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An abandoned storage area piled high with defunct freight trains that were used in Midgar's construction. One can almost hear the grinding of wheels and the screech of engines when the wind blows just right, and on occasion, even the laughter of children.

Loading screen from Final Fantasy VII Remake

The train graveyard is a location in the Final Fantasy VII series. It is an abandoned switchyard in the Sector 7 slums of Midgar. Originally used as a switchyard for trains to transport between the undercity and onto the plate, the area became a junkyard of old and abandoned trains, creating a maze of rusted metal; an example of the Shinra Electric Power Company's neglect. Strong winds make the dilapidated carriages creak and groan, and odd high-pitched sounds echo over the area. The area is a dangerous lurking ground for monsters, especially of the supernatural variety.

History[]

Before Final Fantasy VII[]

The area that would become known as the train graveyard was the first construction in the area that would become the Sector 7 undercity. A switchyard was built there around 1974-75 to facilitate travel between the surface and upper parts of Midgar. When the city finished in 1976, it was shut down, becoming the train graveyard.[1]

Stories eventually spread through the Sector 7 slums about how the train graveyard was haunted.[2] Marlene Wallace was one such person, who once told Tifa Lockhart, who was looking after her at the time, about stories she had heard about the graveyard's haunted nature.[3]

At some point, people who suffered heavy mako poisoning and thereafter wore black robes and had numbers tattooed, including former Shinra employees Geddie Bach, Glen Reiner, and Lilisa Meg, would converge at the train graveyard periodically. Joann Liu, an acquaintance not poisoned, would often accompany Lilisa Meg on these trips, and when dealing with guilt from his past, at one point, Lonny accompanied Liu and Meg on such a trip.[4]

Original continuity[]

In December 0007, "Prevent the Fall of the Plate" in Final Fantasy VII, Cloud Strife, Tifa, and Aerith Gainsborough came to the train graveyard after being dropped down into Midgar's sewers by Don Corneo. They made their way through the graveyard on their way to save Sector 7 from the plate being dropped upon it. The party reached Sector 7 just before the Turks blew up the pillar, causing the plate to collapse.

DoC Train Graveyard

Train Graveyard in Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-.

In 0010, during the assault on Midgar by the World Regenesis Organization in Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-, Vincent Valentine landed in the slums' remains after dropping out of Cid Highwind's airship, the Shera. Out of position, Vincent navigated his way through the rubble of disused train cars with Shelke Rui's guidance. The graveyard held many Deepground troops Vincent fought, and some WRO soldiers who also ended up out of position. Eventually, Vincent exited the graveyard, and arrived at the front entrance of Shinra Building, which he then infiltrated.

Remake continuity[]

Cloud Aerith Tifa Conducting

Tifa, Cloud, and Aerith looking at train controls in Remake.

In "Haunted" in Final Fantasy VII Remake, Cloud, Tifa, and Aerith arrived in the train graveyard after navigating the sewer system. Once there, Tifa told them that the graveyard was haunted, and was anxious the rest of the journey.[2] Tifa and Aerith then leaned on Cloud to keep them safe, but after entering a maintenance facility, Aerith was able to commune with one of the ghosts.[5] Further inside, the group fought a large ghost, and after defeating it, Aerith recognized the ghost as a child who wanted playmates.[6]

The party meets a ghost in FFVII Remake

Ghostly encounter in the Remake.

Upon leaving the facility, Tifa saw an image of Marlene, and had a flashback to when Marlene had told her about the facility.[3] While moving around old trains to clear a path out, they saw that the Turks had already sent helicopters to the Sector 7 pillar.[7] Their route out was blocked when Aerith ran into visions of young children she knew growing up, causing her to cry until Cloud and Tifa came to her aid. The group then fought Eligor and thereafter reached a path out.[8]

Geography[]

This is the train graveyard all right—a real treasure trove of scrap.

The train graveyard is an abandoned junkyard full of rail tracks with abandoned trains and rubble, as well as barrels and abandoned storage containers. The Graveyard is comprised of two switchyards: the south Switchyard 2 is entered through a manhole from the sewer system, while the north Switchyard 1 is adjacent to the freight storage just east of the Sector 7 Undercity Station.

The abandoned trains and rubble make it difficult to navigate the area. Therefore, one must climb over and through the trains to proceed through. Though most trains are immobile, a few have power remaining, allowing them to be moved to form bridges and create a path across.

In Final Fantasy VII Remake, the train graveyard has a large abandoned maintenance facility, likely used for the switchyard. This is a vast building that has more abandoned storage contains and trains on tracks. On its upper level are warehouses, rooms with trashed lockers and desks long-since abandoned, and a control room to oversee the facility. Also present are illuminated children's paintings across the walls, which only appear on approach.


Gameplay[]

Final Fantasy VII[]

Train graveyard

The Train Graveyard can be visited early on as soon as the player arrives in Sector 7 Slums by heading east through the train station. However, it is visited during the main story in "Prevent the Fall of the Plate" by a party of Cloud, Aeris, and Tifa as they navigate their way through.

The Train Graveyard comprises only two screens: a north and a south screen. Before "Prevent the Fall of the Plate," a different setup of weaker enemies is fought, and after, the main enemies fought are the Cripshay, Deenglow, or the rare Eligor enemy in the north segment. Eligor can be stolen from to obtain the Striking Staff early for Aeris. On the north screen, the player must move the trains to create a bridge across from the Graveyard to the Sector 7 Slums.

Final Fantasy VII Remake[]

The Train Graveyard is visited once again by a party of Cloud Strife, Aerith Gainsborough, and Tifa Lockhart during Chapter 11, "Haunted," as the three make their way to the Sector 7 Slums.

The location is greatly expanded over the original, with a new segment taking place in a large maintenance facility. Here, a new boss, Ghoul, is fought, blocking their way to leave the facility. Eligor returns at the end of the dungeon, but rather than being a regular encounter, is a full boss fight. Similarly, the player can steal the Bladed Staff Bladed Staff weapon for Aerith from Eligor.

Much like the original game, the location involves a mix of navigating through abandoned train carts while fighting cripshays and ghosts (with the added wererat enemies also fought), as well as in the north switchyard, reactivating immobile trains that have some power remaining in order to create a bridge across. However, unlike the original game, the Train Graveyard can only be visited during Chapter 11, and is not available earlier. Where the Train Graveyard originally had no dialogue scenes outside of the first when the three arrive, the Train Graveyard in Final Fantasy VII Remake has a number of cutscenes with character moments, as Aerith is haunted by visions of her childhood, and Tifa is frightened of ghosts.

Musical themes[]

In Final Fantasy VII, the background music of the train graveyard is "Anxious Heart" (不安な心, Fuan na Kokoro?).

Other appearances[]

World of Final Fantasy[]

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Behind the scenes[]

When bringing the location back for Final Fantasy VII Remake, the developers wished for it to stand on its own. As such, they expanded the section to feel like a haunted house attraction, and made Eligor into a boss who foresees the disturbance in the lifestream following the Sector 7 plate collapse, and wishes to stop Cloud, Tifa, and Aerith from reaching the pillar in time.[9]

Ghostly will-o-the-wisp in the Train Graveyard from FFVII Remake

A "will-o'-the-wisp".

Will-o'-the-wisp-like apparitions appear within some of the areas, representing wandering souls. They resemble the pyreflies from Final Fantasy X in appearance and in story relevance. In Japanese folklore, Hitodama (人魂, hitodama?, lit. human soul) are balls of fire that float in the dark of the night, said to be souls of the dead that have separated from their bodies.


Citations[]

References[]

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