DCFFVII Research Thread

Strangelove

AI Researcher
AKA
hitoshura
the direction (and/or maybe the engine itself idk) used for the cutscenes isn't one of square's best. the stuff with shelke and shalua in the wro hq had a few weird angles (all the spinning camerawork) and odd character movements (reeve, who had just kind of randomly appeared out of nowhere, shooting at the sprinkler but having his hand behind his back for a few moments too long so it looks awkward)

https://youtu.be/kJjuMD9TEiY?t=3259
 
- Turns out I've overlooked something when it comes to how one moves on from the second act of the Shera chapter. I have found this case where five "optional" character cutscenes are required in order for the game to move on after the scene outside the engine room. More research is needed.


- I decided to trigger some lose scenarios in Chapter 8, "Midgar Assault". In this first segment you have to save five WRO soldiers, four men and a woman (the Lieutenant). The woman is heavily implied to be the sister of either Wedge or Biggs of AVALANCHE. The fourth guy is found in hiding, with a cutscene to accompany this, unless he gets killed.

I started out with the "let everybody die" plan. Turns out...the woman is immortal. o__O Or rather, she is immortal until after the cutscene where she talks about her brother. Before this cutscene all her comrades can fall but she will remain standing no matter how much damage she takes. She took well over 20000 HP so I'm going to assume that before the scene she is programmed to never fall.

Humorously enough the game isn't entirely prepared for the scenario where the woman is the only one left standing from the very beginning. After the first batch of DG soldiers are defeated, the voice clip that says "MOVE OUT!" will be a male voice even if the female is the only one left. :P Trust me, it will get better.


There are two variations of the cutscene where the Lieutenant talks about her brother. If one or more of the WRO dudes survived, one WRO guy will pop up at the end. If nobody else survived, the scene gets cut off early. I uploaded a video showing this small difference. I have not confirmed if there are variations to the male voice at the end of the cutscene.


The variations become more complicated after this. I have uploaded a video with three variations.



0:00 -> 1:20 --- All five saved.
1:20 -> 2:44 --- Three guys saved.
2:44 -> 4:17 --- Nobody survived.


At 1:40 you will hear a female voice despite the cast being all male. Then at 2:41 you get the best moment of the video. What is supposed to be the guy saying "Sir!" ends up using the voice clip for the woman.

In the worst-case scenario, the commander will not thank Vincent. There is also a slight change in a line by Vincent when only the commander is around.

If one or more people are saved (or let's at least assume for now that this is the condition) Vincent will say:
"If you come with me, chances are you'll all die."
(0:59 & 2:23)

If nobody is saved, Vincent will speak directly to the commander:
"If you come with me, chances are you won't make it."
(3:52)

I find it very humorous that Vincent's line is tragically accurate in the scenario that he couldn't save the other WRO soldiers. :wacky:


Obviously there are more variations to be tried out and now we are curious if this error in voice clips is something that happens in the original Japanese game as well. But I'm not going to test these out anytime soon.
 
-
Agreed, the concept has its merit. It definitely fits the world-building of FFVII the way we have seen it so far, with the planet creating giant creatures as safety mechanisms. The biggest harm the concept alone does, in my opinion, is that it lessens the impact of the original Weapon because they are so much smaller in comparison to Omega.

I think many will agree that this overly large, epic concept is misused for such a short spin-off title as Dirge. Omega should have been saved for a big title to end the Compilation, maybe ten years or so after the original game, just so to not oversaturate the timeline with world-threatening disasters so close to one another. The original game's Meteor is supposed to be this once in a millennia huge thing, yet almost immediately we get the Omega threat which rivals that of Meteor in terms of planetary impact. That lessens the impact of Meteor, too, imo.


I dunno, Omega didn't lessen the WEAPONS for me, it was made for a different purpose. It's not an outside force acting on the Planet, this is the official, rubberstamped way to end the Planet, directly as a consequence of all the death Meteor caused.

Zirconiade, and whatever Sephiroth's plan is in AC, did get that reaction from me, though.
 

Saiffxv

Lv. 1 Adventurer
Thanks for all your work! I'm planning on getting DC FFVII International one day too and hopefully I can contribute to this. One thing I'm wondering about is if the online cutscenes can be viewed despite there being no online anymore?
 
