In 1997, Square Software released their arguably most well known and highly acclaimed release in the series of Final Fantasy. Already a well established and popular series of Role Playing Games (RPG), with semi-turn based strategy and menu based gameplay, Final Fantasy VII was the first to be released on the Sony Playstation and brought way to new experiences and expectations that all future video games would be held to in comparison. Beginning in 1994, the production of Final Fantasy's seventh installment began with the intention of it being released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). This was then moved to the Nintendo 64, but Square decided to release the game on the CD-ROM based Playstation instead. Part of this may be due to the fact that if released for the N64, the game would require 12 WHOLE CARTRIDGES, as opposed to the Playstation's 3 CDs (Outrageous at the time but humble in comparison). The game is the first in the series to use 3D computer graphics, featuring fully rendered characters on pre-rendered backgrounds.
While the original concept of the game was to follow Cloud Strife as a hired mercenary chasing an eco-terrorism group known as AVALANCHE, personal issues in the head writer's life, Kazushige Nijoma, lead him to change it so the focus would be on Cloud joining AVALANCHE. The story given to the player in the beginning of the game is that the energy company Shinra is damaging he earth by excessive drilling into Gaia's (the Earth's) energy rich lifestream. The lifestream is a finite but effective way of electricity generation (Hmm. Sound farmiliar?). The first part of the game is set in the giant megacity of Midgar. A strange cyberpunk world where everybody inside is either the poorest of the poor, or the richest of the rich.
Armed with his iconic Buster Sword, Cloud Strife enters the scene as a new recruit of AVALANCHE, filling in a favour for his childhood friend Tifa Lockhart. Under the command of a gruff but caring Barrett, Cloud is lead through a few missions of eco-terrorism through the city's iconic environments, each causing Shinra to take more radical action to stop them. Cloud is met by a strange girl, Aerith and is lead on a few strange escort missions before joining his friends at AVALANCHE. Before too long, Cloud and AVALANCHE realize that not all is what it seems, as their discovery of the meaning behind the actions of Shinra appear to have a lot more to them then they originally thought. Something about Sephiroth, a lost war hero and a series of science experiments having something to do with a JENOVA.
Leaving the city, the search for Sephiroth begins. As the crew explore the colourful and open world of Gaia, they expand and accept more into their group. Each member gets its own chance to shine and show off with their vibrant and well written back stories. The world of Gaia itself is packed full of symbolism and deeper meanings.
Key elements of Final Fantasy VII include loss and reconcile, environmentalism, and the discovery of personal identity.
To celebrate the 15th anniversary of Final Fantasy VII, a game which has brought me and millions of others countless hours (literally, countless, the in game clock only goes up to 99:59 and if you go higher it just stays the same) of entertainment from our home, I've decided to place this geocache as tribute to all the great memories it has brought me throughout my life.
S: APMHJPK ZLWOPYVAOCPUJLUA . CPUJLUAJSVBKJHAZPAO
E: JSVBKHLYPAOYLKEPPP JSVBKZLWOPYVAO . YLKEPPPJSVBKYLKEPPP
Once found, please leave exactly as discovered, and all should be dandy.