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hey everybody - the basement blog is hosting this month's IndieWeb Carnival, this month's theme on "accessibility on the small web". Please go check it out and participate if you are so inclined!!!

video games starting a completely blind playthrough of ffvii !!

joined apr 12, 2023

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based? based on what?

joined apr 12, 2023

so i work at a retro video games store. i love old tech and the culture surrounding early video gaming. so usually when i tell people that i've never played final fantasy vii, they're kinda shocked by it. afaik, it's generally held to being one of the best if not the best RPG of all time. my coworker is of the belief that it is the RPG that popularized RPGs in the west. and i love RPGs (even though i suck at finishing them)! ffvii is a game that time and time again i hear huge amounts of praise for, but never really sat down and played - or researched for that matter. i've seen the chunky models and heard about and seen characters and the music in passing - some things you can't really avoid. but if you asked me to describe who the characters are or what it's about i couldn't really tell you anything about it.

i picked out a pristine copy of the game to add to my little ps1 collection, and when i told my coworker that i hadn't ever really experienced the game or known anything substantial about it, he was super shocked over it. according to him, there's plot points in that game that are as popular and talked about as darth vader's "luke i am your father" moment. which, as someone who also happened to never watch a star wars movie, only hearing about them in pop culture and in passing, was kind of wild for me to think about. i'm sort of impressed with myself that i've managed to avoid (knowingly) spoiling myself for so long, especially with the kind of people and culture i surround myself with, but i know enough about it that i'm excited to play. i'll update the thread after every play session potentially if that's something you all are interested in.

and if this is not a fitting thing to have here please correct me !!! i've only recently started to delve into forums recently for funsies, i don't mean to be a nuisance <3

posted 10/1/2023, 6:04 pm

joined apr 12, 2023

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based? based on what?

joined apr 12, 2023

OUGH ok i sat down and played for an hour, here are some thoughts and feelings

the introductory bit with the first mission was really great at setting the tone. i'm all about sci-fi worlds like this so i'm already very excited about it.

the combat was a little weird to me at first cus i'm more used to RPGs that have a set kind of feel to them. like in the way where it's your turn, you do an attack, you see the enemy take damage - then it shifts over to the enemy, it attacks, you see the damage taken, rinse and repeat. but being able to see when a character can act next is super helpful and made the combat system make a lot more sense to me as i continued to use it. at first i just kinda spammed ◯ to just attack things but when i felt like i was less crunched i was able to get a better look around, tried some magic and whatnot. was cool! in combination with the tone set at the beginning, the random encounters made my heart jump a little! (though magic as a concept right now feels a little jarring when everything is mechanized - i sense a conflict between nature and machine in the future.)

the most stressed i felt was after the bomb timer started ticking - i had no idea i was supposed to stop and get jess until i was just before the exit!! when i got out i had 2 minutes left. with the miniboss just before, i died once because i attacked when i should have healed.

i think the only thing i would have changed about this session so far was giving the flower to marlene instead of tifa. i kinda felt that logically i was supposed to give it to tifa since she seemed to already have a connection to cloud, but i felt bad since marlene seemed to be scared of cloud. speaking of, i never realized that cloud was supposed to initially come off as cold and uncaring. it makes me wonder if this attitude comes from his time as a soldier or if it's something else that hasn't been revealed yet.

right now i'm heading for the second reactor. i'll probably play a little bit more tomorrow. I can already feel that it will take me a while to get through, since generally i find it hard to sit down and play through a game for multiple hours at a time.

posted 10/1/2023, 8:50 pm

joined dec 4, 2022

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joined dec 4, 2022

yes! excited for this please keep posting updates!

FFVII is really one of my favorite games and I actually really don't like RPGs at all. You'll find over time the game itself is actually quite easy once you get a feel for the best way to kill enemies (for instance, lightning attacks are your best friend early on in Midgar, since all the mechanical enemies are weak to lightning). But despite that, the game itself does a really good job at telling a story and introducing you to amazing music. The opening bombing theme music is probably the best track in the whole game, IMO, but there are other amazing ones.

