Final Fantasy VII Ep. 20: Cloud Strife’s Pro Snowboarder 2
In this episode we reach the Icicle Inn, get some good-good Cetra history, rip up the hills with our snowboard, and brave a snowstorm to reach Gaia’s Cliff. Thanks for listening to First Encounter!
❗First Encounter contains adult themes such as violence, sexual content, and adult language. Listener discretion is advised.View Episode Transcript
Hey listener, First Encounter is an explicit podcast by grownups for grownups. Content warnings can be found in the episode description.
Hey Chris, did you know that First Encounter has joined a collective?
I was not informed!
Oh, well, just so you know, we’re now part of the Spilled Potion Independent Arts Collective.
What the fuck is that?
Well, Chris, since you asked so nicely, jackass.
The Spilled Potion Collective is a nerdy and independent arts collective formed to support indie creators while promoting community, inclusion and the drive to grow and improve.
Go to spilledpotion.com to learn more!
A friend was listening to the podcast recently and…
Are they still a friend?
Uh, I think so. She sent me a text and it just said, I didn’t flush dot dot dot because I never flush. I was like, oh, no! And then I remembered the awful things I say in this podcast, and I’m like, Oh, God, what’s wrong with me?
Okay, please don’t. Please don’t quote my podcast at me. I don’t need to know.
Haney (As Aerith) 1:09
Is anyone there? Can you hear me? Hello, hello?
Chris (As Aerith) 1:12
Chris (As Cloud) 1:14
Back then I only got scraped knees.
Ugh, there’s that good good.
Welcome to the First Encounter – fuck you gonna talk right over you there. This is payback for episode like, I don’t know, 14 or whatever. You son of a biscuit. I was gonna ask you if you want to together but I guess not.
I just sprayed my face with booze.
Yeah, we’re back. Hey!
How you doing pumpkin?
Good. Happy 2021! How are you?
Ah, I’m doing pretty swell. Thank you for asking. I’m doing pretty okay.
I’m also doing pretty okay. Even though you didn’t ask.
I – no, I wasn’t going to but you just go ahead, let me know how you are anyway. That’s fine.
Thats fine. Don’t worry about me. My microphone’s just like falling over here. I’m sure that’s okay. Can you just keep an eye on that for me and make sure it doesn’t you know…
Well, if this isn’t the most First Encounter return ever, I don’t know what is.
Literal fucking fire on everything. Hahhhh I think I got it now. Hey.
Welcome to the First Encounter podcast.
Coming at your ears, 2021. Whatcha drinking there?
IPA from The Alchemist.
Oh, excellent. How do uhh how do you like it?
I really enjoy it. What I do not enjoy is the Heady Topper. How do you feel about the Heady Topper?
So ahh you’re treading into dangerous water. Not with me but with the entire state of Vermont and basically the entirety of r/craftbeer, so I prefer the Focal Banger as well. However, it does not have the same insane…exclusivity? I guess, attached to it that Heady Topper- I would say used to, it’s really easy to find Heady Topper now. Um, once upon a time it was like a rare treat. But the thing I don’t like about Heady Topper compared to a Focal Banger is that, I don’t, I’m not, they might still be the same alcohol percentage I’m not 100% sure but for whatever reason Heady Topper by the time it gets to me like into my stomach I can only drink about half a can and then I’m absolutely drunk and super full. And I’m just like well now what? Focal Banger I can handle the whole can. I still will be absolutely drunk, but I won’t be full.
Yeah, um I don’t know the Focal Banger – It’s just like you said not as heavy. It’s not as bitter.
Like the hops are just not so in your face like they are with the Heady Topper.
Yeah, I’m not sure I think the Heady Topper – is Heady Topper a double IPA, or no?
I don’t recall.
I’m not sure this is a single but yeah, this is my favorite Alchemist like regular. They’ve had some umm like specialties every once in a while that are really good. But uh, I’d like to uhh propose a little toast this nice beer to you and I Chris and to First Encounter. Cheers to 2021.
To new opportunities –
Yeah, I can’t reach – eh
There…well, that didn’t get picked up
Umm to new opportunities and to ah the growth and expansion of this podcast, which leads us into our next topic. If you listened to our little soundbite back at the beginning of January, you will have heard that we started and joined, not just started but also joined a collective.
You’re really counting on me dropping that soundbite now, aren’t you?
Yo, you better be, um, we are uhh Chris and I formed the Spilled Potion independent arts collective. So this is a arts collective that we put together to host and build other podcasts with. So we have two other shows that are currently in the network with us at the time of recording at least Crime Time Nerds and Jitters podcasts. If you want to learn more about those podcasts or our own First Encounter podcast, you can either go to spilledpotion.com, or you can check out firstencounterpodcast.com for more information about us, crimetimenerds.com for more information about CTN or jitterspodcast.com for more information about Jitters. They’re all great podcasts with some fantastic hosts, some really good friends of ours and people we really like hanging out with and being involved with. So yeah, that’s my little pitch for Spilled Potion at this point, but uh, how you been? What else you been working on?
Umm mostly being unemployed.
I think you mean funemployed.
-because it was your choice.
Either way I’m making not a lot of money.
Can’t say no money though.
Yeah, taking on some side gigs.
Little freelance editing, if you will.
Yeah, I will.
If uh you listen to this, and you need help editing, hit Chris up.
But also uhh you’ll have to pay me for it.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Please pay him.
Maybe we can uh charge people to listen to this podcast.
No, no – stop listening, send me money, then you can come back.
