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Final Fantasy VII Guides

Mini-games and the Gold Saucer

Guide by  Zephir


Gold Saucer

Event Square

Here, plays are performed before a live audience, tales of knights and dragons and bungling kings.

Speed Square

As its name suggests, only the fastest of attractions are showcased in the Speed Arena, like its one and only game, the Speed Arena Shooting Game.

There's not much to this one: just point your cursor over a target, press OK to fire, and keep an eye on your energy bar (the bar on the left side of the screen). If it gets too low, you'll have a sorry power output on your beam. If it's high, you can fire strong shots. Naturally, stronger shots take fewer to knock out a target. It's ten GP to play, but if you score over 3000 points, you win a prize. Your prizes are randomly selected from a set of three items: δMasamune Blade (two in five chance), δSuper Sweeper (again two in five chance), and δ1/35 Soldier (one in five chance). If you can get over five thousand points on disc one, you can get the δParasol for Aeris (her most brutally powerful weapon, damage-wise) or the δFlayer for Cid on disc two (very useful if you have the patience to get it early on).

Each target is worth a different amount. Here's the list for those:

Target Value
Ghost 40
Cactus 30
Cacti on rocks 50
Blue Plane 50-60*
Jet Plane 50-60*
Yellow Boulder 200
Yellow Fish 60
Star 40
Shining Stars 70
Icicle 40-50
Balloon 30
Big Rabbit Balloon 70
Little UFO 60
Rocket 50
Lava Rock 70
Chopper 40-50*
Big UFO 1000

* increased point value is for the targets at the very end.

The best strategy is to tap the OK button really fast, because if you hold it steadily, it'll run out of juice in a hurry and fire very weak beams. The best way to get the big UFO near the end is to just don't let your power dip below half and hit it as many times as you can, preferably at high power. It's very hard to get three thousand points without it, so learning to get the UFO is almost a must. Also, in the desert area, you can hit the yellow boulder on the canyon wall for two hundred points, so keep an eye out for that. Also, before the very last turn at the end, shoot the lights at the bottom left, just under the railway itself, for two hundred more points. It's very hard to find the right one to hit, but with practice (and a bit of luck) you can get it.

It's a simple game on paper, but definitely harder than it sounds.

Round Square

A romantic gondola ride around the park. The cost is three GP.

Ghost Square

Being the spookiest point in all of the Gold Saucer, you'll find ghosts, goblins, and eerie tombstone signposts that mark trapdoors allowing you back to where you came from.

The Ghost Hotel: Leave your shoes at the door, your clothes with the launderers, and your screams at home. As unusual a place as it is to spend the night, it's also remarkably comfortable and filled with goodies for the avid collector. An δElixir is to be found in Cloud's dresser, and a Turtle's Paradise poster lurks in the hotel, in the lobby to the left of the Item Shop's entrance.

Wonder Square

The Wonder Square is the gathering point for game-addicted gamblers and thrill seekers alike, providing some of the finest entertainment in all of Corel. Many prizes can be won, some great, some mundane, but overall, a must see for the rabid arcade fan.

Arm wrestling: Think you're strong enough to best the sim? Select either the Sumo opponent or the Wrestler, and press the OK button repeatedly. Very simple, and equally as rewarding (that is, you get a fat one GP for beating the Sumo, and two for beating the Wrestler). It costs 100 gil to play, so it's not much of a good trade. Let's move on, shall we...

Wonder Catcher: This game is most akin to a Vegas slot machine, in the disguise of a cute crane game. Your success rate seems to improve with consecutive times played, and you can win a few different items:

Item Probability
Nothing About 30%
δPotion About 30%
1 GP About 25%
3 GP About 10%
δEther About 2%
δMegalixir About 2%

We conducted an empirical study over the course of an hour and a half's time and 308 consecutive plays of the game, and the data was then gathered and recorded into a chart:

Item Won (Times)
Potion 98
Nothing 94
1 GP 73
3 GP 33
Ether 6
Megalixir 4

Now using some fuzzy math we can get the probabilities listed in the former. Even though these cold hard numbers back up the claims, these charts are still to be taken with a grain of salt, because results can and will vary greatly from play to play. (Ed. Note for the stats geeks: Dice have no memory, right?)

Overall, the Wonder Catcher really isn't the most useless game to play (that honor goes to the Fortune Teller), just one of the most deceptively mildly rewarding, if that makes any sense.

