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Final Fantasy VII
The first 3D Final Fantasy was released for PlayStation in January 1997 in Japan and September 1997 in North America. You start out fighting against Shinra, an evil electric company, with a party that includes a black man with a gun on his arm (totally not a stereotype), a cat riding a stuffed moogle, and a quiet guy with gravity-defying hair (and an even more gravity-defying sword). Final Fantasy VII eventually turns into a fight against some pretty boy who wants to rule the world by destroying it with a giant meteor. Why are the pretty ones always insane?

 

PC run: 7:41:xx by Andrew 'Farringa' Farrington, done in 85 segments

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And it's finally done. This is my first speed run ever, and probably the last one for awhile. I've been working on this project for over a year, and a lot has happened. I've seen the end of two years of college, got married, moved into my first apartment, rebuilt my computer, had surgery on both feet simultaneously... and through all of that, I have worked on this speed run. The total of that effort, energy, and time comes down to this...

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I. Introduction
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I had been watching speed runs on SDA for quite some time. I enjoyed watching runs of games I had played, and one day I thought, "Hey, I wonder if there is a Final Fantasy VII Speed Run." To my disapointment, there wasn't. However, there was a topic on it, and I created an account, just so that I could encourage anyone who wanted to do one. This is how I came across GarlandG. I followed the Speed Run Discussions on GameFAQs for quite some time, before I decided to make an account there too, so that I could try and help progress the run in any way I could. I even decided I would use the FAQ that GarlandG had made, and make a speed run, in order to check the FAQ for errors, and test the strategies, as well as for my own personal enjoyment.

And that's how I began this project. I decided I would follow the FAQ's strategies, and try to do the run as quickly as possible, while saving more often, so that the run would take less time to complete, but would still give a relatively accurate display of the game being pushed to its limits. I started recording it so that I would have proof of my accomplishments, as well as give me something to watch later, and brag to my friends about.

But just before Cosmo Canyon, something funny happened. After realizing it would be a long time yet before GarlandG's run is completed (at the time of completion, GarlandG is on the second segment), even though I had been waiting for the start of the run since May, 2006. I realized, that a lot of others were still waiting to see a run of this game on SDA, and here I was, doing a run, and recording it as well. I decided that I would try to have my run posted on SDA, so that all those fans waiting for GarlandG's run would have something to watch. After that, I put much more effort into the run, and began working on the run much more frequently. I'm glad I did.

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II. Reflection
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If I had it to do over again, I would have started the run with the tenacity that I finished it with. With that said, I am extremely proud of what I have accomplished. In all honesty, I am not sure how much faster I could have gone. This run is far from perfect, but most of the imperfections are masked by the enormous amount of luck involved in the running of this game. I may run a segment perfectly, doing everything humanly possible correctly, and still achieve a slower time, because of something seemingly insignificant, like the number of times I am attacked in random encounters, or the length of the animations for the attacks used. Luck plays a huge factor in each and every segment. I assure you the segments I kept were the fastest I was able to get, while still keeping my sanity.

Also, please be aware that this run was made using the PC version of Final Fantasy VII. There are some very peculiar differences between the PC version and the Playstation version of the game. If something I do in the run seems weird, and you ask yourself, "Why on Earth did he go out of his way there?" or something to that affect, check the In-Depth Comments for that segment. It probably has something to do with the PC version of the game.

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III. Acknowledgements
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First and foremost, I would like to thank GarlandG. Nearly every strategy I used was taken directly from GarlandG's FAQ on GameFAQs. You can find the FAQ here:

GarlandG's Speed Run FAQ: http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/psx/file/197341/31141

This run was originally only planned to find mistakes in the FAQ, so that when GarlandG made his run, he would not run into the problems I did. I'm glad I was able to help, and I can't wait to see GarlandG's run of this game.

Lolo26 deserves his own section as well. When I had a question about anything, he was the first person I asked. Always helpful and encouraging. He was a major developer of the strategies used in the FAQ as well.

I would also like to thank:

Also

Thank you all.

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IV. In-Depth Comments
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On to the more detailed comments. Most of the reasoning for the things I do can be found in GarlandG's FAQ on GameFAQs. But I will elaborate on some of the things I feel the FAQ doesn't go in-depth on, and also point out some of the reasoning for things I do in the run, as well as any mistakes I made. I will also give a general outline of the strategies used in major battles, so that if you don't want to go look at the FAQ, you don't have to. I've divided the sections up the way GarlandG has in the guide, to make it easier to follow, as well as by segment.

-- The First Mission --

And that does it. Thanks for watching! I hope you liked it.

Andrew "Farringa" Farrington

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