Unnatural Hometown is a chapter in Final Fantasy VII where the party returns to Nibelheim, Cloud and Tifa's hometown that was the setting for Cloud's retelling of the Nibelheim Incident earlier. They expect to find the town in ruin, but are shocked to find nothing has changed since their childhood.
"Battle 6" is available at the Condor War minigame at this time back at Fort Condor; if all previous battles were won, then the reward for Battle 6 is five Hi-Potions; the battle remains available until talking to Shera in Rocket Town. The party can return to Fort Condor by driving the buggy into Costa del Sol and then taking the Cargo Ship back to the eastern continent; when the party emerges into the world map from Junon, they still have the buggy.
The player can encounter Bagrisk on the dirt in the northwestern part of Cosmo Area and steal Vagyrisk Claws from them. Vagyrisk Claws are also obtainable in the Condor War, but both the Condor War and Bagrisks stop yielding Vagyrisk Claws later in the game. Discounting these detours, after departing Cosmo Canyon, take the buggy west out of the Cosmo Area, then turn north to cross a river and enter Nibel Area. Nibelheim is further north, at the foot of the mountain.
Much to Cloud and Tifa's shock, Nibelheim looks exactly the same as it used to, but the people there are not the same as in Cloud's story. A memo in Tifa's house explains why: Shinra has rebuilt Nibelheim and populated it with actors to cover up Sephiroth's destruction of the town. Cloud can play around with the piano in Tifa's room, but all you can get at this point is "Tifa's secret savings", 1 gil.
There is an inn and an item shop but nothing new for sale. The point of interest in the town is the many figures in black capes. They mostly talk about Sephiroth or a reunion, but it is worth talking to them all as they give items, including stat boosting items. The one outside the mansion gives a Mind Source, but the text erroneously says "Mind Plus". Like in the quantum Potion bug, the same variable is used for obtaining this Mind Source as for the Luck Source obtained from the black cloak on the bottom floor of the inn; after picking up either one, the other registers as already being taken, so it is impossible to pick up both.
|Luck Source||Black cape in the Inn (unless the player already got the Mind Source from outside the manor)|
|Elixir||Black cape in Nibelheim Item Store|
|Turbo Ether||Black cape in Tifa's house's kitchen|
|Platinum Fist||Black cape in Tifa's house upstairs|
|Luck Source||Black cape in Siblings' House upstairs|
|Mind Source||Black cape outside the manor (unless the player already got the Luck Source from the inn)|
One of the figures standing outside the Mansion says the "Great Sephiroth" is inside the manor. When you're ready, go in after him.
In the years since Sephiroth destroyed Nibelheim, Shinra Manor has become populated by monsters, such as Dorky Face, Ghirofelgo, Jersey in the house, and Black Bats and Ying and Yang in the underground cavern. The Enemy Skill ???? can be learned from Jersey. Jersey is met in some of the rooms in the upstairs, and rarely uses ???? when it has never been hit yet; it is best to simply idle until it uses the attack on the character with the Enemy Skill Materia, and then defeat the enemies. Ying-Yang is a potentially dangerous enemy; since Yang will eventually perform a powerful suicide attack, you should slay it first, then defeat Ying. Yang is weak to physical attacks, where as Ying is susceptible to magic.
A letter by the entrance clues you into an optional sidequest. Following the clues finds the combination to the safe on the Upper Floor.
The code to enter is:
- (Right 36), (Left 10), (Right 59), (Right 97)
Whether you do the above quest or not, Sephiroth awaits in the basement. If you got the key from the above quest, you can unlock the door in the basement and talk to Vincent. He will return to his slumber and refuse to speak further. Further into the basement, Sephiroth talks to Cloud about the reunion, then throws a Destruct Materia and flies off, saying he is heading north past Mt. Nibel.
If you spoke to Vincent, he will join at this point as a bonus party member. He will be available to be recruited at any point from this point onward. Exit Shinra Manor, rest up at the inn if you need to, then leave Nibelheim to the north.
Crossing Mt. Nibel
After leaving Nibelheim, the buggy is not accessible for a while, but will soon be replaced with a better vehicle. Head north and enter Mt. Nibel. The way is winding, but going off the beaten path scores some decent items, like new weapons for Cloud (Rune Blade; going off the main path the first area), Red XIII (Plus Barrette; near the bridge in the first area), Vincent (Sniper CR; in the caves), and Tifa (Powersoul; take Slide 2 in the last room), as well as an Elemental Materia and an All Materia. All of the weapons besides Vincent's Sniper CR give double AP growth to any Materia slotted into them, and Tifa's Powersoul also has powers up when in Near Death and when under Death-sentence.
Kyuvilduns appear in large groups here, and can be annoying to deal with. If their Lay Flat is devastating the party, a Cover Materia comes in handy on a hardy character who is in the back row, such as Barret, to take the blows. For further damage reduction, the covering character can use Defend. The player can use Fire3 (with Fire linked to All), Ifrit or Beta to kill groups of Kyuvilduns quickly. If the player has L4 Suicide, it can be used to easily cripple whole groups of them for a low MP cost. Dragons appear in the final area providing an opportunity to learn the Flame Thrower Enemy Skill, if you haven't already. The good Gold Armlet armor can be stolen from the Dragons.
Along the way, you will pass the Nibel Reactor. You can go inside but there's nothing of interest to find. The exit on the far side of Mt. Nibel is blocked by Materia Keeper. The Materia Keeper absorbs Fire, meaning Vincent can't use his Level 1 Limit Break if he is in the battle formation. The party should have an Enemy Skill Materia equipped, as Materia Keeper uses the missable Enemy Skill Trine. Materia Keeper is susceptible to Stop and Poison, so Choco/Mog, Bio spells and the Time Materia are useful, for their spells or with Added Effect.
After defeating the Materia Keeper, pick up the Counter Attack Materia it drops, then head for the exit. The party will emerge into the Rocket Launch Pad Area, and the next destination is to the northwest.