Note: Several other sources claim that two more prizes can be won from this game, a δPhoenix Down and 80 GP, but despite all the time put in it and the number of times replayed, neither of them appeared.

Super Dunk: For 200 gil, you can shoot some hoops for prizes. To play, hold the OK button down to gain strength, then release to shoot. The only trick is to find at just what point to stop holding and release, and to do that just watch his knees and/or hair; when he stops bending his knees or when the ball reaches his spike, shoot. If you time it just right, you won't miss.

If you make a shot, you get a chance at another shot, and can keep hitting them as long as you can. For one hoop, you get one GP; for two, you get two GP; for three, you get three GP, and so on and so forth. Getting ten in a row earns you the opportunity to play Double Chance, which means that if you can hit a basket, you double your GP from whatever you have, but if you miss the game ends and you get only one GP for your troubles.

If you can keep a long string of hits going, you can win up to 300 GP, which is where the game will cut off. One of the more challenging games to keep going.

Crystal Fortune: Get your future told for fifty gil. Useful for kicks, but only as far as that goes. Your fortune won't change unless you progress through the actual game, so don't waste your gil playing it more than once in a row.

Mog House: Mog's looking for a mate... but first he has to learn how to fly. Feed him Kupo Nuts by using the OK button, but don't overfeed him, or he won't be able to fly! He'll rub his tummy and make a grumbling noise if he's not full, but he'll squeak and jump happily if he's full. At this point, stop feeding him and wait for a few moments; eventually the prompt goes away and he tries to fly. Five should do it the first time, and when the prompt comes back the second time, three should be enough. After that the game's on autopilot, so sit back and relax, and enjoy the little play.

It costs 100 gil to play, but you don't get rewarded anything. However, if you talk with the guy behind you the first time you finish it, he'll give you thirty GP for showing him how to play. Not too bad, but don't drop any more money on the game, because it's just a rat hole for cash after the first time.

3D Battler: If you understand the game of rock, paper, scissors, you understand this game. The cost is 200 gil to play, and to play, each person picks an attack and depending upon what attack was used, the player wins or loses. Your opponent's attack isn't executed until you pick your own, so don't bother trying to read them and pick yours as if it were a real fighting game. Instead, try to recognize a pattern. Sometimes your opponent will get stuck favoring a certain move and use it often. Pick your countermove to match. Here is the list of what beats what:

  • Triangle: Upper body attack; beats low, loses to mid, ties with high attack.
  • Square: Mid Body attack; beats high, loses to low, ties with mid attack.
  • X Button: Lower body attack; beats mid, loses to high, ties with low attack.

For beating one opponent you get nothing, for beating two you get three GP, for three you get 300 GP, and for beating all four you get nothing. Why? The 3D Battler is apparently buggy... after you beat the fourth opponent, you'll be left standing in the ring, squaring off with... NOBODY. You read right, you'll be fighting air. Press triangle to always block, square to always hit, and X to always get hit. You'll never be able to break out of this, though, unless you lose, so you have to throw the match at this point and just accept your 300 GP prize. This game is mostly luck-based, not much you can do.

G-Bike: A replication of the escape from Midgar via bike. Move with the directional pad, and attack to the left with the Switch button, and attack to the right with the OK button. 200 gil to play, and you get 500 points for each biker whacked, but you also lose 25 points for each time the truck gets hit.

Orange bikers attack blindly, and red bikers are the sneakiest: they try to engage the truck but draw back when you get close, thereby drawing your attention away from the truck. Take them out as fast as you can and then get back to the other guys, because they rarely travel single and you'll wind up letting one attack while knocking off the other. They also move away from you when you swing at them with your sword, so the best way to beat them is to actually ram them with your bike. Unlike the Midgar escape, however, Cloud's bike and the truck are invincible and can take unlimited punishment, so don't be afraid to use your own bike as a weapon.

Tactics can include: ramming another biker with yours from the side; hitting the brakes while in front of another biker; knocking one bike down while it's at least just in front of another, which'll usually make the second biker trip up and fall without you even hitting him; and hacking and slashing like a horror-movie villain. Don't be afraid to get creative. Your range with that sword also isn't as limited as you might think; sometimes you can reach behind you or a little farther to the sides than you realize.

