Memories and the Planet
After Gongaga, the team hit two memorable locations that open up the narrative considerably. This starts with Red XIII’s hometown of Cosmo Canyon, and the buggy breaking down. There we meet Bugenhagen, an old mystic who teaches Cloud and the rest about the Lifestream and how Mako is the lifeblood of the planet. This is where you learn the meat behind all of Avalanche’s eco-terrorist propaganda. You also have a dungeon area that reveals some of Red XIII’s past and his family. Just my opinion, but some of this section is a little unrelated to the rest of the plot, and it’s a contender for a bit of a cut.
After the buggy gets fixed, its off the Nibelheim, and probably the most meaning-filled sections of the whole game. This section is seminal and will likely be very true to the original. If Kalm is in Part Two, then it stands to reason that Nibelheim will be in Part Two as well. They foreshadow and then explain the same central narrative for Cloud, Tifa, Sephiroth, and Zack Fair’s history. Nibelheim is Cloud and Tifa’s hometown, and here is where we see Sephiroth and Cloud’s past play out, as Sephiroth searches the old Shinra mansion for information about the lifestream, Hojo’s experiments, and Jenova. We venture into the Nibel mountains and see the Nibelheim Mako reactor and the creatures and clones being created there, some of which we saw in Part One under Midgar. Sephiroth couldn’t handle what he found out about himself, and fought Tifa and Cloud in the reactor before torching the town.
In the present, expect a ghostly section where the team explore the Shinra Mansion, much like the revamped Train Graveyard in Part One. The town is almost a ghost town too, so possibly not much in the way of quests here. In the bowels of the mansion we will also find former Turk, Vincent Valentine, another of Hojo’s experiments, whose story will probably be further fleshed out, considering Weiss and Nero’s inclusion in Intermission. As we travel into the Nibel Mountains, and then the reactor, there’s probably an argument for a shorter Part Two finishing here, ending on a duel with Sephiroth, Jenova and that old classic, the Materia Keeper. But I don’t think it’ll end here.