What have you been up to? You’ve been getting pretty busy with work, getting some promotions-
Work is uh – work has been going well, um that’s been the majority of my life but uh outside of work I took the grand advice of a friend podcast of ours uh, Tales from the Cartridge, and picked up Jedi Fallen Order and have for the first time in quite a while played a game that was not Final Fantasy VII and I actually-
Gonna have to have a word with them.
Yeah. Before I – he’s coming for you guys. Watch out. Um. Also go listen to them. Tales from the Cartridge. All the E’s are threes. They’re fantastic.
Yeah, they- they do a great job of talking about games in a way that makes you excited to experience them yourself.
That’s why before getting involved in this podcast, I feel like I had kind of fallen off of gaming pretty heavily. But since I started First Encounter with Chris, I’ve actually completed two games. And I am notoriously bad at starting and never finishing games, as are probably 99% of people in the world. But I just beat Jedi Fallen Order this morning.
Thank you very much. And uh I’m going to go back through- I’m currently working on 100%ing it, driving around toot tooting on my Mantis and uhh unlocking uh lightsaber parts and collecting Jedi force secrets. But uh yeah, so just beat that this morning. And then I’m looking for my next uh fun game to pick up, if you will, my next game that’s not going to be podcast related. So kind of thinking about getting that new Star Wars Rogue Squadrons game, I think it’s called, but uh it’s like a starship fighting game seemed like it might be up my alley because of the Star Wars aspect. But I was also thinking about um- I’ve been talking about this with Tales boys was picking up Assassin’s Creed. My wife is a massive Assassin’s Creed fan and has been on me for years to play them. And um after she and I played fallen order together, she was like, the way you like fell for this game makes me feel like you’d really love Assassin’s Creed. So we should definitely try picking it up. But that’s mostly what I’ve been doing.
Well, as someone who has always been in love with video games, and also has not had the time. It’s very exciting to see somebody else um get excited about games again.
Well, I guess that’s probably enough about games that aren’t Final Fantasy VII. So with that, shall we talk about Final Fantasy VII?
Yeah, do you- I’m having a hard time. Can you just remind me uh what was it that happened last episode?
Aerith fucking died, you prick.
That’s what it was. Yeah.
Yeah, I’m still trying to get over that making progress, but not quite there yet. Definitely felt the loss there today in several aspects. But yeah, today was our first day culminating in Aerith’s death or just dealing with the aftermath of that rather. And you know how we kind of helped get us over it Chris? Was reconnecting with nature and our love of snowboarding.
What a fucking nightmare today was. Alright, so we’re playing, you know, the game. We save last time in the outskirts of wherever you end up after Aerith passes away, one of the ancient like uh, settlements right outside of the Forgotten capital. The party breaks out and someone’s like: ‘Hey, where did that Sephiroth guy go anyway?’ I think it was Yuffie at that point. And um Cloud’s like: ‘Uh hold on a second. Let me connect to the force.’ And you see a little ghost image of Sephiroth up to the north, walking along just swinging Masamune, not a care in the world. I can almost hear him whistling when you see that image of him just walking up that path. Also, why is he walking he can rocket fly with his shoes. We’ve seen it.
I don’t think that was actually Sephiroth right there.
That was, as far as I am concerned, that was absolutely Cloud connecting with the memory of like the planet and seeing Sephiroth jauntily walking along swinging his sword and whistling.
As he heads up towards the north. Cloud kinda remembers at that point, he’s like, ‘Oh, well, let’s see he was heading up like over the mountains.’ I think he said and we’re like, Alright, that was- that was enough for us. So I was actually talking to Chris earlier today, I was like, I genuinely have no memory of where we’re supposed to go. So really glad they gave us this little bit of good good but um, we decided to head off North.
Haney (As Ifalna) 10:12
Where- Where am I supposed to go? Can you jump down?
HUP. HUP. HU-OHHH.
Can I get that chest from here or no?
HUP. HUP. HUP. HUP. HUP.
Is this what you came for?
Oh, I was trying to get that chest.
Yeah, I know what you’re trying to do.
Can I? Doesn’t look like it, like Cloud’s trying to but-
As hard as Cloud has ever been able to do anything. Remember, I’m not the biggest fan of Cloud so… He’s growing on me
Like a fungus.
Son of a tit!
Well, you know, I’m about to cast bullet on him.
Vincent might be my favorite- just fucking shut up and get shot. L4 sui-what?
Eventually we make our way out of the ancient city into the North area of the planet map which has been previously un like, reachable.
Its the first snowy field we come across.
Yeah, so we’re definitely in the-
The North! John Snow! We’re definitely in the north now. So we’re in the north and uh we find a little village.
I think this is our Christmas episode, since we’re in the snowy mountains now.
Chris, Christmas was a while ago.
Our listeners don’t know that.
How dare you insinuate that our listeners are not intelligent.
Thanks for joining our Christmas episode of First Encounter.
Awesome. Welcome to this town.
Yeah, it actually looks a lot like my town.
Chris (as Child) 11:51
Haney (As Child) 11:51
I like that we did the exact same voice though.
Haney (As Child) 11:57
Grandpa! Wake up! We have a customer.
Chris (As Grandpa) 12:01
Ah, welcome. Glad You Came.
Sir. I haven’t even started please.
Haney (As Ifalna) 12:06
I haven’t came yet.
Hit up the first building in the town, which is the items kind of general store. It wasn’t just a weapon shop kind of more of an all purpose store. But the weapons they had were fucking killer. So it’s been a good chunk of time since I had a chance to do some shopping and get some really good weapons, picked up a new weapon, I think for almost everyone except Cid because there wasn’t anything better than mop.
