Midgar is a pivotal city in Final Fantasy VII, one of the franchise’s most iconic titles (and one that itself has become a sub-franchise). The FF7 remake explored the many possibilities and stories of the city’s streets.
But long before the remake was released, thousands of people were writing their own stories within the dystopian city. Even better, they’ve been exploring Midgar’s allies and uncovering its secrets with friends. One digital creator creator made it possible with the Second Life FF7 Midgar Area.
In it, users can create their own character (on top of their SL avatar), find other players via an active social group, and embark on new adventures in the famous dystopian city ruled by Shinra.
Getting Started in Second Life’s FF7 Midgar Area
When you first enter SL’s take on Midgar, you’ll arrive in a tutorial area that offers instructions for new players. It closely resembles the train stations that played such a crucial role to Midgar’s citizens in Final Fantasy VII.
Here, SL residents will find the game HUD, create their character, and choose a faction.
FF7 Midgar Area Factions
Faction details are provided in the upper floor of the tutorial area.
They are divided under three categories. Obviously, those who have played Final Fantasy VII will have more context to understand each:
Civilians are the residents of Midgar. Some are just everyday people trying to live their lives. Others have varying levels of support for either Avalanche or Shinra.
The tutorial area promises limitless possibilities for these factions.
- St. Minerva Medical Center: Shinra’s civilian-centric medical wing. Employees typically want to help their communities, but they are still under Shinra’s jurisdiction.
- Guardhound Detective Agency: there are several high-level scenarios playing out in Midgar. But what about the stories playing out down the street and around the corner? Petty crimes abound here. Sometimes, it’s just a robber wanting to steal a buck. Other times, it’s part of something much larger. The Guardhound Detective Agency is here to find out.
Avalanche was the group of freedom fighters that kicked off FF7’s story. They fight against the Shinra Electric Power Company in an effort to save the world.
- The Insurgents: The warriors fighting Shinra’s tyrannical rule.
- Ravens: Superhuman militants who sacrificed everything to fight for their planet.
- Guardians: Those who use Materia to fight for nature.
Shinra serves as the antagonist in Final Fantasy VII. It’s called a company but operates more like a government. Its presence in the game is so pervasive that some of the factions in Second Life are based on branches of its military.
Public Security: This faction serves as the face of Shinra’s armed forces. They lead its soldiers, police forces, and weapons divisions while also enforcing the law.
SOLDIER: As in the original game, SOLDIER is an elite combat unit in which soldiers are infused with Mako for enhanced capabilities.
M.A.D: The Mechanized Armor Division employs Shinra’s advanced technological weapons and sentinels to protect Midgar’s infrastructure and Shinra’s interests.
Turks: Another faction that appears in the game, the Turks serve as Shinra’s elite intelligence division.
The FF7 take on Midgar includes familiar and new areas to explore. You can visit either the Sector 7 Undercity Slums, the Sector 8 Upper Plate, or Shinra Tower (Sector 0) after leaving the tutorial area.
Sector 7 Undercity
This place is full of nostalgia for anyone who played Final Fantasy VII as a kid. You’ll initially arrive on the same train platform that kicks off the original game.
From there, you can head up to the iconic pillar that proved so pivotal in the story of Midgar. Or, you can rummage through the train graveyard where so many stories began and ended.
Part of Sector 6 is here too – specifically, the playground where Cloud and (then) Aeries shared one of their most special moments. It’s also where the remaining crew rallied after a pivotal moment in Midgar’s story.
Beyond that, the slums are filled with the familiar shops that have been rented out to Second Life residents. They carry a variety of wares, including weapons and apparel.
And then there’s Lost Haven – a militarized district for fans to explore. It wasn’t actually included in Final Fantasy VII’s Midgar, but the look, feel, and mood fit the city nicely. Fans will still enjoy exploring its alleyways and unique role-playing opportunities.
Sector 8 Upper Plate
Final Fantasy VII opens with a close (but quick) look at Sector 8’s Upper Plate. In Second Life’s FFVII Midgar area, fans can spend a little more time exploring its alleys and shops.
Sector 8’s Upper Plate still has the familiar feel of a dystopian city, but it’s certainly a more upscale district than the lower slums.
Art is prevalent here, and the buildings are more than just a hodgepodge of metal sheets and frames.
Visitors can also access the famous highway where players took control of Cloud on his motorcycle just before leaving Midgar in the game. The upper streets offer a great view of Shinra Tower and the city below.
In Midgar, all roads point back to Shinra. The company’s headquarters has been completely rebuilt in Second Life with surprpsing detail. Two massive spotlights beam from its entrance while helicopters patrol above.
If you’ve played the original Final Fantasy VII game (or its remake), you know how massive this tower is. The creators of the Second Life version went through a painstaking process to recreate it with meticulous details.
Many of the familiar areas are still here. from the cells our antagonists spent the night in to the iconic SOLDIER floor. Several of the areas have been expanded upon with the enhanced capabilities of Second Life over the limitations of the original game. There are also a few new areas to explore.
Role-Playing in the Second Life FF7 Midgar Area
The faction you choose determines where your experience begins. However, you can visit any area of Midgar regardless of your faction.
Of course, this can increase your chances of getting into a battle. Fights are dice-based in this verison of Midgar. You’ll need the role playing HUD to initiate and complete battles.
Yes, Second Life does allow combats to be enabled on its SIMs. However, the creators of Midgar wanted visitors to be able to explore leisurely. Enabling Second Life’s combat system would have made this very difficult.
You can also earn GIL through a separate HUD (don’t worry, these HUDs are low-impact). If you’ve never played Final Fantasy VII, GIL is the in-game currency.
Without giving away spoilers, I will say that Midgar has plenty of experiences for players based on their chosen factions. Some of these experiences lead to their own stories. However, some players have also found unique ways to build their own stories in Second Life’s FF7 Midgar area. If you’re a fan of the game, you’ll love this RP SIM!