Another interesting tidbit is that you can sometimes get some spectacular crashing cascades to happen; your enemies can and will trip over a bike if it's knocked down in front of them and they happen to run over it, and every once in a while you can wipe out all three of the bikers at once... but this brings up yet another issue: try not to let them fall in front of the truck, because even a defeated biker still takes points off for touching it, and can actually be worse for you since they cause many more hits in a shorter time.

On another note, yes that is Aeris you see in the truck, and no you can't get her out. Prizes for this game include: 0+ points (LOSING): Nothing. Not even a message bar for your trouble; 5000+ points: 2 GP; 10000+ points: 10 GP (and a δSpeed Source the first time you do it)

Snowboarding: You can only play this one after your slide down the slope at Icicle Inn, at a playing cost of two hundred gil. You use the Up button to speed up, the Down button or the Switch button to slow down, Cancel to jump, and the Right and Left buttons to move, well, left and right. Pressing the PageDown button with a left/right movement will edge your board for tighter maneuvering, essential in twisting corridors.

Your scoring is based on how well you do in three categories: Technique (not hitting walls or falling), Balloons (obvious), and Time (also obvious). All three categories add up to get an overall score of one hundred total points, with Technique and Time both being worth thirty points while Balloons costs for forty of your total. Red balloons are one point each, blue are three points each, and green are five apiece. Not everything is a penalty; for example, you can hit a moogle while it's on a sled, but if you hit one after it falls off (tripping you up and therefore, falling), you get a point off.

Getting a score of seventy or better ("Good" rating) on the Beginner's course opens the Expert course (the left branch that's initially sealed off). Same for the Expert course: seventy points or better ("Good" rating) opens up the Crazy course. And the Crazy course is just that: crazy. Get a Good score on all three, and you open Time Attack mode, where you race a moogle against your best time (you access this mode at the beginning of any course, by collecting the yellow balloon that now appears). In Time Attack, you get no obstacles, but the point is to make the best time possible, not slalom.

As with chocobo racing, every once in a while Tifa or Cid will ask if they can sled. You have the ultimate choice, of course, but this is just a note.

There isn't much more to add except that it's best played by learning the courses on your own, so you can develop your own technique. There are several notes, however:

  • The balloon at the beginning of the Beginner's course can be reached by jumping at the last minute.
  • The green balloon at the end of the Beginner's course, over the arch, is extremely difficult to get, without extensive practice. Mostly, it's there to distract you and trip you up one last time before the finish.
  • At the first drop-off of the Expert course, JUMP! If you don't and you try to get the blue balloon, you'll run smack into a rock. Ouch.

And that's it. If you score 90 or better on any of the courses, you receive these prizes:

  • Thirty GP and a δSafety Bit on the Beginner course.
  • 100 GP and an OAll materia on the Expert course.
  • 300 GP and a δCrystal Bangle on the Crazy course.

Note that you only win these prizes for scoring that high the first time; after that, you get nothing.

Also of note is that if you can manage to get a Super score on the three normal courses (not Time Attack), you unlock a new Time Attack sparring partner: a Cactrot. Funny that a cactus, of all things, should be the opponent you race against in a snowboarding game!

Special thanks and credit to Chris MacDonald and IGN Guides for Snowboarding game prizes and Time Attack information.

Torpedo Attack: Torpedo is a game of tactics, strategy, and command skill that you can only access after the underwater Mako Reactor battle and after you get a sub of your own. For 200 gil and a twenty GP reward, it's one of the highest-paying games in the arcade, but also one of the most involved. Your control scheme is as follows:

  • Directional Pad Left: Turn left
  • Directional Pad Right: Turn right
  • Directional Pad Up: Dive
  • Directional Pad Down: Rise
  • Menu: Speed up/Accelerate
  • Cancel: Brake/Reverse course
  • Switch: Fire Torpedo
  • PageDown: Sonar screen
  • Target: Switch between four camera views

Mines are the little pyramids sitting atop the transparent pillars. You can pass through the pillars without harm, but just don't get close to the mines or they'll detonate. Pressing PageDown activates sonar, and you can use it to find enemy subs if you've lost them or simply need to hunt new targets. Be careful when using the sonar screen, however, since mines are harder to see, especially since you won't be able to gauge their depth. Also, if you ever find that you can't wait for the next sonar pulse, close and reopen the screen to refresh it. You have a status readout for your torpedoes, too: the four circles are lit blue when loaded, red when loading, and blank when empty. The object is to find and destroy any and all enemy subs you find within the ten minute time limit.