I’m glad you came. I’ll sell this wind slash because it’s worth 1000. And then I’ll sell a carbon Bengal for 400 then I will sell the Heavy Vulcan.
Fucking A. What was that? You know what that was?
The next building we visited was a mother and her son who had purchased a snowboard for her son and he got injured. At this point. She basically just tells us that he’s on rest because he’s injured and we go and talk to him and he just cries.
All right, moving on with the story now.
Chris (As Mother) 13:07
My boy got hurt right after the time we moved here. I never should have gotten him that snowboard.
Cool. Don’t care. Look, I like how the snowboard is like the only bright thing in the room. So it’s like ah yeah, look at the snowboard.
Haney (As Child) 13:20
Chris (As Cloud) 13:24
Cool. World building my man. As Chris would say.
Darude Sandstone ne ne ne ne ne ne ne ne ne ne ne ne ne ne ne ne
We bail out of there. I think at that point, we went to explore the inn talk to a bunch of snowboarders who- I mean I gotta, well listen, I gotta level with you. I’m from Vermont. We ski here snowboarding is just not for me.
All right. I didn’t know that’s where you were going with that.
I know it’s funny because I don’t do either. I dogsled that’s the only thing I do that’s a winter sport.
I don’t go outside during the winter. It’s just bad.
I don’t even dogsled technically, I ride my bike next to my wife while she dogsleds.
Chris (As Snowboarder) 14:16
You heard about the gnarly hill in this town? They tell me it’s off limits.
Haney (As Snowboarder) 14:19
What luck! We came all this way, crap.
Haney (As Innkeeper) 14:23
It’s colder than usual today. It’s 200 gil if you want to spend the night.
Chris (As Cloud) 14:27
Haney (As Innkeeper) 14:29
Please come again.
I said no.
I will not come!
Bet you can’t make me, I bet you can’t! Don’t even try.
Awful. Awful. Chris.
Let me go destroy this restroom. Oh, It won’t open. Unfortunate.
They knew better. They saw Cloud coming down those stairs. They locked it right up.
Do you ever think about how we never flushed in the Shinra boardroom and our dookie might still be there?
No, not till now. Good riddance.
I think the last thing we did in this area was we went to the Holzoff residence where we talk to a widow question mark?… But not really. She’s like, oh, if you’re heading north, you’ll need a map. So we’re like, okay, and she’s like, there’s a map on that wall and I was like, okay, I’m gonna take the map. So I took the map. We did reach a turning point in this podcast, which is we now know what the switch button is. This time it was the left bumper. Let’s hope it stays.
There’s another house we stopped at and that’s where we go all the good good.
How the fuck did I forget that?
It’s the only reason we’re recording this episode, frankly.
That’s very fair. Um, the final final house is a house that seems very out of place internally. Externally, it looks like a just another snowy cabin. Internally though, there’s just banks of computers and books and stuff like it’s it’s a very like professional looking setting. It looks very similar to a lab, would you say, almost?
I would say. Yeah, odd.
And we decided to investigate a little bit. Booted up the computer, Bill’s PC, and got access to some videos. It seems like no one’s been in this house a long time. It’s a little dusty. There’s no one here. Let’s watch some videos. I was not expecting what we got.
Whoa. This looks-
Out of place…
Beep boop beep
Chris (As Screen Prompter) 16:19
Play the video?
Chris (As Screen Prompter) 16:21
The original crisis. What is weapon. Confidential. Don’t watch.
Alright, let’s watch the original crisis. Was that- why does that woman look like Aerith? Is that Aerith’s mom?
Chris (As Professor Gast) 16:34
Cameras ready. Then, Ifalna-
It is Aerith’s mom!
Chris (As Professor Gast) 16:39
Please tell us about the Cetra.
Wait! Does that mean, that’s Professor Gast?
Haney (As Ifalna) 16:43
2000 years ago, our ancestors the Cetra heard the cries of the planet. The first ones to discover the planets wound were the Cetra at the Nose Pole. Oh, Knowles Pole.
Chris (As Professor Gast) 16:53
Tell us Ifalna, where is the land called Knowles Pole?
Haney (As Ifalna) 16:56
Knowles Pole refers to this area. The Cetra then began a planet reading. It said that something fell from the sky making a large wound. Thousands of Cetra pulled together trying to heal the planet, but due to the severity of the wound, it was only able to heal itself over many years. The energy that was needed to heal the planet withered away, the planet tried to persuade the Cetra to leave the Knowles Pole. But when the Cetra were preparing to part with the land they loved, that’s when it appeared. It looked like our dead mothers and our dead brothers showing us specters of their past. That’s when the one who injured the planet or the crisis from the sky came, as we call it, first approached as a friend, deceived them and finally gave them the virus. The Cetra were attacked by the virus and went mad transforming into monsters. Then, just as it had at the Knowlesorth Pole, it approached other Cetra clans and infected them with the virus.
Chris (As Professor Gast) 17:48
You don’t look well. Let’s call it a day.
Well, that was a heavy chunk of good, good. I’m gonna watch the next video. Once your ready.