I also forgot to get Jessie on my first playthrough and freaked the fuck out. It really doesn't look like she's stuck, just that she's looking at something lmao.

also re: the flower. You'll notice events through the game that favor either Barrett, Tifa, or another character (the girl in very first shot of the game). You can play the game 3 times to favor each person, but for this playthrough I wouldn't worry too much about it and just focus on one person. (Giving the flower to Marlene favors Barrett, since it's his kid).

posted 10/2/2023, 1:09 am

joined jun 30, 2023

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joined jun 30, 2023

quoting orchids:

yes! excited for this please keep posting updates!

FFVII is really one of my favorite games and I actually really don't like RPGs at all. You'll find over time the game itself is actually quite easy once you get a feel for the best way to kill enemies (for instance, lightning attacks are your best friend early on in Midgar, since all the mechanical enemies are weak to lightning). But despite that, the game itself does a really good job at telling a story and introducing you to amazing music. The opening bombing theme music is probably the best track in the whole game, IMO, but there are other amazing ones.

Guess who bought the soundtrack on CD back in 1999? This guy!

posted 10/2/2023, 11:32 am

joined dec 4, 2022

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joined dec 4, 2022

quoting NobodyFix:

Guess who bought the soundtrack on CD back in 1999? This guy!

the whole thing is unreal for sure.

also just gonna post this here for others:

posted 10/2/2023, 3:50 pm

joined apr 12, 2023

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based? based on what?

joined apr 12, 2023

put on another hour this evening !! wanted to wait until it was dark out because my room has lots of windows so there was glare and also it's been uncharacteristically hot out. i digress, let me talk about what i've accomplished so far.

when i got to the second reactor, i was fully expecting another 10 minute timer. i then soon realized how cruel that would be in combination with that one moment of having to sync up the button presses between cloud, tifa, and barret. there was a point where i started to get mildly annoyed that it wasn't syncing up. i asked myself, "am i going to be stuck doing this for an hour??". to my relief, i was not stuck there for an hour.

the mini-boss battle went incredibly smoothly. i thought for sure i was gonna be toast with the way it was attacking and with my prior experience with the big mech bosses but - and i don't know if this is the case - i think it was tifa's limit ability that got me the win? i have no idea what every option for her little roulette is, but i landed on the "yeah!" option, and then the results screen popped up which like we take those i guess! i have no idea if that's an automatic win option or what the hell even happened but i made progress and that's what matters.

finally got a proper introduction to aeris the flower girl. she reminds me of this girl i know irl, but in the way that she would want to be aeris really badly. aeris, to me, is the strong, independent, cottagecore girl that so many cottagecore girls could only imagine being. she feels like such peace and love on planet earth and i'm excited to learn more about her as a character tbh.

slightly embarrassing side note, i struggled to find aeris' house. like i got to the slums and checked out all the shops, bought my trinkets and things but i definitely spent a few minutes like "where the fuck does this girl live dude??" only to find that i had to walk into the illuminated area on the far right side of the screen. i feel like this is going to be a somewhat consistent issue moving forward, as it's something i've encountered in much milder forms as i've played the game so far but i've been able to figure out where i need to go. i will try to keep in mind that the whole 3d thing was a new concept in the industry at that time and so they had a harder time designing things intuitively. but all things considered i've been able to get around pretty well!

over all i'm still enjoying my time with the game! very excited to continue tomorrow.

and, the thought just occurred to me - i should probably read the manual a little bit, shouldn't i?

posted 10/3/2023, 2:24 am

joined dec 4, 2022

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joined dec 4, 2022

idk what kind of controller you're playing on, but if you hit SELECT, the game will show you markers for places you can enter, which makes it a little easier to see where you're going.

also, did you talk to the sick man and have aeris say "this man are sick," one of the most famous video game quotes/mis-translations of all time?!?!?

