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In Final Fantasy 7 (the original), Shinra says that they plan to stop the Meteor by loading a rocket with Huge Materia, and sending it to blow up the Meteor. The next section of the game is going to different locations to steal the Huge Materia before Shinra can get/use it, ending with you stealing the Huge Materia from the rocket itself.

3-part question...

  1. If Shinra is attempting to destroy Meteor at this point, why does Cloud (you) want to stop them? I know that while on the rocket, Cloud makes some comment about how the Huge Materia is too special / important to lose it, but Shinra is attempting to save the entire Planet at this point.
  2. Why did Shinra still launch the rocket anyway if they didn't have all the Huge Materia to put on board as they planned?
  3. Is there an in-game explanation why it doesn't matter if you succeed in getting the Huge Materia or not? If you fail to get the Huge Materia in the mini-games during that part of the game; then wouldn't Shinra have put the Huge Materia on the rocket? Wasn't the whole point that the Huge Materia was the only thing they knew of capable of destroying Meteor?

I collected all 4 Huge Materia in my playthrough, but my understanding is that failing to collect and or all of them has no impact on the story or the results of Shinra's rocket launch.

Is this just one of those things where the story is a bit unclear/confusing; or did I miss something about Shinra's plan to destroy Meteor?

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  • Please don't answer in comments. – Wrigglenite Mar 15 at 16:00
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    @Wrigglenite Sorry, I tried to make it clear it wasn't an attempt at an answer but just thinking material. I guess I'll refrain from doing that at all. – Clockwork Mar 15 at 16:03
  • Regarding point 3, I thought it made a slight difference in that you'd get the Summon for Bahamut ZERO if you got all four Huges? – AJM-Reinstate-Monica Mar 16 at 14:26
  • @AJM-Reinstate-Monica Yes that's correct. I just meant that it didn't matter in terms of the story or the plot. – GendoIkari Mar 16 at 16:19
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  • 1. Lack of trust in Shinra and will to defeat Sephiroth: Cloud knows that even the Huge Materia would not be enough to destroy the Meteor, he knows that for the Meteor to be defeated, Sephiroth, his summoner, has to first be defeated. In fact if you visit Bugenhagen while playing Cid when the Huge Materia plot just starts, he explains that destroying it would critically injure the planet. Cloud and his team trust Bugenhagen hence it is very likely that Cid would share this critical information to Cloud. Cloud, having been betrayed several time by the Shinra, does not believe in anything they are doing. Shinra could be doing the right thing that he would still seek to oppose them as he thinks that Shinra is intrinsically evil and indeed has a history of solving issues in a pretty nasty ways (refer to pretty much any of the crew members: Barret/Dyne (crushed rebellion), Vincent and Nanaki (laboratory pets) etc if you still need to convince yourself). The crew members will still question the decision of Cloud to challenge Shinra regarding the huge materia.

  • 2/3. Avoid potential retaliation from upper management: You have to think about Shinra as a huge corporation in a dystopian world. Shinra department in charge of the rocket knows that they can't just tell their bosses that they cannot launch it. In authoritarian regimes, failing people are always quick to be beheaded, leading to data manipulation in order to not encounter problems. Hence it is better to launch the rocket and pretend that the meteor was too strong to be stopped.

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  1. If Shinra is attempting to destroy Meteor at this point, why does Cloud (you) want to stop them? I know that while on the rocket, Cloud makes some comment about how the Huge Materia is too special / important to lose it, but Shinra is attempting to save the entire Planet at this point.

I believe the comment you are referencing is when Cloud says, on the rocket ship:

Hey, Cid! What're you doing!?
There are generations of knowledge and wisdom inside the Materia.
We're gonna borrow their powers and save the planet from Sephiroth.
There's no way that we can lose the Huge Materia. You understand that, right?

He does have a point; that Huge Materia can indeed be useful. You can use it to get Bahamut ZERO and to get Master Materia.

But Cloud is in no condition to make decisions when the team first starts taking the Huge Materia from Shinra. It's actually Barret who first says:

Can't let Shinra get a hold of the Huge Materia!

Barret of all people is not inclined to go along with Shinra; he's been bombing their reactors, he thinks they are killing the Planet, and they just tried to execute him. So trying to stop whatever they're doing is automatic for him.

Also, consider how the team even knows about this plan. They were tipped off by Cait Sith/Reeve. Reeve designs Mako reactors; he presumably knows a lot about Mako/Materia and would know whether the plan had a reasonable chance of succeeding. The fact that he tips off the team about this plan and doesn't say a word supporting it likely means that he (correctly) doesn't think it will work.

  1. Why did Shinra still launch the rocket anyway if they didn't have all the Huge Materia to put on board as they planned?

At that point they do still have one Huge Materia to put on the rocket - they've already collected the Huge Materia from Nibelhiem before you learn about their plan. (This is the one you can steal while on the rocket.) Think about the situation when they launch. Meteor is so close that it's prominent in the sky. Your party has already shown themselves capable of holding off the Turks, so them recapturing it from you in time doesn't seem likely - indeed, it's more likely that the one they still have will be stolen too if they delay. And they know the disaster that will happen if they do nothing. So why not launch it with the one Huge Materia and hope that's enough?

  1. Is there an in-game explanation why it doesn't matter if you succeed in getting the Huge Materia or not? If you fail to get the Huge Materia in the mini-games during that part of the game; then wouldn't Shinra have put the Huge Materia on the rocket? Wasn't the whole point that the Huge Materia was the only thing they knew of capable of destroying Meteor?

It simply doesn't work. It turns out that throwing Materia at a giant meteor doesn't destroy it. Meteor does appear to take some damage whether or not the Huge Materia is present; maybe that's due to a bunch of extra rocket fuel exploding or something.

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