A lot to unpack here, we get a video of a man who looks very scientific. He’s uh, you know, wearing professional clothes has glasses, kind of that 90s stereotypical anime or manga portrayal of a professor. And uh there’s another person with him though. The man refers to her as Ifalna. And we know that that is Aerith’s mother. I did not realize like we were going to get some of this today. So this professor, I was like, I think this might be Professor Gast. That’s a name we’ve heard multiple times now from I believe, reading books in Shinra Mansion’s laboratory, as well as talking to Vincent Valentine, who we have in our party. If you didn’t listen to the sidequest episode, please go listen to it. It’s really good. Professor Gast at this point, or the man unknown, kind of tells Ifalna that, ‘Okay, we’re recording. Go ahead. I’m gonna kind of prompt you.’ And it’s almost like a scientific interview. So he’s asking her very specific questions about the history of the ancients in that area in this northern region. And she’s answering him and it seems like they don’t have a bad relationship. So previously, based on Hojo and Aerith, I would have assumed that when Ifalna was part of, you know, the Shinra experimentation, that she would have been treated much the same as Aerith, locked in a cage with Red XIII for instance. Ifalna talks to us about what the crisis was, though, she tells us that many many, I think she says, like multiple thousands of years ago, there was an incident where an object from space fell to the planet and caused a injury to the planet, and the Cetra in the area, tried to bind together to heal the planet. They were not fully successful. She also tells us that that thing that fell from the planet was a entity called Jenova. Bwaahhhh fucking alarms.
Haney (As Screen Prompter) 19:59
What is Weapon?
Chris (As Professor Gast) 20:02
Ifalna can you comment on the thing called Weapon?
Haney (As Ifalna) 20:05
Yes, Professor. The one the Professor mistook for a Cetra was named Jenova that is the crisis from the sky. The planet knew it had to destroy the crisis from the sky. You see, as long as Jenova exists the planet will never be able to fully heal itself.
Chris (As Professor Gast) 20:20
Back then Weapon was a weapon the planet produced by its own will?
Haney (As Ifalna) 20:24
Yes, but there’s no record of Weapon ever being used. A small number of the surviving Cetra defeated Jenova and confined it. The planet produced Weapon but it was no longer necessary to use it.
Chris (As Professor Gast) 20:34
Hm, shrug, so Weapon no longer exists on this planet?
Haney (As Ifalna) 20:39
Weapon cannot vanish, it remains asleep somewhere on the planet. Even though Jenova is confined it could come back to life at some time. The planet has not yet fully healed itself. It’s keeping watch on Jenova.
Chris (As Professor Gast) 20:49
Thank you Ifalna, that will be all for today.
God damn, that’s some good good! So that makes a lot more sense now. Um, also seems like Jenova is an alien. That’s cool. Fucking didn’t realize that this was going to be an alien game. She talks to Professor Gast very willingly about the history of the ancients in the area and about the calamity from the skies. This one was very interesting to me, because Ifalna mentions that the injury can never be fully healed until Jenova is completely purged. So Jenova has been contained. Uh, it was contained by the ancients, and then, now we know that it was contained in Shinra laboratory in the Shinra Power Company’s headquarters, but uhh Sephiroth took it so not so contained anymore. It seems like Professor Gast for Shinra at this point is trying to kind of get the location of the weapon. And if I was like, I don’t really know where it is. I can’t hear the planet very well, like things are so different. Now. The planets just keeping a close eye on everything, not 100% sure that she was completely honest there. She might know the location of it, but like, was not trusting and gas, but we learned that the weapon still exists, it can’t really be disposed of, but it’s just not been used. So it’s hidden away somewhere by the planet.
I think that’s the the gist of the weapon video. The bigger the confidential videos, the camera is broken. So you don’t actually get any video. But you get Professor gassed and an unknown person talking about trying to fix the camera to record a video of their daughter confidential.
Chris (As Screen Prompter) 22:22
Daughter’s record. 10th day after birth.
Haney (As Ifalna) 22:27
What are you doing Profe- I mean, honey.
Chris (As Professor Gast) 22:29
Oh, I’m thinking of taping on video. But the video is not working right.
Haney (As Ifalna) 22:33
What are you going to tape? Is there still something I haven’t mentioned?
Chris (As Professor Gast) 22:36
No, that’s not it. I’m going to record my beautiful daughter. And when she’s sleeping, her face looks like an angel.
Haney (As Ifalna) 22:43
First, we have to figure out her name. We can take the video later. I’ve already decided if it’s a girl, then it’ll be Aerith. That’s that.
Question. Didn’t- Vincent said that Sephiroth’s mother was a woman who worked with Professor Gast, right? We still don’t know who his father is, though? I’m highly suspicious by the way of who the father is. But I was just questioning that. And then it seems like even though we don’t know that that was Ifalna with him, right? In that video? But it seems like Professor Gast is Aerith’s father. Yikes.
Yikes. Yikes, dog.
Big yikes, dog. Fuck.
We can’t be sure in this video that it is Ifalna and Gast, who are Aerith’s parents based on this video, but we do know that Ifalna is Aerith’s mom. And I never thought to think about who her father was. I kind of just assumed in my head that it was like some other ancient, like, I just thought that there was like a small Cetra colony somewhere on like the war front. Seems a lot like Professor Gast is the father of Aerith, though, which is also interesting, because it seems like Professor Gast might be Sephiroth’s father too. Concern is where I’m at. Um, we’ll get there though.
Yeah, I think so.
So, at this point, the last video is 20 days after Aerith’s birth. This sucks. Real hard.
Haney (As Ifalna) 24:16
Video again? You just got through taping.
Chris (As Professor Gast) 24:19
Please don’t say it that way. It’s our lovely daughter. Both yours and mine. Don’t you want to capture her childhood on videotape?