posted 10/3/2023, 5:19 am

joined apr 12, 2023

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based? based on what?

joined apr 12, 2023

quoting orchids:

idk what kind of controller you're playing on, but if you hit SELECT, the game will show you markers for places you can enter, which makes it a little easier to see where you're going.

also, did you talk to the sick man and have aeris say "this man are sick," one of the most famous video game quotes/mis-translations of all time?!?!?

i'm playing on original hardware, so i'll give that a shot!! :0 that's mad helpful, actually!

and i did talk to the sick man and see that dialogue! i just kinda stopped for a minute, nodded. like yeah, man. this man are sick. she's spitting fax.

posted 10/3/2023, 2:20 pm

joined apr 12, 2023

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based? based on what?

joined apr 12, 2023

okay!! played a bit more again last night (very late update i know) and here's how it went.

the select thing that orchids mentioned did, in fact, work for me! very useful for identifying places i can enter and also figuring out where cloud is in certain areas. i wish that helped out with that tiny area just before the park though. i had no idea that pipe was supposed to be on the ground, so i was kinda stuck for a good few minutes wondering how i was supposed to go across that pipe and get to the other side.

then i got to easily the most interesting part that i've encountered so far - the part where cloud gets forcibly feminized. when i realized that was the direction we were headed in, i was hyping it up with my friends because i was on a call with them - we all got a kick out of it! i think the attributes i picked for the dress were smooth and shiny, and i ended up losing the squatting contest unfortunately. but what really matters is that cloud got to slay, and slay he did. though i only realized later that there was a possibility that cloud could have been chosen by the don - i bet if i did better and made a different choice of dress, i could've gotten that outcome.

i am proud to say that so far, i have relied pretty well on my brain to figure out which path i need to take. the only times i have pulled up a walkthrough was because i felt like the game was leading me in a certain direction and i wanted to go there, but the physical layout of the world around me was just hard for me to wrap my brain around. which i think so far is my only big criticism, and even then it's not that big of a deal because i can usually get myself back on track (i certainly don't expect it to play as perfectly as it did when it came out just about 25 years ago).

as it stands right now, i just crawled out of the sewers. i ended up making this post this following morning because i started my session really late at night and by the time i finished i was exhausted, so i just went straight to bed.

posted 10/4/2023, 2:21 pm

joined jun 30, 2023

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joined jun 30, 2023

You're really making me want to replay FFVII BTW, I can almost taste the Red Vines I ate during that summer.

posted 10/4/2023, 2:47 pm

joined apr 12, 2023

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based? based on what?

joined apr 12, 2023

just finished a session this morning! time to share my progress.

so right out the sewers - the layout with the trains was mildly confusing yet again, but it's ok because i figured it out again (this is because i have a big beautiful brain full of wrinkles which means i have lots of space for thoughts uwu). i got to sector 7 as quickly as i could and i only had like a couple battles going up the pillar. completely neglected to equip barret with his weapon upgrade for the boss battle but it ended up not mattering that much cus i found out bro was weak to ice attacks.

also if i didn't already think the corporate overlords were terrible irredeemable people, i definitely do now lol. like the whole idea of destroying an entire sector full of (presumably underprivileged) people because a small group from that sector was threatening your bougie lifestyle, that's so fucking vile and really drives home just how little the government cares about its people. also, i'm kinda noticing how well it lines up with attitudes that a lot of big corpos have presently, where it's "fuck the planet and the people who live on it, i just want more money and control". which hm. just an interesting observation i had.

anyways, so glad that marlene was saved, and also i definitely feel the tension of tifa and aeris' interest in cloud (but moreso from aeris - probably because i just spent the last 2 sessions with her in my party). i'm kinda leaning more towards aeris tbh? but i think i need to learn more about tifa which i probably will in the coming sessions.

where i left off was right outside aeris' house, so next session i'm gonna start heading on my way to save her from shinra.

posted 10/5/2023, 3:16 pm

joined dec 4, 2022

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joined dec 4, 2022

the train graveyard is my least favorite part of midgar - it's all up from there IMO.

