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The FFVII Unused Text Series (by thelifestream.net) is finally complete

ponpo

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Aug 22, 2011
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For those unaware, thelifestream.net has been running a series for quite some time now called Final Fantasy VII: The Unused Text Series.

Article Index
YouTube playlist link containing videos that are in the articles

The original Final Fantasy VII is widely known for the many secrets left behind in its code. However, by using a field editor anyone can view the game's used and unused script. This (as of yet unfinished) series of articles will present to the reader, in addition to entertaining commentary, all the unused text in the game in an order vaguely representing a normal playthrough; starting with the bombing of the Mako Reactor, continuing up to the final confrontation with Sephiroth, and ending with coverage of the debug rooms.

While Polygon recently had a short series about the creation of FF7, this series is all in-game content, and essentially goes through the entire game looking at content that went unused, is inaccessible because of plot progression errors, in the game but unlikely to be seen, etc. Part 12, the final part (unless they do some debug room stuff later) was just published, so I thought it would nice to talk about this stuff for anyone that cares. As a huge FFVII fan, it's something I've gone back and read through multiple times, so here are some parts I think are interesting from the series.



In Midgar, when Jessie is showing Cloud the wireframe map of Midgar, their characters are positioned too low to see their faces, but they contain an unused, more detailed variation of a field model that goes unused throughout the game.



An unused scene where Cloud envisions a giant Sephiroth, taking place when using the pinball machine elevator in Tifa's bar. This would have been the first time you see Sephiroth in the game.



”Meteor's getting closer.
You can hear it rumbling."
”We don't do something about it
and pretty soon it'll be...ker-blam!"
This random guy in Sector 5 has text that is only available if you return here at a certain plot progression value instance, but it is impossible to do so. This is pretty common throughout the series, where something will be present in the game, but be impossible to access normally, either because the character can't actually be approached close enough to trigger the dialogue, or because you can't return to the area at the point that dialogue is available.





The Honeybee Inn probably has the most unused content in the game of any one section (sorry Toriyama :( )Tons of unused fields, text, other weird things. Check the dedicated article and videos 8 - 14 in the playlist posted earlier.



Inside the Shinra Mansion, a series of unused, readable scientific reports exist:
”Information concerning Materia/Hojo", ”Life of Materia", ”Legend of the Ancients, World Version", ”Next Quarter's projected Budget/Hojo", ”North Pole Daily Report/Hojo", ”/Hojo", ”The Promised Land"

The text contained in these reports does not, however, but maybe they were meant to imitate what Sephiroth read that made him hate everything.



Before entering the Mythril Mines for the first time, the impaled Midgar Zolom scene plays out. Getting Yuffie before this point is impossible, but if she happens to be in your party, we get this extremely important piece of unused text.



While not unused, most people won't ever lose those easy Fort Condor battles, but if you lose the Huge Materia one, the rope leading to Fort Condor is cut and you can't climb it anymore ;_;


https://a.pomf.cat/trdwre.webm
An unused and spooky Sephiroth model that grows and turns to the camera. Meant to play somewhere during the recruiting Vincent scene in Shinra Mansion.



Aerith famously has unused text after her death, like here in the Glacier landing zones. While this is (still!) brought up as proof that she was meant to be revived at some point, it's most likely errors in knowing what events would take place in relation to the plot. Similar to the above example of Yuffie having lines before Mythril Mines, or Cid having lines in Nibelheim.



A silly looking animation of Cloud inside the Northern Cave before he meets Sephiroth. It's used in the game, but the screen fades to white so you can't see the whole animation.



{Barret}
What the hell was up with
{Cloud} anyway?

{Cait Sith}
He was a Sephiroth-clone
created by Hojo.

{Cid}
They really make those?

{Cait Sith}
Well he wasn't made from scratch.
They implanted Jenova cells
into a normal human being
and then infused it with Mako energy.

{Cait Sith}
”Tifa's childhood
friend, Cloud.
5 years ago, during the Sephiroth incident at
Nibelheim.. Cloud was rendered unconscious...
He was used as Hojo's experiment...
Another already famous thing, for some reason this Cait Sith explanation of what the "clones" were went unused.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvBm9g2GsDo
Part 11 features a used, but quite rare scene, a video of which is above. It is available after Cloud rejoins the party post-Lifestream, but before going to talk to Bugenhagen. There's no reason to go to the Forgotten City at this point, so most people will never see the scene, but it's in the final game.



An unused alternate Bugenhagen scenario where he doesn't die.

Final thanks / montage video for th eseries

This was maybe 0.1% of what's in the actual articles, so go read it if you're interested in this stuff. Or at least watch the videos!

And a big thanks to anyone who worked on this over the years.
 

Kimaka

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Apr 9, 2011
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I wonder why they took that Cait Sith line about what Cloud was out. It would have cleared up a lot of confusion I had when I first played FFVII.
 

Koozek

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An unused scene where Cloud envisions a giant Sephiroth, taking place when using the pinball machine elevator in Tifa's bar. This would have been the first time you see Sephiroth in the game.

Code:
[IMG]https://abload.de/img/00139zoqa.jpg[/IMG]

 

Nyoro SF

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Jul 5, 2011
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Unused stuff from games is always really interesting. I find myself browsing Unseen64 a lot because of that.
 

PaulBizkit

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Sep 1, 2014
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Amazing. I'm going to read this later. Btw im replaying ffvii atm and haven't gotten to the part where you can go to the forgotten city again. I'll make sure to do that when the time comes.
 