Haney (As Ifalna) 24:25
If you keep doting on her like that she won’t grow up to be strong! Aerith is different from other children. I wonder what dangers await her.
Chris (As Professor Gast) 24:32
Never say that, I will protect you and Aerith, no matter what. You and Aerith are my only treasures, I’ll never let you go.
Haney (As Ifalna) 24:38
I feel so much better now, darling. If I hadn’t met you I-
Chris (As Professor Gast) 24:43
Damn. How dare they intrude on our private time together
We just finished our video.
Mm, I wasn’t gonna say it but definitely had the same thought.
Haney (As Ifalna) 24:53
Is that Hojo?
So a younger Hojo, you have to slightly alter his voice.
Ready for this?
Haney (As Hojo) 25:01
Heh heh heh, I’ve been searching for you Ifalna! Or should I say Cetra?
Fuck. Thats good.
Haney (As Hojo) 25:08
Long time, no see Professor Gast.
Chris (As Professor Gast) 25:11
Hojo! How did you know?
Haney (As Hojo) 25:13
Believe me I had to turn over a stone or two to find you. Two years I waited. That’s how much I wanted this new sample, hah hah hah.
Chris (As Professor Gast) 25:22
A new sample? You don’t mean Aerith?
Hmm, Aerith?What a nice name. Hahah!
Chris (As Professor Gast) 25:29
That’s it. I’m severing all ties with the Shinra. Hojo, please leave.
Haney (As Ifalna) 25:33
Please, Aerith has nothing to do wi-
Chris (As Professor Gast) 25:35
Haney (As Ifalna) 25:36
All you want is me, right?
Haney (As Hojo) 25:38
I’ll need all of you for my experiment. You understand, don’t you Professor Gast? We can change the future of the planet. I’m just getting sleazier as the moments go on, you like that?
Chris (As Professor Gast) 25:48
Don’t worry Ifalna, I’ll take care of this.
Haney (As Hojo) 25:51
Please don’t put up a fight. I don’t want any harm to come to my mmm precious sample. Hm, what a funny looking camera. Guard, destroy it. Be careful with her hah hah hah.
Chris (As Professor Gast) 26:04
Ifalna, take Aerith and run!
Haney (As Ifalna) 26:07
Haney (As Hojo) 26:10
Oh, and uh don’t forget the child.
That was a lot.
Whoa, okay. Holy shit. At this point, it’s confirmed that Professor Gast and Ifalna are Aerith’s parents, and Hojo has been tracking them trying to find a new specimen. He said he spent like the last two years trying to find them. Gast at this point is like, I am not part of this. Like, you cannot take my daughter, you cannot take Ifalna. Like I’m cutting my ties with Shinra. And Hojo’s like, I was kind of hoping you’d say that because I’m a piece of shit. Take them. Hojo kind of notices the camera. And he’s like, Oh, that’s an interesting camera. Hey, guard, can you shoot that, and it goes black. And then you just see Professor Gast’s dialog box, say, ‘take Aerith and run’. And we don’t really know what happened at that point, or from that point, but I do remember that Aerith and her mother spent time in Shinra labs when Aerith was a kid. So I’m assuming that Professor Gast was murdered by Shinra and Aerith and Ifalna were taken to the lab until Ifalna was able to escape with Aerith, at which point Aerith’s adopted mother Elmyra kind of picked her up from the train station.
That was a lot to unpack.
That’s a lot.
Chris had uhh mentioned earlier in the day, he’s like, yeah, we’re gonna be getting all the- all that good good later today. Turns out that wasn’t the good good. I can’t even imagine what’s gonna fucking trump that.
Bet our listeners do. You know what’s coming up!
Um, but previously, we’ve heard Sephiroth say that Hojo took over the work of a great scientist talking about Professor Gast.
It’s concerning. We learned that Lucrecia was definitely, well definitely, quote unquote, as far as Vincent’s concerned, Sephiroth’s mother. And I think- I don’t remember, I don’t think I have had it confirmed in the game at all. But my assumption was that Gast was his father. I don’t know that and I don’t know that he knows that. And I don’t know that that’s even real. But if it is real, that does make Sephiroth and Aerith half brother and sister, which is awful, but it also makes it so that while he was thinking he was an ancient, he ain’t even close. And not only that, he’s just fucking ordinary. Son of a smart scientist and a- don’t know, don’t know what Lucrecia was really at this point. I think she was a lab assistant, they said. I assume smart person but nothing uhh ancient or special or Jenova-y about any of that nonsense. So get fucked, Sephiroth. You ain’t special just cause you played Lacrosse. I’m doing okay. From here, we decided to go talk to the gentleman on the northern path out of the village. Who stops us because it’s dangerous, there’s a steep path ahead and tells us that we uhh can’t get through there without a snowboard.
Haney (As Snowboard Instructor) 29:06
No don’t! There’s a steep grade past here. It’s dangerous. Please don’t go.
Chris (As Cloud) 29:10
I’m still going. Thanks for your kindness.
Haney (As Snowboard Instructor) 29:13
No, no, I just did what came natural. Oh, no. I guess I’m not too busy now. Do you want to learn how to ride a snowboard?
Chris (As Cloud) 29:23
Maybe I should.
Time to ride some snowboards, Chris!
Oh no! Uhh move forward, left, right. All right. Brake is down. Switch is also brake. Thank god there’s two brakes.
Do you think two is enough?
Cancel is jump, so X’s jump. Directional button left, plus page down edge left. Chris will you edge left-
Will you edge with me?
Isn’t that what this podcast is?