and yeah shinra is what makes this story so good imo. ffvii was really unique in this way. all the other FF games were pretty far removed from reality, with a large emphasis on magical stuff and kings and queens and old lore, but ffvii is way more relatable, and even though you DO have a evil, more typical villian introduced later on, shinra will still be the driving factor because it's a very real thing you can hate on. They are quite literally making people's lives worse and doing horrible shit and it really drives the story throughout the entire game.

i'm really excited for you to meet the rest of the cast. you'll notice that shinra plays a part in every main character's life and they are the true villian of the game through and through. this is why this game is so cool.

quoting NobodyFix:

You're really making me want to replay FFVII BTW, I can almost taste the Red Vines I ate during that summer.

hard same

posted 10/5/2023, 10:41 pm

joined apr 12, 2023

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based? based on what?

joined apr 12, 2023

sorry for such a late update, work and personal life been putting me through the ringer lately but i finally got a moment to sit down and play a bit more.

i gotta say that this session had a lot more moments where i was just confused about where to go or what to do than literally any other point thus far. as i was climbing up the wires, i found that it was really hard to figure out what layer each platform was supposed to be on. the wire swing was a bit hard to get but i did get it eventually. i also didn't realize that batteries were necessary to progress up to the plate area. so far i'm feeling pretty grateful that i have access to an internet walkthrough because i would be toiling if i didn't lol.

when i got up to the shinra building, i opted to sneak in up the stairwell instead of going in through the main entrance. it was monotonous, but i think i would rather grind when i want to instead of dealing with enemies right away. the sneaking past the guards gave me less trouble than i thought which was nice. the real big thing that i went through was with the password guessing, though.

genuinely i have no idea how someone would get the clue to decipher the password like they intend for you to do. the colors were fully a red herring which, like, slay or whatever, but i have no idea how someone would suspect counting to each letter with the number label and the title - honestly my first thought was each number corresponded to a letter in the alphabet (like 4=d). so i guess i was close but no cigar.

went up to the 65th floor and confused myself for like a solid 10 minutes before i went back down to the 63rd floor. i did look at the walkthrough for this because i did want all the trinkets. left off at the gym on the 64th floor this time, we are at five and a half hours on the save file just for a frame of reference.

posted 10/12/2023, 1:56 am

joined dec 4, 2022

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joined dec 4, 2022

quoting forks:

i gotta say that this session had a lot more moments where i was just confused about where to go or what to do than literally any other point thus far.

agreed. i think i used a guide the first time i went through the shinra building because i wanted all the stuff. it sucks to miss a lot of those things, especially the really good treasures.

make sure you don't miss the yellow materia sitting on the ground after you defeat the first boss in there though. it'll be crucial for the early game

aside from that, this thread got me really excited to write about the game so i'm currently drafting up something to post on https://basementcommunity.bearblog.dev

posted 10/18/2023, 6:27 am

joined dec 4, 2022

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joined dec 4, 2022

posted 10/31/2023, 6:14 pm

joined sep 29, 2023

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joined sep 29, 2023

Nice read. I played FFVII as a 15 y/o, and while I do remember loving it, my recollections are very hazy. So it's been cool reacquainting myself through this thread.

Here's a recent post from The Digital Antiquarian talking about just how hyped the game was at the time. It also takes a look at the history of JRPGs in general, and the FF series in particular.

https://www.filfre.net/2023/11/putting-the-j-in-the-rpg-part-1-dorakue/

WARNING: There's a large FFVII spoiler mentioned in the above, though not in exact detail.

edited 11/23/2023, 6:14 pm

joined apr 12, 2023

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based? based on what?

joined apr 12, 2023

HI okay finally i sat down and played again, here's the progress from this play session.

so opening up again at the gym after having not played for a couple months, i was under the impression that i needed to look for another key to progress to the next floor (i didn't need another key) so i interacted with all the people and things and i beat up the vending machine. also found a megaphone in the lockers, which i feel like is definitely something i am going to be using later - because why would they point out a megaphone in the locker? they wouldn't, that's why. i see you megaphone.