One thing I'm wondering about is if the online cutscenes can be viewed despite there being no online anymore?
The Event Viewer (Theatre Mode) in the original Japanese game does not include any PlayOnline scenes. As far as I know all PlayOnline functionality in DC has been gone since September 2006. How much of the online-exclusive content still remains on the disc is unknown and so far nobody with the proper knowledge and tools has done digging through the game data.

In DC:International you can view the main cutscenes that were present in the online mode. Simply destroy the proper memory capsules in story mode and these cutscenes will be unlocked under the Event Viewer category "Antecedents". If you've browsed this thread you know that the Antecedents are not complete, as they lack this scene with Argento and the End Credits for the PlayOnline mode. Who knows what else we might have missed because we lack recordings from when the online mode of DC was still active back in 2006?

For more important links don't forget to check out our Dirge of Cerberus content page. =)
 
I'll never understand why they couldn't put the storyline in, connected to the Extra Missions. It should have been easier to do than the Online mode. Such a weird choice.
 
I have slowly been playing through Easy Mode in JORG, for the purpose of solving the mystery with the Event Viewer image that won't change the difficulty mode that is displayed. I am playing over the previous Normal Mode playthrough. Although I chose this to have an experience where nothing in the game is a threat, I have played without the S Auto Scope just for funzies.


There is A LOT I could say about this playthrough but right now I'll skip to the most exotic discovery. Guess what? I managed to get my save corrupted! :D



Followers will remember the NTSC-US version of this glitch. The visible effect was that you no longer had any of your Story Mode equipment in Extra Missions, but you were left with bare basic equipment and the two dummied, useless Auto Scopes.

How did the corruption manifest in JORG, where there are no Extra Missions available? It removed checkpoints.

Normally Chapter 9 allows you five checkpoints when you decide to revisit a playthrough. As such:


The corruption of my JORG save was first noticed after leaving the game at the halfway point of Chapter 10. Three checkpoints for Chapter 9 would never load.


It is not the case that Easy Mode provides fewer checkpoints. In my healthy memory save where Easy Mode had already been completed without glitches, the standard five checkpoints were present.

Revisiting my corrupted save from NTSC-US Hard Mode, I could see that no checkpoints failed to load. At least on the surface, the corruption of the save there is still limited to the Extra Missions.

What it looks like, still, is that this save corruption happens when you are "playing over" a past playthrough, in this case by doing Easy Mode after already having completed Normal Mode. I wonder if the glitch could just as easily have happened if I replayed Normal Mode from the start?


On a tangential note, this reminds me of a curiosity about the PlayOnline mode. I wonder if, just like with Extra Missions in the post-JORG versions, equipment gained in the story mode would ever transfer to your PlayOnline character. I honestly have no idea.
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
I wonder if this corruption glitch is due to there being so many points and/or modes where the game saves. I remember "Soul Calibur III" (another PS2 game) being prone to some corruption errors and it being theorized that this was the reason for the problems there.
 
- Now finished playing through JORG on Easy Mode (second time). I never levelled up, making this my first Lv1 playthrough. There is no real merit in not levelling up on Easy Mode because most enemies perform so little damage and whenever they do great damage you will always have plenty of restorative items stocked up anyway. Still I enjoy having done at least one playthrough of DC where I always choose gil over EXP.


- So what about the difficulty mode that is displayed/readable on the Event Viewer image in JORG? Last year the difficulty mode was stuck on "EASY MODE" when I started out on that difficulty and then moved on to complete Normal and Hard. I then started a new save where Normal Mode was my first ever playthrough on that save, leading to the Event Viewer image reading the aforementioned difficulty.

That time around I decided to leave the final memory capsule alone. I speculated that once the final memory capsule is taken, the Event Viewer image will stop updating the displayed difficulty mode. If my current Easy Mode playthrough is to be trusted, this theory was not correct.

I completed the game first without shooting the capsule. Normal Mode in the image did not change to Easy Mode. I then shot down the capsule and rechecked the image. Still "NORMAL MODE". I then used a backup save, from before Easy Mode had been fully completed, shot down the capsule and completed the game on Easy. Normal Mode remained the displayed difficulty on the Event Viewer image, even though all the checkpoint data read "EASY MODE".