Do you want me to explain again? Wait. So I don’t actually have to lea- snowboard yet.
But now you know how.
All right. We got a nightmare- listener you’ve stuck with through 20 episodes at this point-
And you know how much we love those minigames.
You know how bad I am at following directions. We get the most intense pop up on screen of what the directions are to use a snowboard. And at this point, like, I don’t even have a snowboard. I finally said, well, screw it I’m going anyway. At that point, he’s like, ‘hold on, there’s some commotion at the village entrance.’ And he runs away from you. You’re like, okay, we see the back of a blonde head with a black suit. black suits in this game mean one thing only? That Good. Good. Good. Good. Good, good. Turk. l Yeah, it’s absolutely Elena from the back of the head. There’s clearly some Shinra soldiers with her just some regular blue coats. And she’s yelling, they’re here. Like, let’s get them before they get away. Do you kind of follow the guy who was teaching you how to snowboard up to the center of the village and like, oh, football, I know you like you cool. Let’s go down and she’s like, I’m gonna punch you. She’s like, you’re not gonna get away. Let’s fight one on one. Like, you’re never gonna dodge my punch, little dialog bug that positive on screen. It’s like, hey, if you press up, you’ll dodge her punch. I was like, Alright, so I dodge it. She goes tumbling down the steep slope that the guy was on earlier and just rolls away. As all the guards that like Elena come back way they’ll follow her. At this point, tried to leave the village again. The guy was like, No, I fucking told you. You have to have a snowboard. I was like, You really didn’t tell us that. But I remembered the kid with a broken arm or whatever. I was like, No, he’s not gonna use it. I’ll go back there. So I went back there. He’s like, guess you can use my snowboard. Sorry, I ran off a while ago. I thought there was going to be trouble. Hey, you’ll need a snowboard to get down that hill. No. Wanna learn how to ride one? narrow. Alright, fat head. Don’t blame me if you get hurt. I told you you can’t. I gotta get steel. That little kids snowboard down I kid. All right, little boy. He doesn’t have a face.
Chris (as Child) 31:55
I got hurt on my snowboard. And now I can’t go out for a while.
Chris (as Child) 32:02
Hey, I’ll give you my snowboard.
All right. Thanks, kid.
Chris (as Child) 32:05
Tell me if you get good at it.
Get good. He says get good scrub. Chris, could I interest you in a mini game?
Oh, you sure can.
I grabbed it. And I snowboarded. For six minutes, I traversed the-
Traversed is a strong word for it.
Double Black Diamond, extremely hard to navigate-
How many balloons do you think you got? Like, three-
What- What are those? Like? What do you do? I-
I mean, it’s a mini game in the gold saucer. So…
Oh, okay, so like the mini- the balloons are just they were like, yeah, we’re too lazy to take the assets out.
I don’t know.
All right, sure. I got three though. I was counting. I got three red balloons. I’m sure it’s fine. Chris, I- I’d like to turn it over to you for a few minutes to describe my snowboarding escapade. Because for me it was perfectly fine.
Yeah, um, I don’t know, man. I mean, it was a lot of just careening into walls and snowmen-
And so I’ve been looking forward to this mini game since episode one.
Ready? I’ve been playing fallen order, I can do this.
Dude, I’m so fucking ready. Edge!
I refuse to edge. What- whats’s with the balloons?
Got a balloon.
I want more balloo-
What happens if I hit a snowman? Oh, nothing good. Got it.
This is my favorite SSX game. Look at Cloud’s fucking fat face.
He’s beautiful. How dare you.
This is- This is painful.
He looks like a lemming.
Why won’t- Why? Why does he just turn around on his own? Randomly?
I think that’s a you thing.
No, no, no, that’s not right.
OBS, if there was ever a time to quit, right now would be the time. Hello? Hello?
Oh my god.
Are you better than me at this?
Oh, now we’re cooking. Now we’re cooking with gas. Fly! Fly Cloud!
Jesus Christ. Three minutes of this, huh? We’re still just doing it.
Well, I don’t think it’s supposed to be three minutes long. But here we are.
I think that’s okay. I would like some more balloons but I don’t think I’m gonna get any. Can you itch my nostril? Oh, that made it so much worse. Oh, no, it’s Rainbow Road! De ne de ne ne ne ne ne ne ne ne ne ne ne ne ne ne ne ne ne.
Oh my god.
Can I help you?
You should watch me play Fallen Order.
Five minutes, 43 seconds.
I think that’s probably a world record.
I’m doing well.
Somehow we get through our delightful snowboarding treat and end up crashing at the end of the course and kind of waking up in a snowy field.
The fact that this guy is like, stop, you can’t go this way, It’s highly dangerous – unless you snowboard straight down it.
Oh, you don’t know how to snowboard. Let me teach you and then I’ll-
Just send ya down.
Fine. Yeah, like, you’ll be fine. Don’t worry about it. What the fuck?
I dunno. I like him though.
He’s a good boy. Um, yeah. So we end up in this kind of snowy tundra. And at this point, we have to rely on Holzoff’s map. It’s a map of a hard to read, static page of very vague landmarks. I got so lost and I have no- I still have no idea what I did. I just started wandering.
Got a lot of forks in the road here.
Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road. Cloud grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go-
Think uh Green Day’s calling. They want us to-
Cease and assist
These okay, so those are the hot springs. So if you open your map, you should be able to locate where you are on it. Now we got it. No problem.
Now we’re lighting our balls on fire with Axe body spray.
Now sponsored by Axe, light your balls on fire.
