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There is a reason why FFVII is seen as one of the most re-playable games of all time and that reason can be summarized in just one, hyphenated word: Side-Quest. There is a huge array of side-quests. Some will be almost vital to you, whereas others will make you want to top yourself.

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Getting Yuffie:

One of the first 'side-quests' you'll come to; Yuffie is a playable character which you'll encounter in any forest area battle if you're lucky. She'll come up as 'Mystery Ninja' as you fight her. She'll make some pretty harsh moves (which you can't actually use when you have her in your party - which is a shame else she'd actually be half useful). Anyway, beat the living daylights out of her for a bit, and then eventually there'll be an odd little scene. The ninja will be on the floor, so go talk to her! She'll whine about how much she sucks and then challenge you to another fight. If you want her in your party then choose the following answers: Last answer, 1st answer, last answer, 1st answer and then the last answer again - she'll run after you, do a bit of nyuk-nyuking and then join your party. Woo.

Oh one thing though - if you choose any other option or go to the save menu, the little twunt will nick 200 gil from you.

Getting Yuffie will unlock a horde of other little goodies for you, like:

Don Corneo part II:

In disc or 2 (I'm not sure if you can do it in 3) once you have the Tiny Bronco go to the long strip of land at the far left of the map - there'll be a town at the top of it. This is Wutai - Yuffie's home-town. There'll be a series of bridges before it, stop off before them and walk up the mountain to the first bridge. A cut-scene will appear with Yuffie and some Soldiers. Yuffie will then nick off with all your materia. That's right - every single materia you've worked so hard to get will be gone, so make sure you're pretty buffed up because there's a long path ahead:

Work your way over the bridges and up to the town of Wutai. Theif will see you and run like the wind to avoid your wrath - it's up to you to find her. Cross to the left and exit via the top left of the screen. This will take you to a large court-yard. Go inside the right building and hunt around for a bloke on the floor that is sleeping. Talk to him a few times until he stands up. Yuffie will appear and will then be chased out by her father *gasp*.

Go back to the first section of the town and go in to the building on the bottom left. Dear god it's the Turks...Who are handily off duty. Go talk to them all for a bit and then leave. A cut-scene will occur before play resuming. Go to the item shop towards the back of the screen and open the chest for a materia that Yuffie will steal from you. Leave the shop and head into the south-east building - press the action button near the room divider and Yuffie will be found again. Chase her back outside and then go back to the building where the Turks were. Outside you'll notice a big clay pot which is moving. Examine it and Cloud will smash it for a bit - finding Yuffie who'll lead you back to her house.

During this - Elena has a hissy fit and buggers off somewhere. When you resume play you'll be told to pick a switch. It doesn't matter which one you pick because you're well and truly fudged when a big cage drops on the rest of your party from above. Release them and chase Yuffie again. This time; head back to the courtyard and to the left building, ring the bell and a door will open at the side of it. Go through the door and find the fat Don kidnapping your ninja and Elena...Which could be good in a way...Hmm...

Anyway, chase the Don outside and you'll run into Reno and Rude who'll go on with themselves for a bit before 'teaming up' with you. Go back to the 1st screen and use the northern exit to arrive at the Da Chao Mountains. Go up the path until it splits and then head north - talk to Rude who will head into a cave (you can get a weapon for Cid here but that's not for me to cover) then exit and talk to Rude again who'll run off. Head south and you'll see the Don's display of bondage. Nice...I think not. Beat the Mako out of his creation and then after a bit of a scene you'll get all your materia back. Ahhhh...

There's also something else you can do with Yuffie in Wutai:

Wutai Pagoda

Make sure you have Yuffie in your party or else you won't be able to do anything in the pagoda in the Wutai courtyard - you'll just get whined at by the bloke who's in there. It's also advisable to have Yuffie at a decent level with materia such as enemy skill (with big guard) or other useful materia of you choice.

Go into the pagoda and the bloke inside will go off on one to Yuffie, who'll just get cocky. After this big of dialogue you'll get challenged to a one-on-one. Win and go to the next level, where someone else will go off on one before fighting you. This will continue until you get to the top level of the pagoda with Lord Godo - Yuffie's father.

Fight him, beat him and go into a bit of dialogue before earning your prizes: I think you earn Yuffie's LV4 break (all creation) and the Leviathan summon, but I'm not sure.

Getting Vincent:

A bit of a pain if you're not at a high enough level; go to the Shinra mansion in Nibelheim, and if you want to take the short route instead of all the puzzle-solving, go up to the top floor, head left and go into the room with the safe. Press the action button and enter the following code - make sure you don't go over the numbers - else you won't get it:
Right to 36, Left to 10, Right to 59, Right to 97

You'll hear a nice pinging noise if you got it right, before heading into a battle with some really weird monster called "lost number". One side is weak against magic, while the other is strong. It's a bit weird really.

It's alright - except the fact that it can cast level two spells like lightning 2 etc. Just keep hammering the fudge out of it with your physical attacks and limit breaks, heal when you need to and keep an eye on things in general and you should be perfectly fine. After this battle, pick up the key (plus the Odin materia and Red XIII's Lv4 limit break - but that's not for me to cover either) and head down the same route that you do when going to meet Sephiroth (down the spiral staircase and that stuff).