DiipuSurotu

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May 31, 2010
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Code:
[IMG]https://abload.de/img/00139zoqa.jpg[/IMG]



In Midgar, when Jessie is showing Cloud the wireframe map of Midgar, their characters are positioned too low to see their faces, but they contain an unused, more detailed variation of a field model that goes unused throughout the game.

Hopefully Jessie's popularity will soar after Episode 1.

Jessie > Tifa > Aerith
 

TLS Lex

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Feb 20, 2016
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thelifestream.net
It's worth noting that a bunch of these were unintentional (i.e. were supposed to be in the game) because a lot of small lines not being seen are due to plot progression values being too high when you get there - in a similar vein to characters having lines when they're not supposed to. The obvious conclusions are that the order of events were changed around a lot during development so scenes exist that they intended people to see, and/or communication between the scenario planners and event planning wasn't exactly ideal.

The scene where they discuss Aerith in the Forgotten Capital blew my mind though, I always think I know everything about VII and then something like that comes along and blows me away.

In any case, I hope people enjoy reading the series. Shademp has put a lot of effort into it over the years and it's definitely been a labour of love for him. Definitely an excellent read for anyone who loves FFVII.
 

Magnus

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Love this kind of stuff. Always fascinates me that vestiges like this wind up left behind. To be expected in projects this size, of course.
 

ponpo

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Aug 22, 2011
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Tsukuba, Japan
It's worth noting that a bunch of these were unintentional (i.e. were supposed to be in the game) because a lot of small lines not being seen are due to plot progression values being too high when you get there - in a similar vein to characters having lines when they're not supposed to. The obvious conclusions are that the order of events were changed around a lot during development so scenes exist that they intended people to see, and/or communication between the scenario planners and event planning wasn't exactly ideal.

The scene where they discuss Aerith in the Forgotten Capital blew my mind though, I always think I know everything about VII and then something like that comes along and blows me away.

In any case, I hope people enjoy reading the series. Shademp has put a lot of effort into it over the years and it's definitely been a labour of love for him. Definitely an excellent read for anyone who loves FFVII.

I find some of the weird PPV stuff to be the most interesting, like that Sector 5 guy. As if someone would randomly want to go to Sector 5 after Meteor was summoned in order to talk to a nobody NPC.

Deepest lore.
 

TLS Lex

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Feb 20, 2016
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thelifestream.net
I find some of the weird PPV stuff to be the most interesting, like that Sector 5 guy. As if someone would randomly want to go to Sector 5 after Meteor was summoned in order to talk to a nobody NPC.

Deepest lore.

One of the biggest PPV things is Fort Condor, which I always found weird. A new battle triggers in the weirdest places - there's one exclusive to when the PPV is at the point where it's night time in the Forgotten Capital (where the party wakes up there, looking for Aerith) and to do the battle you're supposed to leave and backtrack all the way to Fort Condor then return to progress the plot.

*shrug*
 

ponpo

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Aug 22, 2011
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One of the biggest PPV things is Fort Condor, which I always found weird. A new battle triggers in the weirdest places - there's one exclusive to when the PPV is at the point where it's night time in the Forgotten Capital (where the party wakes up there, looking for Aerith) and to do the battle you're supposed to leave and backtrack all the way to Fort Condor then return to progress the plot.

*shrug*

Just looked them up, lol. Lots of weird times. Maybe if they hinted to the player at some point that battles could give you unique items or something, people might (barely) be curious to go back and see, but normally I can't imagine anyone ever going back except for the last time.
 
Jun 9, 2004
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I find some of the weird PPV stuff to be the most interesting, like that Sector 5 guy. As if someone would randomly want to go to Sector 5 after Meteor was summoned in order to talk to a nobody NPC.

Deepest lore.

I did that all the time.

One of the biggest PPV things is Fort Condor, which I always found weird. A new battle triggers in the weirdest places - there's one exclusive to when the PPV is at the point where it's night time in the Forgotten Capital (where the party wakes up there, looking for Aerith) and to do the battle you're supposed to leave and backtrack all the way to Fort Condor then return to progress the plot.

*shrug*

and if you lost the tactical battles it would screw up the order of what items you could win.
 

CHC

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Aug 24, 2012
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Very interesting to see.

Most of it is kind of questionable, so not really sad to see it cut in the end. But still, this much later, and FFVII development insight is pretty amazing.

Those detailed faces are moderately creepy.
 

Son Of D

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Sep 18, 2013
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One of the biggest PPV things is Fort Condor, which I always found weird. A new battle triggers in the weirdest places - there's one exclusive to when the PPV is at the point where it's night time in the Forgotten Capital (where the party wakes up there, looking for Aerith) and to do the battle you're supposed to leave and backtrack all the way to Fort Condor then return to progress the plot.

*shrug*

Always found that bizarre myself. Was playing the New Threat Mod on PC where the modder adds a notification when new battles trigger (and an NPC to take you to Fort Condor and back immediately) and I thought the game was crazy to have new battles trigger so randomly.
 

ponpo

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Aug 22, 2011
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Always found that bizarre myself. Was playing the New Threat Mod on PC where the modder adds a notification when new battles trigger (and an NPC to take you to Fort Condor and back immediately) and I thought the game was crazy to have new battles trigger so randomly.

Just looked up this mod - is it any good? A lot of the mods sound good on paper but then are kind of disappointing when playing. This seems ok though.