There is a possibility that my corrupt save data is interfering with the game being properly updated here and it is also possible that some other weird set of conditions must be fulfilled in order to change the difficulty mode that is being indicated in the Event Viewer image.


HOWEVER. After these tests I am more inclined to believe in the easiest/simplest conclusion:
The Event Viewer image will read the difficulty that you first completed on that save and then it will never change.

If I am ever to have a save where "HARD MODE" is the displayed difficulty then I will have to start an entirely new save and have my first playthrough be in Hard Mode, simple as that.



- One huge surprise in this revisit of JORG. I actually gained the Guard N Barrel. Be it because the choppers were weaker or because the WRO troops were stronger (or both), the WRO guys remained standing even when hellfire rained upon them. They got hit by multiple missiles and still did not die, to my great joy. In fact it was way more difficult to keep the final four members inside the WRO HQ alive. Took me four tries before I got that one right and finally acquired the Guard N Barrel. So grateful for the appropriate checkpoint here.


My guess is that only Easy Mode in JORG is this kind when it comes to acquiring the Guard N Barrel. I wish the other versions and difficulty modes were this easy on you, given how difficult it is to take down all the missiles and save the troops.


- At first I was convinced that the choppers flew by way faster in JORG compared to post-JORG. A side-by-side comparison in Vegas Pro (that's how I compare gameplay videos, sometimes frame by frame) reveals that this was NOT the case. Because the camera zooms in more in JORG the choppers looked bigger/closer, giving the illusion of them travelling faster than post-JORG where they are more distant from the camera.


- After leaving the physical interior of Omega, Vincent descends on a mako/lifestream bridge. What I NEVER paid attention to before is that when gameplay begins, the elevation of this bridge increases. It ascends until you reach face-level of Omega. To think that I never noticed this before.


- I actually took the time to watch and listen to every cutscene in JORG. It was refreshing to experience the Japanese voices again. Even with my limited knowledge, I could also make out some neat differences between the Japanese version and the localization. For example after Shalua sacrifices herself, Shelke says "(Older) sister..." in the Japanese game. In the English game Shelke says "Shalua..."
*EDIT: Didn't notice before now that in the Japanese scene she refers to Shalua as "baka", which can mean idiot/fool. This connects to the later scene when Yuffie is around to hear when Shelke refers to Shalua as a fool. This same repetition of the word "idiot/fool" does not exist in the English game because in that version she only says it in the scene with Yuffie.*


It can be debated whether or not the impact is changed. Come to think of it, in the English game this may actually be the first time Shelke refers to Shalua by name so if you've paid attention this acknowledgement of Shalua as a person can have an impact. I find the Japanese reaction to be stronger though because it's her first acknowledgement of Shalua as a sister.

Although I like Shelke's Japanese voice because it has a pleasant distant softness to it I still prefer the English one. At first the lack of changes in intonation may come off as bad voice acting but as you learn to know the character it becomes more like the voice of somebody whose nervous system has been pushed to such extremes that they've had to distance themselves from emotions, turning their voice into a monotone one. As the plot progresses, there are more moments of Shelke's English voice actually exhibiting emotion, while still maintaining a remnant of that monotone quality. Whether intentional or not I think this serves to make you care more about Shelke's arc.



- I recorded a few scenes in JORG in preparation for future research. I will someday record all the subtitled JORG scenes then record all the scenes in DC:International with Japanese text on. Using Vegas Pro I will then compare each scene, side-by-side, to see if anything at all changed in the scene choreography and in the Japanese text. That research will have to wait until my next period of DC research.

As a ritual to help accept my DC oversaturation and to move on I have now stashed away my PS2 and my Elgato. For now I will only do DC research as far as it is possible with the files on my computer.
 
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Since you're the god of Dirge, I was wondering, do we have a HP count for the various enemies and WRO help in the game?
We do not have an official HP count. Neither the Japanese guide nor the Bradygames guide indicate enemy HP (or WRO HP for that matter), only the damage the enemies can cause on the player. The Japanese "DC Complete Guide" specify how the damage from enemy attacks change between Easy, Normal and Hard.

The Bradygames guide also mention the damage caused by enemy attacks, but it doesn't say if the values account for Normal, Hard and/or Ex Hard.