the assembly of the midgar model was pleasant, except for the times that the enemy random encounters startled me. i need to get re-used to it tbh. then i got to eavesdrop on that meeting and it got me thinking again about how much i hate the ultra-wealthy. hojo the scientist made me mildly uncomfortable with his talk of breeding a specimen because i was under the impression he was referring to aeris. i then promptly discovered he was referring to red xiii. i also discovered the manmade horror! (don't worry cloud, i would also pass out.)

the boss fight with one of hojo's specimens was a breeze, i equipped the thing that made tifa immune to poison, so she was free to heal cloud and red xiii whenever they needed. music went hard, i'll probably relisten to that track specifically. immediately after the fight i got into a random encounter with those guards that attack you from behind and i hadn't healed yet so i almost fucking died, but i didn't <3

then the party meeting the president made me once again think about how much i hate the ultra-wealthy. got put in jail and took a nap, only to wake up and find that the manmade horror escaped containment and did some fun color theory on the walls and floors and everywhere with the guts of the shinra employees. and i am dreading fighting it, if it is something i have to fight.

also, semi-unrelated, finally figured out a way to get my little crt tv to work so i moved my playstation to my desk. i really wanted to see what the game looked like on a screen that it was actually intended to be viewed on, and it does look pretty neat i think! here is a little glimpse into my realm.

photo of my "portable" crt tv! it also plays vhs tapes. it's sitting on my desk beside my playstation and lava lamp

hopefully i will update more soon!! holidays have been hectic (especially for me, a retail employee) and i've been absolutely lost in the sauce doing my own writing. though having the console at my desk is certainly a motivator lol.

posted 11/28/2023, 3:40 am

joined nov 26, 2023

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You have to be nice to me.

joined nov 26, 2023

This is a great thread. You're making me want to start a new FFVII play through.

quoting forks:

the manmade horror escaped containment

OF COURSE IT DID. Why do people keep making unfathomable horrors and then looking all shocked pikachu when they escape containment?! That's what they DO.

posted 11/28/2023, 8:00 am

joined sep 29, 2023

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joined sep 29, 2023

quoting forks:

also, semi-unrelated, finally figured out a way to get my little crt tv to work so i moved my playstation to my desk. i really wanted to see what the game looked like on a screen that it was actually intended to be viewed on, and it does look pretty neat i think! here is a little glimpse into my realm.

Well done on going for the full authentic experience.

Back in the day, I played FFVII on this....

1990s Daewoo TV

And if the game had come out only a few months earlier, I joke not, I would have been playing on this!

1980s Panasonic color television with wood paneling.

Bring back wood paneling, that's what I say.

Sorry for the diversion.

edited 11/28/2023, 10:50 am

joined sep 29, 2023

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joined sep 29, 2023

quoting d-von:

Nice read. I played FFVII as a 15 y/o, and while I do remember loving it, my recollections are very hazy. So it's been cool reacquainting myself through this thread.

Here's a recent post from The Digital Antiquarian talking about just how hyped the game was at the time. It also takes a look at the history of JRPGs in general, and the FF series in particular.

https://www.filfre.net/2023/11/putting-the-j-in-the-rpg-part-1-dorakue/

WARNING: There's a large FFVII spoiler mentioned in the above, though not in exact detail.

And the second installment is out. No spoilers this time.

https://www.filfre.net/2023/12/putting-the-j-in-the-rpg-part-2-playstation-for-the-win/

posted 12/12/2023, 9:57 am

joined sep 29, 2023

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joined sep 29, 2023

posted 1/8/2024, 8:55 am

joined dec 4, 2022

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joined dec 4, 2022

i keep trying to read this but it's sooooo long. any highlights from it?

posted 1/21/2024, 7:23 am

joined sep 29, 2023

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joined sep 29, 2023

quoting orchids:

i keep trying to read this but it's sooooo long. any highlights from it?

