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The Whirlwind Maze is a location in Final Fantasy VII. Located at the bottom of the North Crater, it is is a barren area filled with massive amounts of mako sent by the planet to heal the wound that is the North Crater.



Sephiroth sleeping in the Northern Cave.

After the planet was hit by Jenova, the resulting wound was the North Crater, and the planet sent huge amounts of Spirit Energy to heal itself,[1] forming the Whirlwind Maze.

After arriving from the lifestream, Sephiroth waited inside a crystal in the Northern Cave, beyond the Whirlwind Maze. He awaited the coming of the Black Materia to be brought to him by his clones in a "Reunion", which eventually occurred during Final Fantasy VII.

In "That Which Waits in the Northernmost Reaches", Cloud Strife traveled to the Whirlwind Maze with his party. Descending down the crater walls to find Sephiroth, they found other clones there fall from exhaustion, or be killed by Sephiroth himself. Finally, the party reached Sephiroth, where Cloud, Tifa Lockhart, and a third member progressed forward, while Cloud left the Black Materia with a remaining party member.

Further in, Sephiroth showed Cloud and his party a vision of the Nibelheim Incident including Zack Fair, contradicting the events Cloud had been telling them in which Cloud has the one accompanying Sephiroth to Nibelheim. Cloud was confident it was an illusion to trick him, but Tifa, the only other party member in Nibelheim at the time, did not refute Sephiroth's claims. Sephiroth mocked Cloud and told him he was as much of a puppet as the other clones, triggering a breakdown in Cloud, while meanwhile tricking the party member to give the Black Materia back to Sephiroth.[2]

While this occurred, Rufus Shinra and his group of Shinra executives landed in the Northern Cave using the airship Highwind. Seeing all the abundant mako, Rufus believed it to be the promised land. Cloud appeared, appealing to Professor Hojo to tell him what his number was in the Jenova Project. Hojo laughed off how a specimen he considered a "failure" turned out to be the only successful clone, but could recall much about Cloud.[2]

Cloud personally handed the crystalized Sephiroth the Black Materia, which Sephiroth used to then summon Meteor. The planet summoned its protectors, the Weapons, to rise and defeat the threat, creating a massive explosion of energy. Rufus and his entourage fled the chaos on the Highwind, taking Tifa and the rest of the party with them, while Cloud was flushed into the lifestream.[2]


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Tropic Wind

Tropic Wind.

The Whirlwind Maze is the main setting of "That Which Waits in the Northernmost Reaches". The quest is mostly a linear path through the maze, with some enemies fought on the way and a few items to obtain, namely Neo Bahamut Materia, Kaiser Knuckle, and MP Turbo Materia.

A battle with Jenova∙DEATH is the main end of the gameplay of the Whirlwind Maze, as the rest takes place in story sequences. In such sequences, the player can choose to give Barret or Red XIII the Black Materia, but this will not affect the outcome. The dialogue in the story also changes somewhat based on the player's events during "The Tragedy of Five Years Ago".

Musical themes[]

"The Great Northern Cave" plays inside of the Whirlwind Maze.

Other appearances[]

Final Fantasy Record Keeper[]

FFRK Whirlwind Maze FFVII
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A whirlwind is a weather phenomenon in which a vortex of wind (a vertically oriented rotating column of air) forms due to instabilities and turbulence created by heating and flow (current) gradients.