With the exception of the chopper in Chapter 10, which is specified to have a HP of 10000, there are no enemy HP values. If anybody has made a guide where the HP of enemies and bosses are included then those must have either been derived from playtesting or by ripping game values. :hohum:

Any particular reason you are curious about enemy HP? =)
 
Not related to actual research but two DC thoughts occurred to me just now.

- Dirge of Cerberus was first released in Japan on January 26, 2006. Guys... We are 1 1/2 months away from the 10-year anniversary of when fans were given a cliffhanger ending to the Compilation!

- If Dirge of Cerberus ever gets an HD release (which feels like it could happen as a consequence of the FFVII remake) I hope it doesn't get the cringe-worthy name of... HDC: FFVII.
Howling Dirge of Cerberus?
 
Silly me thought that the Bradygames guide was trustworthy when it came to invisible or hard-to-know in-game values, such as MP costs and stage rankings. While I have not confirmed inconsistencies in the latter, I confirmed an inconsistency in the former.

I set out to figure out what Vincent's total MP is if expressed in numbers. The Bradygames guide told me that a Fire Lv3 shot consumes 20 MP. Going from a full MP bar, I could fire five Lv3 shots before getting what appeared to be an empty magic bar. Ergo I could deduce that Vincent's maximum MP is probably 100, possibly 101 or even 102.

The Bradygames guide then told me that Blizzard Lv1 and Thunder Lv1 consume 17 MP.
17 times 5 = 85
17 times 6 = 102

But after six shots Thunder/Blizzard shots there were 2-4 MP units left in Vincent's magic bar! Somewhere the values are wrong and it is currently impossible for me to know exactly where.


I was at least able to confirm that by stepping on three Mako Points you can go from zero MP to full MP. This was easiest to confirm in JORG, as I simply stayed in Galian Beast form until all MP was consumed and then I stepped on three Mako Points. Magic restorative items could not be used after having done the above. If Vincent's max MP is 100 I reckon that one Mako Point restores 34 MP or approximately that.

Damn, it gets annoying when the energy spot is referred to as a Mako Point when I am simultaneously referring to numerical values and trying to keep the two separate. X/
 
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Intense DC research going on. Will divulge it all in due time.

For now I will assume that Vincent's max MP is 100 in both JORG and the post-JORG versions. Discovered (or rediscovered, I may have spotted this before) that in JORG, Ether restores 50MP while in post-JORG it restores 80MP. I am yet to compare the restorative powers of Spirit Rations and Red Ethers. The Bradygames guide claims that Ether restores 50MP but I have found this to be false in NTSC-US, PAL and International. That is, unless the post-JORG versions use a different base and Vincent's max MP is not 100.

In order to transform into Galian Beast in JORG, your MP needs to be 51 or higher. Depleting to 0MP, then using an Ether to restore 50MP will ergo not be enough to make Galian Beast available.

Added a section in the "Script & Translations" google sheet about GAME_VALUES. There you will find the materia data for JORG and the questionable (yet at least roughly accurate) tables from the Bradygames guide.

If somebody could help clear up the Japanese table for me that would be swell. I'm pretty sure the third column represents force/power, but I'm not sure what the fourth and fifth columns represent.


A tough aspect in visually analyzing Vincent's magic bar is that sometimes it may look like 1MP is left, when in fact you have 0MP. This is probably just a common graphical error with bars in video games. What this creates though is an annoying uncertainty which means that my own deduced MP cost values can't be entirely trusted.

Worst case scenario the magic meter and the magic materia uses DECIMALS. Let's hope that is not so.

One thing is for sure. Blizzard Lv1 and Thunder Lv1 do NOT have the same MP Cost post-JORG, despite what the Bradygames guide table says.

Starting at full MP and firing away until you can no longer fire, this what you end up with.

Thunder Lv1, FIVE SHOTS


Blizzard Lv1, SIX SHOTS

Can't say that the values I figured out feel correct either. If Blizzard Lv1 costs 16MP, then the image above shows a magic bar with 4 remaining MP (16 x 6 = 96). That...does not look like 4MP to me. *sighs* Decimals are probably involved here.
 

