Game Theory

FF7 Remake: Intergrade may have a "huge" endgame twist hiding in plain sight

Could a key subplot make an early appearance?

Not much has been said of the “secret mission” that brings Yuffie Kisaragi to Midgar during FF7R EPISODE INTERmission, a new chapter included in Final Fantasy VII Remake: Intergrade that takes place during the events of FF7 Remake.

The February 2021 announcement of Intergrade promises that we’ll “play as ninja Yuffie Kisaragi as she infiltrates the shadowy Shinra Corporation to steal a powerful Materia and restore glory to her homeland.” But where exactly will she go in Midgar? And what is this Materia she’s stealing? Early INTERmission details make it clear that plenty of details will be different in this retelling of the story.

Last week, details about a new character Yuffie meets during her mission may hint at a literally “huge” twist that could have major implications for how the rest of the saga plays out — and it could be a major clue about her mission in INTERmission.

Yuffie is quick to insult in the original Final Fantasy VII.Square Enix

Stealing Materia is definitely in line with Yuffie’s character in the original game, but for her to be more of a secret ninja agent working with Avalanche is new. Rather than a nuisance you meet in the woods after leaving Midgar, she’s now a super-spy trying to steal a high-value asset from Shinra. We have to wonder: asset?

“Yuffie and her partner Sonon are sent to infiltrate the city and steal Shinra’s most powerful Materia,” an April 14 Square Enix blog post reads. Not enough people out there are asking, “What is Shinra’s most powerful Materia?” At least one translation of an April 13 Famitsu article refers to it as the “Ultimate Materia” that is “developed” by Shinra, which evokes the scene from FF7 Remake where Scarlet oversees a failed experiment on a few green orbs.

Did her department succeed in some of these experiments, and that’s what Yuffie is after? A far more interesting possibility is that Shinra already has one or more Huge Materia in Midgar, and that’s what Yuffie is trying to steal.

In the original game, there are four Huge Materia in existence. These high-density Materia are produced in the core of a Mako Reactor and have 330 times the power of regular pieces. Somewhat late in the story, once Sephiroth has summoned the Meteor that could destroy the world, Shinra tries to collect the four Huge Materia to load them up in a rocket and blast it at Meteor. Cloud and friends try (and potentially fail) to stop it, hopefully acquiring the gems for themselves.

Fans might remember the Junon Cannon, a massive weapon capable of firing superpowerful laser blasts. That was powered by a piece of Huge Materia before both it and the cannon were relocated to Midgar. One piece is buried at the bottom of the ocean. Another is at the Mt. Corel Mako Reactor. A fourth is located at the Fort Condor Mako Reactor, a location that got a curious namedrop in recent Intergrade materials.

Polk is passionate about board games.Square Enix

Early materials noted that Polk, a young member of Avalanche that Yuffie meets during INTERmission, is really into a strategy board game called Fort Condor. It’s a reference both to a physical place on the opposite side of the continent from Midgar, but also an annoying mini-game from the aforementioned “Struggle for the Huge Materia” quest. Shinra troops invade a fort with a reactor, and you have to perform a little tower defense mini-game to protect the Huge Materia. For it to come up at all during INTERmission is puzzling.

Could it be some kind of clue?

Unless this mysterious “Ultimate Materia” is a novel creation made up just for FF7 Remake, a piece of Huge Materia is the most likely candidate. It could spell doom for Yuffie’s mission, however. Because for future installments to carry on as we expect them to, Shinra will need that piece of Huge Materia to power the Junon Canon. In fact, that piece might already be there. But if Yuffie succeeds, it could break the original FF7 canon in major ways that resemble what happens in the FF7 Remake finale.

In any case, we’ll learn more about Yuffie’s target once the new chapter is released.

FF7 Remake: Intergrade will be released for PlayStation 5 on June 10, 2021.

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