Yellow subs are the easiest to take down, but red subs are stronger. You can play from one of five scenarios; a recreation of the Mako Reactor battle, or one of four other scenarios that increase in difficulty. As the levels rise, your opponents become smarter, more aggressive, greater in number, and tougher to destroy.

Number of subs per level:

  • Mako Reactor: 7
  • Level 1: 10
  • Level 2: 8
  • Level 3: 12
  • Level 4: 10

There are several tactics that you can use to achieve victory. When firing torpedoes, try using a full spread of four at once and staying in close, because your torpedoes' ranges are limited. Alternatively, you can fire at a slower, sustained rate and keep a stock ready for emergencies. If you find yourself seeing the "Alert!" message and a torpedo hot on your tail, dive for the bottom at top speed; that should be enough to lose them. Aggression also pays off in this game; the faster you take them down in one run, the more confused and less organized they'll be.

Striking from above and below, in rapid strafing runs, and in hit-and-run raids is also advantageous. You should also beware of traps... sometimes they'll engage you from two sides, or from a different depth than you, or come at you in numbers. One of the sneaky tricks they'll also use is to drive straight through a mine, hoping that you'll follow. In those cases it's not shameful to run, because after all, a strategic withdrawal is nothing to ashamed of... you shouldn't let yourself be engaged on their terms. Instead, make your own terms and engage them at your advantage.

As mentioned before, you receive twenty GP for winning regardless of how well you did, but you'll also receive random item from this list: δInk, δT/S Bomb, δDragon Fang, δDragon Scales, or δCauldron. Once you've gotten them all, however, you won't get any more item prizes.

GP Exchange: You can exchange your GP for prizes here. The list is:

You can only buy a OGil Plus and OExp Plus once, and that's it... no more materia for you.

Gil Exchange: There's a man who'll trade GP to you for one hundred gil per one GP, but he shows up rarely. You can find him at the back of Ropeway Station, by the house in the background, past the save point. He only shows up every once in a while, but if you simply keep leaving and re-entering the Gold Saucer or the entrance archway, he'll eventually appear. You should take him up on his offer every time you see him, because he'll only make the trade with you for a maximum of one hundred GP (that's ten thousand gil), and then he'll disappear again.

Chocobo Square

Where heroes are made and broke people get... well, mostly broke.

Chocobo Racing: Much like horse racing, only with cute chibi-like birds. You can bet on a race or enter one yourself (once you get a chocobo or two of your own, that is), but either way, the rules are very simple.

Betting: Talking with the lady at the front desk lets you bet on a race, for a registration fee of two hundred gil. That's not the end of it, though, because you then have to select a class, of which each has a higher signing fee than the last. C Class is one hundred gil, B is two hundred gil, A Class costs three hundred gil to bet in, and S Class is an enormous five hundred gil (compared with the others, anyway). You can only bet on C-and-B-class races initially, and A and S-class races won't open up until you've gotten a chocobo of your own.

Once you're at the betting screen, you have to turn over three cards total, betting on who you think will come into the first two places. For example, if you think jockey's one and two will be in the lead, turn over card "1-2". For winning a bet, you can either get the item straight out, or (depending on the quality of the item) receive ten GP, twenty GP, thirty GP, or fifty GP in exchange, and as many as a whopping three hundred GP for such items as an OEnemy Away in the higher classes!

Also, if you ever see Joe (riding Teioh), bet on him. He always has the best ride and can only lose to you.

Racing: When you have a chocobo of your own, you can race them by speaking with Esther. The controls are fairly simple: there are two modes, Automatic and Manual, which you can switch between with Select. Automatic lets the chocobo race by him-or-herself, and Manual lets you control it. Automatic is useful if you have a high-quality bird in a low-class race, because they're so much faster that your opponents'll never be able to keep up. Sometimes, though, your bird gets stubborn and wears itself out fast. That's where Manual comes in. With Manual, you control how it races using the OK button to sprint (extra speed, draws on Stamina (the bar on the left of the screen)), the Cancel button to slow down, and the Switch button to speed up (without dropping much stamina). The Directional buttons move the bird left or right.

