Twitch Plays FF7 Part 17: Pole Positions and Collecting Colors

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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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Chat is now six hours into our ranching adventure. MOM and DAD have been successfully captured, but in order to grant the desired flavors of chocobo children, both need to raise their fame in the racing circuit first. Increasing ranks is not necessarily required, but the odds of receiving the intended variants rises accordingly and no aid will be rejected in this lengthy quest. To that end, we return to the choco sage and stock up on performance enhancing greens. Money is starting to become an issue again, so chat does a bit of painful democracy menu selling before deciding to just cash in our mastered All materia for 1.4 million gil out of convenience. This should cover the remaining breeding expenses, and All is usually only cast a few times a fight anyway.

Chocobo Racing

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Returning to the ranch, chat crams a frankly uncomfortable amount of probably illegal stimulants into our budding track stars then swings back around to the Saucer for the next expected RNG nightmare. It was difficult to predict how this segment would go, we only had one proper race under our belts long ago and that swift victory seemed down to luck more than anything else. Early results put chat's immediate fears to rest though, as both our racers have absurdly high stamina ratings from the previous doping sessions, outpacing our opponents through sheer durability. This allowed us to simply leave the bird on automatic, as our mounts were surprisingly competent at steering and boosting to victory all by themselves. After about thirty minutes on track, MOM reaches A rank undefeated and chat decides to try one race at this level, just to gauge the difficulty. Then Joe and Teioh finally decide to show up.

Joe is effectively the end boss of the racing circuit, his black bo's stats will always be higher than yours and he can only be beaten with some amount of strategy, which is clearly beyond chat. Fortunately he's not guaranteed to show up every race but can appear as low as rank B. Despite his presence though, MOM finishes dead last and exhausted, clearly incapable of holding her own in this rank. Fortunately that's all that's required of her, so we move on to powering up DAD. Our male struggles a bit more, losing his first rank B race but otherwise proceeding smoothly to the required level. Overall this segment of racing takes about an hour, much less painful than anticipated.

Their legs suitably stretched, our birds require one last thing to successfully tango, a carob nut retrieved from a specific encounter in the overworld. It can be stolen from or dropped by the mob, so this isn't expected to be a major roadblock. Twenty minutes later three nuts are procured, and chat returns to the ranch once more to roll the mating dice. The colors and genders received are purely random, but all we need first is any blue or green. The true difficulty would come in getting a breeding pair of opposite colors for the next step. The first attempt produces a male green chocobo, lovingly named SON.

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Materia Caves and Ancient Forest

It had been almost two hours since beginning racing, so chat decides to enjoy the fruit of our spoils and takes the newest family member out for a stroll. We attempt to hit the materia cave directly south of the ranch, only to find the cliff blocking it cannot be traversed by our current mount. Green chocobos can scale mountains, but apparently this little ledge didn't count. Discouraged, we turn to leave when tppSIM erupts with jealousy at our new pet, cheekily dismounting the bird as we enter the airship. Chat retrieves our briefly abandoned SON and continue onwards to the Materia Cave near Wutai, grabbing the critical Mime materia. This command will repeat whatever action was last used in battle, including a character miming their own limits, and would be extremely powerful in the fights ahead.

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The next destination is the Ancient Forest, another mini endgame dungeon, with several puzzles throughout. Frogs and flies must be placed to trigger various traps, and there is limited time to proceed through them. Most people access this area after defeating Ultimate Weapon, but you can actually reach it as soon as you have access to the Highwind. The enemies are quite powerful though, and the traps when triggered leave your party at 1 HP, but some of the best items in the game can be found here.

This is a segment of the writeup I have been personally dreading since the beginning. I don't want to be overly dramatic about it, so let's just get into it. The speedrunner has expressed extreme doubts about chat's ability to accomplish anything in this area. I countered vehemently, never doubt the chat. Eight hours catching our first chocobo, five hours climbing Gaea's Cliff, four hours hunting subs, an hour climbing a single ladder. No matter the challenge, however long it took, chat had risen and overcome. Sure we had to cheat sometimes, but we always got it done.

After one failed attempt at the puzzle, the speedrunner requests a "menu" of available cheats. I became incensed. We had been here less than twenty minutes, this wasn't required content, and chat hadn't been given any chance to figure out potential strategies. This person had done nothing but doubt chat since arriving, and I found the whole thing disgusting and completely against the spirit of the experience. It was here at 140 hours I would leave the run permanently. My input was no longer required, and in my mind we were now just watching a very slow speedrun with a laggy, uncooperative controller. This thing wasn't mine, but it had been ours, and now it felt like it was only his, chat discarded into the dust.

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I want to be clear, I was upset at the time and probably more so than warranted. This was a twitch stream of a videogame. I had admittedly become too attached to the whole thing and I overreacted. I still watched the run, I had come too far to abandon it completely, but I become now another passive observer. That's all the drama I'll get into over this, and I'm sorry I had to at all, but this is a retelling of events from my perspective so, I couldn't ignore it. I'll endeavor not to have it color my commentary going forward, I'll continue to use the same collective language despite my active participation having ended. And again, I talked to the speedrunner later and it was amicable. He had no ill intentions and doesn't deserve any scorn or retribution. Besides, I don't think my stance was common, most in chat still seemed to enjoy the run just as much. Moving on.

