Twitch Plays FF7 Part 15: Prize Fighting and Revenge of Ladderboss

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kerikxi

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PART 1 - **NEW** PART 1.1 - PART 1.2 - PART 1.3 - PART 2 - PART 3 - PART 4 - PART 5 - PART 6 - PART 7 - PART 8 - PART 9 - PART 10 - PART 11 - PART 12 - PART 13 - PART 14 - PART 15 - PART 16 - PART 17 - PART 18 - PART 19 FINALE

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Disc 3 is finally here and with it our story rapidly draws to a close. There is only one dungeon left, the rest of the disc consumed by the lengthy ending cutscene. These updates will accordingly end soon as well and I'm struck with a familiar sense of melancholy to last week. While it looks like I have at least a few devoted readers and I'm eternally grateful for that, this is a passion project for myself more than anything and I'll truly be sad when it's all over. I haven't written anything to this extent in at least over a decade and I didn't realize how much I missed it. Enough about this boring author. The end of the game is just around the corner, but we still have a lot of work to do before that.

Chat ruminates various strategies for confronting the ridiculously overpowered Weapons. Some were keen on breeding a gold chocobo, which would unlock the materia caves and Knights of the Round, an intentionally busted summon that would dramatically improve our chances. It's at this point I have to freely admit I committed the cardinal sin. I doubted the chat. Trauma from our initial chocobo hunt had clouded my judgement and I steadfastly opposed this plan. I should have known better than anyone by now. Never doubt the chat.

More Golden Saucer

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Before the difficult preparations truly begin, chat decides to take another quick break. Ultimate, Ruby and Emerald are all on the kill list, but our timeless minigame nemesis remains undefeated as well and that just won't do. Ignoring the pending calamity and all other responsibilities, chat proceeds to once again succumb to their crippling GAMBLING addiction. There's an attraction we've neglected to even try yet, and so we proceed swiftly to the speed square and its impressively choreographed rollercoaster event.

This minigame has you dragging a crosshair around screen to blast various targets while riding the cart around the Saucer. The controls are not complex this time at least, circle to fire and directions to aim, but this still proves challenging to coordinate. The cursor spends most of the time wedged in some corner of the screen fruitlessly firing into empty space, and if it gets locked towards the bottom it becomes difficult to even figure out where it is, let alone adjust accordingly. The beam is limited by a gauge and needs time between shots to recharge, so spamming circle alone will render our weapon too weak to make any impact. Chat's best attempt nets 500 points, well below the lowest threshold for any prizes but a commendable effort. Then we turn on turbo mode just for kicks.

This is the first time turbo has been used when not completely required, but since this is just a fun distraction it does no harm to mess around with it. This mode ends up creating more problems than it solves though, as between coaster attempts we have to actually get back on the thing, and the pathway to the attendant is located perilously close to the previous loading zone. Simply navigating to the start of the event between tries takes more time than riding the coaster itself. Ultimately turbo proves of little benefit anyway, the constant spam just drains the beam's power and renders us unable to defeat most targets even if successfully caught in the crosshairs. Still, turbocoaster does allow us to beat our previous highscore and we depart with a whopping 760 points on the leaderboard.

Battle Arena Prep

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We should probably think about getting some actual work done. The battle arena will be required as part of the superboss preparations, but we have a little setup to get done first. On the way out of the saucer it's decided to solve our funding issue now and chat forces the entrance scalper to spawn a few more times, increasing our GP bank to around 500 points. Once inside the arena, you cannot leave without forfeiting the unspent winnings, so whatever GP carried in had to last the whole session. This would give us 50 rounds, which should be more than enough, but as this run often proves an overabundance of caution never hurts.

Suitably sponsored for our upcoming fights, there's a tiny bit of globe trotting to do before proceeding. First is the long range materia, neglected on the initial trip through the cave after midgar zolom. Chat was probably a bit burnt out after eight hours wandering the plains hunting birds, so it's understandable this area was glossed over at the time. However, it's here we encounter a frightening and familiar foe, long thought vanquished. The objective sits on an elevated platform, reachable only by vines, but every traditional input fails to connect. Chat shudders. Ladderboss has returned.

It's fortunate that a veteran of the previous struggle is present. After some convincing, democracy is enacted and the hallowed kill command entered, XN-o5. The rematch with ladderboss is swiftly overcome and with significantly less trauma this time around. Without our prior experience, this likely would have just been skipped, serving as an excellent example of how the unique nature of this run granted fresh insight to a game long thought completely solved. It didn't matter how much FF7 you had played before this. Something new and unexpected was waiting around every corner.

Battle Arena Grind

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A quick stop in Cosmo Canyon to load up on probably way too many HP Plus materia and chat can finally begin our show fights. The battle arena event consists of eight solo battles against increasingly difficult foes, culminating in a relatively tough miniboss. Between each round, slots are spun to determine various detriments or infrequent boons. These range wildly from a full heal to breaking all materia or crippling status ailments, so a lot of success here is down to pure RNG. Cloud is fully kitted out, receiving Yuffie's potent hades effect combo on his own weapon and as many HP boosts as he can carry. With plenty of GP to cover the entrance fees, there's no real worry of failure here, just a question of how long this could potentially take.

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The scariest potential handicap is a broken accessory. Cloud's ribbon will shield him from most of the negative slot debuffs but without this inherent protection chat would become stymied by the menus required to clear these maladies. HP half is also a serious concern, capable of bringing Cloud down to early game health levels. Despite earlier trepidation though this process proceeds relatively smoothly, five rounds and only one death later chat accumulating the necessary 32000 battle points. Democracy is immediately enacted for the delicate shopping menu, as purchasing the wrong item now would negate the progress and send us back into the arena for more grinding. After an hour crushing Dio's menagerie, chat finally receives the coveted Omnislash, Cloud's extremely potent final limit. The first stage of powering up is complete.

There's still more to be done before taking on the Weapons will be even feasible, but since we're already here and no we don't have a problem, seriously it's fine, chat opts again for another brief bit of GAMBLING before leaving. First it's back to the track for more betting, this is a mostly passive experience but it lets chat pick their favorite birds and cheer them on. Next we hit the minigame gauntlet, posting predictably poor performances in the sub hunt, snowboarding and bike events. However, careful inputs allow chat to successfully maintain Mog's proper diet, finally granting a much coveted minigame victory.

I really enjoyed these segments as it was a chance for everyone in chat to get involved and provided a nice morale boost. The road to beating the Weapons is guaranteed to be long and tedious, but what an incredible story it will make. Just shy of 130 hours, the true challenge now begins, as chat makes the bold decision to face down the fearsome chocobo hunt once more. A quick sidenote, updates might slow down a bit going forward, but there should still be at least one a day. Thanks as always for reading!

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PART 1 - **NEW** PART 1.1 - PART 1.2 - PART 1.3 - PART 2 - PART 3 - PART 4 - PART 5 - PART 6 - PART 7 - PART 8 - PART 9 - PART 10 - PART 11 - PART 12 - PART 13 - PART 14 - PART 15 - PART 16 - PART 17 - PART 18 - PART 19 FINALE

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