I haven't either! I'll give it a whirl this week and report back. :)

posted 1/21/2024, 11:50 am

joined apr 12, 2023

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based? based on what?

joined apr 12, 2023

update time!! sorry for the inconsistency- ^^;

so i went and followed the trail of blood and death up to the room where mister shinra CEO himself sat. delighted to see him dead, honestly. would've been great if his son didn't show up, because his son seems objectively worse! insane that a guy like him can get play.

i made the silly decision of not taking tifa and cloud's materia for the elevator battles. saying that i toiled was an understatement. i was literally about to give up when aeris and red xiii got knocked out but i pulled through anyway because i'm built different. however comma, i did not want to have a part 2 of that struggling, so i did yoink the materia from the other lads for this next fight. laid absolute waste to rufus (how could you in good conscience name your kid that tbh) and his funny robot cat companion. but he fled like a coward. also how does he, a (presumably) human man, effectively shoot a shotgun with one arm? deranged, and honestly unwise. then, would you believe it, i got into a random encounter that gave me a game over. luckily, i saved just before so it could've been way way worse.

oh but this part had me so excited. the motorcycle bit. holy fuck. little guy on his hands and knees slamming his fist on the ground repeatedly reminded me of how much i want a motorcycle. god, the cutscene looked so cool actually. the actual part where i was trying to go after the other bikers was sorta clunky but that was also due in part to me just mashing buttons trying to get them away.

now, finally, i got my first experience with the world map! only checks watch 7 hours 44 minutes and 33 seconds in. i don't know why, but i thought that the game would be localized entirely within midgar. anyway, i wandered over to kalm, which certainly takes after its name. i feel like something is going to happen though. something always happens, man.

during the flashback, i feel like it was really effective to show sephiroth as a member of your party, but not a member you can control. that, combined with how effortlessly he took down enemies was a really good way to put his power in perspective. most of the time i felt entirely unnecessary as a party member. i did snoop at the materia he had equipped, just to see (took some notes lol). i also tried removing it and got the funny effect of sephiroth giving an annoyed "....." at the attempt. since the events taking place were years ago, i think it's safe to assume he's way stronger now. also, i did go out of my way to explore cloud's hometown a bit - raiding tifa's panty drawer was a funny touch.

seeing the inside of the reactor was definitely something. i get the feeling that the manmade horror that i witnessed previously was intended to be used inside a reactor in the same way that the mako human hybrids were. or, more specifically, that the manmade horror is a mako human hybrid (or a branch of one). never would've been able to call that sephiroth was infused with mako himself, tbh. this whole flashback moment is the most i've learned about him in one go. the lore that he's a tube baby? that's so juicy to me. he's a specimen in the objectifying, figure-of-speech sort of way and also literally. ugh, he's so mysterious and dark and brooding. he's so troubled and sad like a kitten left out in a cardboard box in the rain. he was so devastated by his own tragic past he burnt down a village. he's distraught that his ancestors were killed off by humans and used for the sake of capitalism. he's utterly insane. he has mommy issues. he's an ecofascist. that being said, i think i could fix him.

(i don't think i need to say it but in case i do, i am being silly in my sephiroth tangent at the end there - please don't take it seriously)

my final thing i did this play session was finish up the flashback and step outside kalm so i could save. holy shit, what an eventful playthrough. i'm very much so enjoying myself.

posted 1/23/2024, 12:37 am

joined dec 4, 2022

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joined dec 4, 2022

quoting forks:

oh but this part had me so excited. the motorcycle bit. holy fuck

one of the best tracks in the game omg:

the world map song is amazing too. Kalm is good, enjoy it now because it just becomes annoying to have to do the flashback stuff on subsequent playthroughs.

I'm shocked you beat Rufus the first time tho! I don't know why but I had the hardest time with him the first time I played, IIRC

posted 1/23/2024, 6:02 am

video games starting a completely blind playthrough of ffvii !!