Turbo is enabled but with most not even understanding the puzzle actions required, these attempts are unsuccessful. Worse, while square is disabled to prevent unnecessary resetting of the puzzle minigame, triangle still functions, subjecting chat to dangerous and terrifying turbo menus. After an hour, the ancient forest is abandoned, chat truly defeated for the first time. Piling on insult, a well known cave dweller once again returns, making the trip back to the ranch longer and more painful than required. Even countering with democracy comes with its own caveats, as you need enough in chat to not only vote to enable the mode, but subsequently outvote the malicious inputs. This is why democracy was not just an immediate salve against any trolling attempts and still required some amount of help from chat, on top of being painfully slow.

More Chocobo Breeding

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Chat finally returns to the ranch, done with our brief jaunt around the map and able to proceed with the next breeding segment. We now need a blue chocobo, capable of crossing rivers and shallow water like the planeboat. However, the first attempt yields another green bird, this time female. While the first instinct is to wipe and try again, chat realizes there are still two stable slots available, and having both genders of green means any blue will work for the next step, reducing some randomness. A certain number of encounters are required before the birds can breed again though, and the fastest option is right next door in the marsh. Zolom is an effortless kill at this point and allows for swift grinding as he will respawn and immediately attack again, requiring no movement only spamming confirm. This is similar to an ancient casual trick, often done with a turbo controller overnight.

Refractory period passed, breeding resumes and immediately grants a third green chocobo, prompting a quick visit to intentionally wipe against Emerald Weapon and reset. This was the feared random element to this process, chat has exercised as much influence on the proceedings as possible and could now only hope. Twenty minutes later on the next attempt however, the desired blue bird is received, dutifully and creatively named Son. With that it's back to the sage to load up on expensive stat boosting greens, another distressing feeding session for our new colorful friends, and back to the circuit grind once more.

Our female green chocobo, unfortunately named ChocoA due to her expected impending demise, faces little difficulty outside of a rare Teioh appearance in a lower rank. Our blue boy Son struggles significantly though, losing three races in a row upon reaching B rank. It's decided to just proceed and try our luck, A rank isn't required for the next step. Chat makes a brief stop to farm up another carob nut as we spent an extra to keep two of the same color, but this only takes a few minutes anyway. The birds still need some time to recover from their last mating dance though, so another snake grind is done before breeding attempts resume. Luck finally smiles upon chat and the first attempt yields the desired black chocobo, adorably named Aya.

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More Chocobo Hunting

This new color combines the mountain and river crossing abilities of the previous two, but that doesn't unlock every Materia Cave and one more step remains. Our black bird needs a new mating partner, a Wonderful quality chocobo. As the name implies this is the rarest bird to find, appearing only in very specific enemy formations. The first four chocobos encountered in this region are the wrong type, but ten minutes into searching the proper configuration appears. However, a well intentioned but mistimed input has Vincent clobber our prize, sending it into a rage before fleeing. As always, seemingly simple menus were the true boss of the run.

Fortunately another Wonderful bird appears just a few minutes later and is successfully caught. Interesting to note, all birds were acquired using standard methods, the remove spell from Exit materia never seeing use. The biggest aids were the high quality greens that we had bought that distracted the chocobos longer, along with our ability to overwhelmingly destroy most common enemies in one or two hits. With that, fourteen hours after beginning, the catching segment of the process has officially concluded. Another quick stop to the sage for some delicious stat boosting herbs and the next phase can begin.

Even More Chocobo Breeding

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Aya now occupies the final stable slot, and with heavy hearts we must say goodbye to DAD and SON, their purposes served. We need our new Wonderful chocobo to be male, which is determined once moved into the barn. The first attempt yields a female though, and it's off to hug Emmy and wipe once more. The desired result is achieved on the second try, and our new male chocobo Felk along with Aya are subsequently gassed up with greens for their own trips to the circuit. With their superior stats, both birds are able to reach the maximum S rank. Felk struggles a bit losing about half his A rank races, although Aya has a genetic advantage as the final section of the course doesn't slow down black chocobos. Having reached the optimal condition for both birds, we have just one quick stop left to make. We need a rare zeio nut found only on Goblin Island, located far north east on the map. A short session of pummeling gobbos and the treasure is retrieved. The long awaited moment has finally arrived.

Twitch chat has successfully bred our golden chocobo, Maple. Sixteen hours after beginning, the chocobo side quest lies defeated, and we have our shiniest new ride. This was by far the longest single event of the run, and particularly grindy. But with this, preparations are nearly complete. Chat has all the tools necessary to confront our ultimate villains, and we rapidly approach the end of the run with less than 24 hours remaining.

I know this particular update stretched quite long, but I really didn't want yet another part for breeding so we banged it out here. Thanks for sticking with me, this was an especially difficult segment to write, but the climax finally draws near. Next time, chat confronts the terrifyingly overpowered superbosses, Emerald and Ruby Weapon. Oh, and we'll deal with that jerk Ultimate too. Thanks 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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