Did you ever spray Axe on your hand and then catch it on fire?
No, I never did that. I think we might have just had a different high school experience.
I feel like high school was probably the time in our lives we hung out the least.
Middle School is definitely the most and then recently-
-Is the cream of the crop.
Yeah, you know how we peaked in middle school.
Got into a lot of random encounters, did not find any items.
No, not a single.
And not a single one, which Chris tells me is very bad in this area. Because there’s something I’m gonna want.
I am upset.
Which is the closest Chris has come to a spoiler, because I think he’s that upset. We eventually make our way to this garbage little mini puzzle of like setting placement markers as you traverse a place. I didn’t understand it, though. Because- I so listener, I’m extremely geographically challenged, I have the worst sense of direction, especially in video games. And I just had no idea where I was going. So I was just laying down random like markers. I mean, like, yeah, this is fine.
So it’s a completely white snowy field, as far as the eye can see. And the idea is that you’re running and placing these markers. So you can tell that you’re going in a straight line. Because every few moments, a snowstorm is going to pick up in like shift the screen in the position you’re running toward. So you can’t really figure out what direction you’re headed a lot of time.
I didn’t get any of that. I was just throwing down markers and like yeah, this is fine.
I was watching you go in a straight line just throwing these markers down, you would get shifted and just like head to the fucking left 90 degree angle. Still throwing them down. You’re like, yeah, this is the way that, like- this is fine.
Wait, shit, which direction was I going in?
Here we are.
Fuck, I don’t remember which way it was going going this way. Hello? What just happened? Am I lost?
Snow as far as you can see, better watch where I walk. I’ll place a landmark and start walking.
That landmarks not going to help you if you don’t walk in a straight line.
You’ll never take me alive, you will never take me alive game. I don’t understand how these landmarks are supposed to be useful. I like how this is not useful at all, like the leaving markers does not help. I have no idea how that’s supposed to help.
You’re supposed to put them in a row. So when you get blown off course you can see what line you’re walking in. But every time you’re blown off, you just start a new path. So it’s not helping you at-
All right, so well look, let’s let’s practice this. So I put that there.
And then I walk.
Yeah. So now, put another one before that one disappears from your screen.
Yeah, so wait.
Ah, and then I was walking this way.
So somehow got to the other side of it and come out to a cabin. This is presumably Holzoff’s cabin at the base of Gaia’s Cliff. But we found a save point inside and decided that, ‘Hey, let’s save the game. But also let’s go back and search for some items.’
Holy shit. It was even worse on the way back, I got so much more lost.
So let’s give a quick checklist of the items we got on the way back… we got absolutely nothing! We didn’t find anything!
Still didn’t find anything. Um turns out that I don’t know if it was because we found the cabin. But after this point, it seems like if you’re starting to wander too much, the game will kill you, kind of, or faint you and you’ll wake up in Holzoff’s cabin again. So we wake up, Holzoff’s like ‘Hey, I’m Holzoff! Well, I’ve been here for 20 years helping travelers like yourselves’ and we’re like, ‘Cool. You have a wife who doesn’t know if you’re alive or dead. Like not that far from here. Can you do something about that?’ And he’s like, ‘No.’ All right, cool. So Holzoff tells us that we have to keep our body temperature up as we wander and we’re like fucking cool. Okay, I guess that’s fine. As soon as Holzoff finishes his diatribe, I was like I’m fucking cooked for the day. Let’s save it and I’m done with snow storms. We saved it. And we turned off the game at that point. Chris-
Yeah, we did.
How you feeling about today’s episode?
So I thought because you’ve spent time reading Shinra documents, you’ve now seen these recordings, you’ve heard some accounts from people… Thought it might be fun to do a quick overview of the Final Fantasy VII timeline as you know it.
Oh, boy. Okay.
So what are the major events of the planet that are shaping the story?
So I would say Jenova crashes, the virus kills many of the Cetra, the Cetra contain Jenova somehow, I would say that’s probably not that, like, there’s not a lot of time in between those three events, maybe a dozen years or so in between, I don’t know how long like, you know, they’ve kind of interacted with Jenova before they’re like, ‘Oh, shit, you have like space disease get away’. Um, they contain her or it, then I would say the next notable thing is the introduction of Shinra as a company, I don’t know anything about that, really, I assume that President Shinra as his name is Shinra is the founder of the company during his or his family’s timeline of being a power company and discovered that they can find Mako and refine it and turn it into energy for the citizens of the planet, kind of build Midgar, they build the plate system, they become, you know, this probably over the course of, I would say, several dozen or to a hundred years. The next notable thing is them discovering Jenova in a geological stratum, which I do know what that is now.
I still don’t.
I actually Googled geological stratum-
I mean, it just means a rock. It’s a fossil. A fucking fossil. But I would say that that’s probably during President former, not Rufus, Rufus’s father, I would say it’s during his reign that they discovered Jenova, probably early on. He, I think, discovered Jenova, got interested, kind of started diving into the Cetra culture, discovered the promised land idea, and because of his greed was like, ‘Oh, it’s a land of unlimited Mako, like, I’ll be rich’, like, that’s what his thought process was. I think then sometime after that probably started the SOLDIER program. I think the SOLDIER program, because they are treated with Mako, I think that it is probably shortly after the discovery of Jenova and the kind of deep dive into the Cetra culture, I would say probably within let’s see. So Hojo is trying to experiment on Cetra already 20, 20-some odd years before current events… So then, I would say the event of Gast and Ifalna having Aerith is post the discovery of Jenova, kind of, before they’ve really started deep diving in. And then with Aerith, and Ifalna captured by Hojo- but I think that kind of accelerates everything from that point and gets them more interested in Jenova, more interested in Mako, more interested in Materia, more interested in experiments. And then, over the next two decades, the next 20 years, they make massive advances, and Mako probably from studying Aerith as well as just more rampant operations around the country- there’s also a war in there at some point don’t really know much about that, or who was fighting that war?
