7 Reasons Why We Love the Final Fantasy VII Materia System
The most famous attribute materia beholds is its phenomenal ability to grow, and growing stronger materia is a compelling way to hook players into the game and keep playing the game, developing stronger characters with advanced levels of materia. A simple first level Fire or Ice seems like a childish spell only making enemies flinch during the beginning of the game, a pathetic excuse for magical power. Once it finally grows to its second level, you get a little taste of what materia's potential power can do, turning enemies into popsicles and shish-kabobs with your new Fire 2 and Ice 2. Of course the final levels are the most devastating versions, as Fire 3 and Ice 3 scorch and freeze whole clusters of baddies. Materia continues to grow until it reaches master level, unlocking its full potential.
Materia Can Reproduce
When the player acquires mastery of any materia, its exponential growth enables it to replicate itself, giving birth to baby materia. The ability to reproduce is a minor incentive in leveling up your magical arsenal, and a unique quality shared by all types and variations. Baby materia can either be sold for 100% profit, or allowed to grow and mature into powerful materia of its own, as a player could potentially possess multiple generations of materia at one time. Some materia can only be acquire once during the entire game, so they only way to possess certain materia is to master it.
Material Works Together
Another factor to consider when creating a materia strategy is placement, and this varies depending on how the materia slots in your weapons and armor differ from one another. Single isolated slots cannot be affected by other materia, although when slots are connected, materia can be paired up in order to create an unlimited amount of effects. In fact some variations of material won't even activate unless linked with another, as strategic placement is crucial. Certain materia can also affect specific stats when equipped, and depending upon the particular weapon or armor, material can grow slower or faster from its unique properties.
Material is a Natural Phenomenon!
Materia is crystalline mako, the lifeforce of the planet, coursing through the space-time continuum in the form of mako streams. Just as mako energy gives Cloud's eyes a bright ghostly glow, materia in its original natural form is visually stunning. The upcoming HD remake of the game is assured to appropriately capture every high resolution detail of these amazing crystallized natural wonders. The significance of crystals has remained a consistent theme throughout the Final Fantasy series, adored and admired for invoking visions of a timeless journey full of adventure and unique characters, which are always guaranteed from a Final Fantasy game. Crystals also have great significance throughout much of ancient history, from the great pharaohs of Egypt to the Holy Roman Empire. "Crystals are literally a tool and a technology that’s essential for transmitting energy, and that is taking energy in one state and essentially converting it to another state," according to ancient-code.com.
Materia Comes in Many Forms
Each type of materia is attributed with a specific color, as the most common magic material is green. There are even super rare forms of materia that are only available through their own meticulous side quests, such as huge materia and master materia. Materia is also color coordinated, as each color corresponds as to what type it is, signifying what the materia's abilities are.
- Magic materia is represented by the color green, which includes all kinds of basic elemental spells. Fire, Ice, Bolt, and Restore are some of the very first spells introduced in the game, and become more and more essential to the player as the game carries on.
- Independent materia is pink, and is practically self-explanatory, as it works independently not having any effect on other materia through linking, equipping a passively supportive ability. Chocobo Lure materia enables battles against Chocobos, allowing the player to subdue one of these gigantic birds, as other independent materia boost character stats such as Luck Plus and Magic Plus.
- Summon materia is red, and allows the player to channel the magical prowess of ethereal creatures such as Shiva and fan favorite, Bahamut. Summon materia wields some of the most powerful magic within the game, and also comes with an entertaining cut-scene.
- Command materia is yellow, representing a variety of skills you can equip to a character, as opposed to magic spells. Actions such as Steal and Throw can be an awesome addition to a character's arsenal of abilities, as different commands can be strategically used against a variety of baddies and to the character's advantage.
- Support materia is blue, and must be positioned appropriately in order to activate, having to bond with otherwise active materia. Supportive passive abilities beef up many other spells, such as All materia giving magic the extra capacity it needs to unleash group assaults on enemies. Once your All materia is linked with your Earth materia, your character will be able to cast Quake on the entire opposing battle party, literally multiplying your magical power.
Casts basic magical spells, offensive and defensive.
Summons powerful entities to aid the player, offensive and defensive.
Allows character to use supportive and passive abilities, including stat boosting effects.
Allows character to use special abilities distinctive from magic, offensive and defensive.
Enhances the abilities of other materia when paired together.
Materia is the Knowledge of the Ancients
The Ancients are a mythical group of people within the Final Fantasy series, mentioned throughout many of the other games, especially relevant in Final Fantasy VII. They're officially refered to as the Centra, and were distinctively known as a migratory race, moving from place to place and perhaps even from planet to planet. Legends suggest the Ancients could wield magical abilities without the use of materia, although this magical knowledge is believed to be passed down through materia. Evidence of the existence of the Ancients can be found in the Temple of the Ancients, the Ancient Forest, and the Forgotten Capitol, all very mysterious and abstract areas of the game.
Materia is Valuable and Sometimes Even Priceless
Materia can cost the player a huge chunk of change, depending on its rarity and rank, although some materia can't be bought but instead only discovered. Certain side quests and other special requirements must be met in order to acquire these orbs of concentrated mako, although most of the time you'll have to spend your hard earned gil. Since materia is so valuable, you can also sell it for a tidy profit once it reaches higher levels, although the game developers have obviously discouraged the sale of certain materia due to how significant it might be in affecting gameplay. For example, all versions of Summon materia sell for only 1 gil, probably because Summon materia can only be obtained once during the game unless mastered.
A special thank you for those of you reading!
This article was written in anticipation for the Final Fantasy VII Remake, which will hopefully have an upcoming release date sometime during 2016. As all of us loyal fans continue to be patient, let's give the original the respect it deserves!