Head to the screen just before the library and you'll see a door - with the key you got from lost number you'll be able to go inside. There'll be a coffin and some other random gothic stuff. Press the action button next to the coffin to see Vincent - but you'll have to talk jibberish for a while to get him into your party. Bear with him though because he's actually quite handy. Just choose the bottom option each time he asks you a question - constantly knock on his coffin when he closes it and then try to leave and Bob's your uncle...Well not really...

Like Yuffie: there's something extra for those with Vincent in their parties:

"Sephiroth is dead": Lucrecia's waterfall.

Not really a quest - but it's something extra.

In discs 2 or 3, go to the Western continent and to that big pool of water near North Corel (you can't miss it). Have Vincent in your party and enter the water-fall. There'll be a bit of a scene with Lucrecia and Vincent, before being put outside again.

Fight for a bit and eventually make your way back to the waterfall with Vincent still in your party - run up to the 'throne' and you'll get a few nifty items for Vincent. Nice.

Chocobos

The one question EVERYONE asks when playing this game... "How do I get a gold chocobo?". Well my dears it takes time and patience. Lots of patience...Hang on you lot - you're in for a bumpy ride.

Ok...First thing's first: it's VERY recommended that you have the W-Item materia with you and the chocobo lure materia mastered. I'll explain why later.

Equip the lure and head to Mideel. Get into a few battles - I'd catch around 6 chocobos just to be safe. Head back to the chocobo farm, talk to the owner in the house and buy at least 4 stables (which will cost at least 40,000gil). Then head into the stables and talk to the guy who sold you the chocobo lure in the first place. Select the 'moving chocobos' option and you'll be taken to a screen. If you see a chocobo with a comment like "hmm...This is a great chocobo!" - then that's the one you want. Take two 'great' chocobos and shove them into your stables - make sure you note their sexes. Release the rest - you don't really need them do you?

Next head to the Gold Saucer area and head south a bit until you see chocobo tracks. Catch another group of chocobos before heading back to the ranch and doing the 'moving chocobos' thing again. This time look for "this chocobo seems quite good" or something along those lines. Put them in but MAKE SURE THEY ARE THE OPPOSITE SEX TO YOUR GREAT CHOCOBOS. This might take a while...Ok it will definitely take a while depending on how lucky you are.

Next - head up to the Northern continent (the icy region) and fly around until you spot a single house near a patch of grass. Land and go into the house - this is where you'll meet the Chocobo Sage. Buy 2 Sylkis Greens (the most expensive greens) then get into a random battle. This is where the W-Item trick comes into play. Get the character who has W-Item on them to select one of the greens as normal, for the next, simply hit the cancel button (X) - keep hammering o and then x repeatedly until you get 99 greens, then finish the battle and head back to the stables.

Feed 60 greens to a chocobo and then get into another random battle - multiply your greens back to 99 using W-Item, feed another chocobo and keep going like that until you've fed all chocobos. After this - go to Gold Saucer and head to the Chocobo Square. Talk with Esther and enter a chocobo to race. This is where it starts to get annoying because it takes a pretty long time. Race each of your chocobos until they win 6 races in total (therefore reaching the 'A' class). After this - head to just outside Bone Village and go around until you encounter a big red dragon thing (Vlakrados) - steal from it until you get a Carob Nut. Get three of these nuts before heading back to the stables.

Make sure you save your game here incase something cocks up. Go into the stables and this time select 'mating chocobos'. Talk to one great chocobo and then one good chocobo - select the Carob nut and wait. You'll either get a purdy blue chocobo, a lovely green chocobo or just a boring yellow one. If it's blue or green - make a note of its sex and colour, leave the stables and save your game. After this, return to the stables and do the mating option with the other two chocobos and the same nut you used as last time. If you get the wrong colour or the wrong sex then just reset. You need to get different a blue chocobo and a green chocobo or different sexes before you can go any further.

Got them? Good - you're ready to move on.

Use the W-Item trick to feed your new coloured chocobos - you'll need 60 or so greens each time. Head to Gold saucer - race them to 'A' class and head back to the stables, save your game, choose the mating option with the green and blue chocobos and use the last Carob nut. Wait and see if you get a black chocobo. If you do - that's great! It's what you want. Make a note of its gender, save and exit the stables.

Now it can get really annoying. Head to the northern continent and land on the grassy strip. Run up to the chocobo tracks further up and catch a lot of chocobos. Head back to the stable and move chocobos. What is annoying here is that you'll get really weak chocobos almost all the time, if you're lucky you'll get a "this...is a wonderful chocobo!" quote - which is good because it's what you want...but bad if it's the wrong sex. Damn. But if you get a wonderful chocobo with the right gender - put it into your stable and breathe a sigh of relief as you haven't got far to go.

Max out their stats with the W-Item trick on the greens again (60 will do) and head up to Gold Saucer once again. This time - make the chocobos win 9 races each - taking them up to 'S' class (the height of uberness) before heading to the North-East section of the world map to a group of small islands named Goblin Islands. Wait until you encounter a Goblin and then steal from it until you get a Zeio nut. Head back to the stables and choose the mating option. Talk to the black chocobo and the wonderful chocobo and let them have sweet sweet love with a Zeio nut and jump for joy as you finally get your gold chocobo.

Of course you COULD just take the desert rose you get from Ruby Weapon to the traveler in Kalm...But that's even harder if you ask me!

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