Somewhere in between there, Cloud has joined SOLDIER.
Yep, around 14 years after the point of Hojo capturing Aerith and Ifalna. If Cloud and Aerith are the same age, I don’t know. Cloud joined SOLDIER, is treated with Mako, has Mako eyes and then some years prior to that, Gast and Lucrecia did something, had Sephiroth, and somehow Sephiroth was also part of the SOLDIER program. So the SOLDIER program must have started around the birth of Sephiroth or maybe I mean, I guess I don’t know how old- yes, if Cloud was 14 when he joined, I guess you can get Mako whenever so Sephiroth didn’t necessarily need to be a baby when they, if they, I’m assuming because he was in SOLDIER that they did treat him with Mako. Yeah, I think I mean, that’s a terrible outline, but that’s what I’m on right now.
Okay, cool. Um, Wh-
What did I miss?
I’m not going to speak to anything you missed. But why does Sephiroth believe his mother’s Jenova? In that case?
My assumption is that there was something forbidden or not allowed with his, if Gast is his father, there was something that they like him and Lucrecia shouldn’t have been banging. So he lied Sephiroth and wanted to- who doesn’t want to make their kid feel special, right? I don’t have kids and I’d want to make my kid feel special-
He – Gast, lied to him.
Sephiroth didn’t know that Jenova was an ancient, or, you know, a believed ancient at the point-
Wait he didn’t know that Jenova was-
Not until he discovered it in the Mako reactor.
Oh right, because he said my mother was a woman named Jenova. Right, yeah, so I guess maybe for whatever reason, Gast just didn’t want him to know who his real mother was. And we still don’t know what happened to Lucrecia at this point, so who knows?
Bad times ahead, man.
I’m- I’m at the point where I’m trying to not I don’t want to make as many assumptions because I-
I wish you would. Full steam ahead.
I do think, so like-
Gi-Give me your feelings. What do you think is happening? Overall picture.
Overall picture is that Gast and Lucrecia had a kid, Gast did experiments that Lucrecia didn’t like on the kid, because he was like ‘A baby! Let’s- Let’s give it some stem cells, see what happens’. And then Gast- I don’t know if he maybe didn’t love Lucrecia if he was just like a fling, like didn’t want the kid because Sephiroth doesn’t seem to like his father at all. He seems to know who he is from our encounter with Sephiroth in Nibleheim.
Which is another point I want to bring to you.
Sephiroth calls Gast a great scientist.
And then when he remembers his father-
Yeah, he doesn’t like his father, but he calls Gast- so he doesn’t probably know that Gast is his father then. I wonder who he thinks his father is? Hojo, maybe? I mean, now I can see him being like yeah, just like it’s no joke.
Yeah, I got I got that. I’m like, All right. All right. That’s valid. Fuck man. I’m lost right now.
I don’t know what to expect. But I feel like there’s something shady around Gast, Lucrecia, Vincent and Ifalna and Hojo, like that whole like quintuple there’s some weird-
That harem if you will.
Um There- There is something weird around that harem as you called it. I think what the science department in Shinra I’d say between 30 and 20 years previous to the current events of the game. There was a lot happening in Shinra that I think we need to know more about before I go too much deeper down the rabbit hole.
Okay, because there’s also the virus.
Yep, the virus we have nothing about I this is the first we’ve heard about a virus. As far as I’m aware.
We did hear that the virus was turning Cetra into monsters.
Yes. Which sounds a lot like what Mako does to people based on the events in Nibleheim with seeing that the overexposure of Mako made people really monstrous.
Yeah, so that’s a whole fun thing.
A whole lot to unpack there.
-whole fun, good stuff.
And I’m sure that’s fine.
What do you think the weapon is?
A Materia of some sort, it would be like the opposite of the Black Materia, right? Because the Black Materia is the Materia that can cause damage to the planet. And that’s what Sephiroth wants, I would say if it’s generated by the planet, Materia seems to be generated by the planet, right? It would be a opposite Materia, maybe like a White Materia which, by the way, was exactly what I was thinking when they were talking about the weapon being used to counteract, like an injury to the planet. I was like, ‘Well, what could that be? And I was like, didn’t Aerith have a little white orb that tinkled down from her hands when she died and fall into the water there?’
Huh. Yeah. Weird. That she inherited from her mother.
Yes. And Ifalna is very skittish around the location of the weapon, when she’s like, ‘Oh, my memory is not clear. The planets not talking to me’, like planet seemed to be talking to-
Talks pretty well to Aerith!
Like, planet seemed to be talking to you pretty well, like five minutes ago, so…
You and the planet seem pretty tight.
Pretty- p tights as the kids say. Yeah, no, I think that’s everything I have. So…
Got any questions for me?
Nothing. I can- nothing you’ll answer.
Awesome. I think with that, thanks so much for listening, and we’ll see you next time.
Thank you so much for listening to the First Encounter podcast. If you want the journey to continue, why don’t you hit us up on Twitter at 1stencounterpod. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can check out our website firstencounterpodcast.com. Our intro and outro music is written and performed by Alden Zac.