During the race, you can hold down the PageDown and Target buttons to regain stamina, and if you hold them down during the entire race along with the Switch button, you'll basically be running at near-sprinting speed for the whole race... without losing much stamina at all! A most handy way to win races, indeed. Also, you can choose between a Short course and a Long one. There doesn't seem to be any difference between the two besides length (meaning no special prizes or anything like that), so it basically comes down to personal preference on that option.

There are a few other things of note, too: normal chocobos have trouble on hills, in the underwater sections, and in the space section at the end. Green chocobos, however, do well on the hills and in the space section, while Blue chocobos don't have trouble in the underwater section, and Black and Gold chocobos race at top speed through all sections of the race. Therefore, Black and Gold chocobos are your preferred racing birds in S-class races, for sure.

Joe and his Black chocobo is another noteworthy presence. No matter how good your ride is, no matter no fast and well-bred, he always has higher stamina and speed. You can still beat him, however, because he's not all that smart and can at least be muscled out of the way if you get desperate at the end. He's not all that difficult to beat if you have a very fast Black or Gold chocobo, just a little harder.

For more information on breeding special chocobos, see the Chocobo Breeding Guide.

Winning three races in a row in C, B, and A classes advances you one rank. S Class is the highest you can go. Also, when you win ten S-Class races (in no particular order), you win a prize package from Ester that includes the following: δSprint Shoes, δPrecious Watch, δCat's Bell, δChocobracelet, and a OCounter Attack materia.

Right, now on to the items! Here is the list of all the prizes you can win at the Chocobo Square, sorted alphabetically. Each column on the left shows, with a mark, in which class categories you'll start seeing them. There is one major exception: the OMagic Counter materia can only be won by racing. It hasn't shown up in betting screens yet, but if someone can confirm that it does, please let us know! We've now seen the OMagic Counter in betting, thanks, Anton Högman!

Item C B A S
δAntarctic Wind × × × ×
δBolt Plume × × × ×
δCat's Bell     × ×
δChocobracelet       ×
OCounter Attack       ×
δElixir     × ×
OEnemy Away   × × ×
δEther × × × ×
δFire Fang × × × ×
δFire Veil     × ×
δIce Crystal     × ×
δHero Drink   × × ×
Item C B A S
δHi-Potion × × × ×
δHyper × × × ×
OMagic Counter       ×
δMegalixir       ×
δPhoenix Down × × × ×
δPotion × × × ×
δPrecious Watch       ×
OSneak Attack     × ×
δSwift Bolt     × ×
δTranquilizer × × × ×
δTurbo Ether   × × ×

And that's just about all there is to it. The majority of your time with chocobo racing will be spent breeding your own birds, rather than racing, however, since these two sections go so closely hand-in-hand.

Battle Square

There's so much to say about this that we made a separate Battle Square page.

Bone Village

Digging Game

Bone Village is an excavation camp, manned by trained specialists who dig for fossils and relics. You will have to come here to play for an item at some point in the game, but the rest is just for fun.

If you want to look for buried treasure in the site, you'll have to speak with the foreman first. He'll ask you what kind you want to dig for ("good treasure" or "normal treasure") first: normal gets you a potion nearly every time, while "good" gets you the good stuff when you're lucky. He'll then ask you to place workers around the camp using the Switch button for one hundred gil a worker (a guy's got to eat, you know), and you can stop placing them at any time or until you have five workers down, the limit (you'll have to wait until each man is in position before you can place another, by the way). Then you have to press the Switch button again to detonate the seismic charge once they're all placed. The workers will then read the findings and point to the location of the buried goods. You have to trace their line of sight back to the point they're facing, and then order a dig with the Switch button.

They'll dig for it overnight, and in the morning they'll place what they've found in the treasure chest near the foreman's tent. The items you can find here are:

  • Nothing
  • δPotion
  • δMop
  • δBuntline
  • Lunar Harp
  • Key to Sector Five (Only obtainable after Cloud's Lifestream trip on Disc Two.)

Happy digging! Again, note that you can use any number of workers, up to five, so each search can cost you up to five hundred gil. The best strategies for digging are to place workers on both the top and bottom levels and spread them apart, or you run the risk of getting them all to point someplace far away where you can't get a good location.

Caves of Narshe: Final Fantasy VII
Version 6
©1997–2020 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

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