Final Fantasy VII Timeline, Explained Part 2 (Before Crisis & Crisis Core)

The Final Fantasy VII Remake is due to be released soon and the recent demo revealed that the prequels and spin-offs are still considered canon. As such, the timeline of Final Fantasy VII is assumed to be the same, at least before the events of Final Fantasy VII Remake take place.

The Turks In Trouble

Zack and Cloud are dispatched to Modeoheim in search of Dr. Hollander. They run into Genesis and Angeal. Zack slays Angeal and is entrusted with the Buster Sword. Hollander is captured and imprisoned in Junon.

Cloud is sent to Midgar and he joins a mission to protect a scientist named Dr. Rayleigh from AVALANCHE. It turns out that Rayleigh has a disc with information related to SOLDIER on it. Cloud and a member of the Turks keep Rayleigh safe during a pitched battle on a train, but the disc is stolen by AVALANCHE.

There have been several different interpretations of the Nibelheim Incident and they are all detailed here. In short, Sephiroth learns the truth of his heritage and goes on a rampage. Nibelheim is destroyed, Sephiroth is killed when he is thrown into a Mako reactor, Cloud & Zack are taken to the Shinra Mansion to be experimented on, and Nibelheim is rebuilt as part of a cover-up.

The Turks discover that Rufus Shinra has been leaking information to AVALANCHE as part of a coup. They are dispatched to Wutai to destroy AVALANCHE’s secret base. Rufus forms a plan to assassinate his father at the upcoming first rocket launch with the help of AVALANCHE.

Cid Highwind is chosen to be the captain of the first manned space mission, using a rocket called Shinra No. 26. A member of AVALANCHE sabotages one of the oxygen tanks in the rocket. Shera (one of the engineers) stays until the last moment to make sure the tank is still functional. Cid stops the flight at the last moment to save Shera’s life and the rocket lays dormant for years.

AVALANCHE operatives take control over the Corel Mako Reactor. A local named Barret Wallace leads the Turks through the mines, in order to reach the reactor. The Turks find Rufus Shinra and arrest him for conspiracy. Veld arrives on the scene and he realizes that Elfé is his daughter, who he believed had been killed in the destruction of Kalm years earlier. The Turks discover that AVALANCHE plans to wipe out all human life on the planet using the Materia fused into Elfé’s hand. The Corel Reactor is destroyed and Scarlet of the Shinra Weapons Division is dispatched to deal with the situation. She orders the destruction of Corel as part of a cover-up. Barret loses his hand in the conflict. His friend Dyne falls into a chasm and is believed dead. Barret finds Dyne’s daughter, Marlene, and the two flee from the area. Veld leaves the Turks to pursue Elfé and Tseng takes his place. A year later, the Gongaga Mako Reactor explodes. It’s believed this was caused by AVALANCHE.

The Turks are dispatched to Cosmo Canyon in order to capture a member of the sentient animal species that live there. The only ones left are Nanaki and a female named Deneh. The Turks meet Bugenhagen and he tells them that AVALANCHE intends to use the Materia lodged in Elfé’s hand to summon Zirconiade, a being with the power to wipe out all life on the planet and that the Materia is slowly killing Elfé. The Turks attempt to capture Deneh, but Nanaki intervenes and is taken in her place.

After spending four years in the Shinra Mansion, Zack manages to escape. Cloud is in a catatonic state, so Zack has to carry him. The Turks arrive at the Shinra Mansion and find Veld, who is researching a way to save Elfé’s life. The Turks defect from the Shinra Corporation to help Veld.

Zack encounters Genesis, Hollander, and Lazard on the way to Gongaga. Hollander injected himself with Genesis cells and Lazard had done the same with Angeal cells. Both of them die from degradation. Zack travels to Benora and slays Genesis, but Genesis is brought back to life by a being known as Minerva, who represents the will of the Lifestream. Zack leaves with Cloud, while Genesis’ unconscious body is taken by a member of Deepground.

Zack and Cloud almost make it to Midgar, but they are found by the Shinra army first. Zack makes a valiant last stand, but he is overwhelmed by the Shinra army. Cloud finds the dying Zack and the Buster Sword is bequeathed to him. Zack passes away and Cloud makes his way to Midgar, but his memories are screwed up due to the experiments that were performed on him. Cloud starts confusing his memories with that of Zack’s. A wounded Cloud is found on the streets of Midgar by Tifa and she quickly introduces him to AVALANCHE, as they need all of the help they can get in an upcoming mission…

To Be Continued.

Final Fantasy VII Remake will be released for PlayStation 4 on April 10, 2020.

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