Strangelove

AI Researcher
AKA
hitoshura
The Japanese table ('characteristics of the three magic types') goes

- Type (Fire, Blizzard, Thunder; each with three levels)
- MP consumption
- Damage
- 'Blow damage'
- 'Guidance (tracking/seeking) power'

It's been a while but I guess 'blow damage could refer to it knowing enemies back when it hits? And the guidance one I'd say is if it homes in on the target ('homing' is the word I wanted but it totally slipped my mind before)
 
I have now given Tres the authority to edit the Script & Translations google sheet. Just in case he ever feels like adding anything to the document, be it something in Japanese, English or both. :monster:

Thanks for the translation hito. If you like I can give you editing powaz to the google sheet as well. Not sure if you absolutely need a gmail in order for me to give you access though.


Got a taste of the discoveries that can be made when you compare even just one particular scene between versions. In this case, the final scene of Chapter 11, "Weiss's Last Breath".


- When triggered via the Event Viewer in JORG, huge pieces of debris will be seen falling in the background (and once in the foreground when the camera briefly switches position). Curiously enough this never seems to happen when the scene is accessed via gameplay rather than the Event Viewer. I have also not been able to trigger the debris in PAL, NTSC-US or INT, be it through several attempts via gameplay or via the Event Viewer. Highly curious indeed.



- After comparing scenes, both from different versions and multiple recordings from the same version, I have seen a lot of randomized animations which are likely to be different each time. Particle effects, dust, flying rubble, lifestream/mako effects don't happen exactly the same each time.

Not only does this reveal that the scene in question is not pre-rendered but also hints at the advanced graphical programming behind making a PS2 game such as Dirge of Cerberus.

This also means that when comparing scenes you have to pay attention so that a difference in a lighting or a shadow effect is not just a random element, but something that is in fact different each time. One such difference is the shadow effect when Ghost Nero emerges.

JORG:




Post-JORG:


The above difference was always consistent and shows the decision to make Nero rise from a pool of darkness rather than to simply emerge from the physical floor.

I am reminded about a change that was made to a fire/explosion effect in Kingdom Hearts II. It's fascinating to know that the developers pay attention to making changes such as these even though only a handful of players worldwide may notice it on their own.
 
Fresh difference discovery:

Although Vincent's running speed is 1.2 times faster post-JORG compared to JORG, his slow crouching walk is 1.2 times slower post-JORG. When crouch-walking you have a slow walk and a fast walk. The speed of the fast crouch-walk did not change between versions, same with the standing walking speed. But the slow crouch-walk was decreased with 20% and the running speed was increased with 20%.

Contrary to what I used to think, Galian Beast does not run faster than normal Vincent. This is true for all versions. The only way in which Galian Beast might be "faster" is by its/his ability to clear close-quarter enemies faster by using melee attacks. EDIT: Well, then there is also the fact that Galian Beast can dash which is something Vincent can't do in JORG. So in that sense Galian beast can be faster than Vincent, in the original version.


Differences I noticed around a week ago but did not write about before today:

There are so far three elements which connect the PAL release and the International version.

#1) The ability to "outrun" the door triggers on the Shera so that a door may remain open even when you have gone a good distance from it. This was mentioned back in page 9 of this thread.

#2) In PAL and INT, the map compass vector includes a letter only for the north direction. The letters W, E and S for their respective cardinal directions have been removed.

JORG & NTSC-US versus PAL & INT


#3) In the aforementioned part of the scene "Weiss's Last Breath" where a change was made to the emergence of Ghost Nero when comparing JORG and post-JORG, a change was made so that Hojo glows more in PAL & INT.

JORG


NTSC-US


A small variance can be observed in the lighting of Hojo's lab coat as well as Weiss, presumably due to the added darkness of Nero's black hole. There is a slight change in Hojo's position, though if this is due to a "natural/random scene variance" and not an actual version difference is as of yet unclear.


PAL & INT


In this brief moment, it has been changed so that Hojo glows way green. Either this is meant to reflect the lifestream or distinguish Hojo as a hologram. Oddly enough, no other part of this scene showed a change in Hojo's glow. I confirmed that Hojo's glow is not a random element but in fact a change that PAL & INT have in common, which separates them from the two older versions of Dirge of Cerberus.


