral Cuff||Level 4 - 2nd Ward - Robotics Testing Area|
|Chain Bangle||2nd Ward|
|2 Remedy||Level 5 - 2nd Ward - Control Deck|
|2 Mega-Potion||Level 8 - 4th Ward - Drain 1|
Behind the scenes
Red XIII was used as the starting point of the level design for the Drum, to somewhat compensate for him not being playable in Remake.
Swordipede was a normal enemy in the original Final Fantasy VII. The developers felt that its design was so unique that they felt out of place among other enemies, and thus, it was made to stand out even more by upgrading it to a boss battle.
- Shanley, Patrick; Wigler, Josh (2020, July 6). "Inside the 'Final Fantasy VII Remake' Team's "Familiar Yet New" Adaptation of a Classic". From 'Hollywood Reporter'. Archived from the original on July 14, 2020.
- Square Enix (2020, August 12). "Special Interview: Digging Deep into the World of FFVII REMAKE! Part 2". From Final Fantasy Portal Site. Archived from the original on August 14, 2020.