Ergo I deem it reasonable to think that the files of the International version are based on the PAL release rather than the NTSC-US one, presumably because the European was the most recent release of DC before DC:International came about.

The American version was released in August 2006. The European (and Australian) version was released in November 2006.
 
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More connective tissue between PAL and International!

The text of the tutorial pop-ups in the first chapter (and presumably later chapters as well) received small changes after NTSC-US.

NTSC-US




PAL & INT





The changes here to the red-colored notes are true for all subsequent tutorial pop-ups.
NTSC-US: control pad key definition(s)
PAL & INT: controller button configuration(s)


The Limit Break pop-up has a few more changes.
NTSC-US:


PAL & INT:


NTSC-US:
Vincent will return to his normal
form after a set period of time,
or when the :r1: and :l1: buttons
are pressed simultaneously.

Note: The control pad key definitions
listed above correspond to the
default settings.


PAL & INT:
Vincent will return to his
normal form after a set period
of time, or when :r1: and :l1:
are pressed simultaneously.

Note: The controller button
configurations listed above
correspond to the default settings.

I am not ruling out the possibility that some files were taken from the NTSC-US version as well. The start-up configuration menu in International looks more like the one in NTSC-US, though it could just as well be the PAL menu reworked into what we see in International.

Also divulged back in page 12 of this thread.

NTSC-US


PAL English


INT English
 
I am far ahead in the process of making the Dirge of Cerberus Version Guide into an actual reality, but if the readers would show their support by thanking my posts here that will help keep my energy up so that I may easier deliver the version guide before January 26. =)


The timer when you run to Reeve's office in the WRO HQ stops (as far as visible digits go) at 99:59:00, which is one hundred minutes minus one second.



Normally it will only take you about 30 seconds to reach the office and the timer will only have a single digit for the minutes but it expands to two digits when you reach the ten-minute mark.
EDIT: I was hoping that taking a really long-ass time to reach the office would trigger a different variation of the cutscene where Cait Sith knocks out a DG soldier, but unfortunately no noticeable change occurred.

This one is for the pop-up about your first electromagnetic barricade which requires cardkeys to be lowered.

JORG


INT Japanese ("JINT")

As you can see, the International version got two more rows of text added to the pop-up. If somebody could transcribe and translate that piece for me I'd very much appreciate it. :salute:
 
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Strangelove

AI Researcher
AKA
hitoshura
DGソルジャーが、街を封鎖する
ために配置した特殊な《バリケード》だ。

解除するために、
《カードキー》を探し出そう!!

《カードキー》は《バリケード》の
近くにいる敵が持っているはずだ!


[It is] a special <barricade> that the DG Soldiers have placed [here] to cut off the city.

Find out the <Card Key> in order to unlock it!!

[As for] the <Card Key>, an enemy near the <barricade> should have it!


look at that natural english, wow
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
&#12298;&#12459;&#12540;&#12489;&#12461;&#12540;&#12299;&#12399;&#12298;&#12496;&#12522;&#12465;&#12540;&#12489;&#12299;&#12398;&#36817;&#12367;&#12395;&#12356;&#12427;&#25973;&#12364;&#25345;&#12387;&#12390;&#12356;&#12427;&#12399;&#12378;&#12384;&#65281;

"An enemy in the vicinity of the barricade should have the cardkey!"


EDIT: Fuck's sake, hito. <3
 

Tashasaurous

Tash for Short
AKA
Sailor Moon, Mini Moon, Hotaru, Cardcaptor Sakura, Meilin, Xion, Kairi, Aqua, Tifa, Aerith, Yuffie, Elena, Misty, May, Dawn, Casey, Fiona, Ellie
It was Nomura's(or whoever else's) choice to use Vincent and FFVII storyline as the first Final Fantasy shooter game. Vincent was one of the few selected choices for a Final Fantasy shooter game.

The others were Barret, Irvine from FFVIII, and I think Yuna from FFX-2, but in the end, because Vincent's past was still unclear, they decided to use him, and thus, began a new title for the Compilation.

Still wish Square would make another new sequel title set after Dirge of Cerberus concerning with Genesis and(if he is to come back to life) Weiss, and that Minvera(ugh, why can't I spell anything properly) goddess seen in Crisis Core, though.
 
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