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31 Bonus Levels of Christmas
Final Fantasy VII: Snowboarding Race
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 01, 2010   |   Episode 7 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're taking a look at 31 of the best-known bonus stages in all of video games. Each day we're going to look at a different level and review it, while also trying to figure out what makes it tick. Join us as we post a new episode of the 31 Bonus Levels of Christmas every day leading up to the biggest holiday of the year!
Final Fantasy VII: Snowboarding Race
[ Console: PlayStation | Year: 1997 | Grade: A ]

Final Fantasy VII - the Cool Boarders killer!
The Context: At the start of the second disc, Cloud and his posse are introduced to the cold climates of the Great Glacier. Up until this point this band of adventurers had fled a city, battled way too many random monsters and had a moment at the Gold Saucer. But now they've traveled to the Icicle Inn, where they have a chance to search out and find a snowboard. As wacky as it sounds, it's time to push Cloud to the limit and shred the hill, bro. Once this out of place object has been obtained, our spikey-haired hero can return to the Gold Saucer to race against the clock. I'm sure Sephiroth can wait.

The Rules: In this curious bonus level, players are asked to speed to the bottom of a snowy mountain using only a snowboard and an effeminate hero with one set of ugly clothes. Even with

Cloud's snowboarding was so legendary that Square decided to turn it into a full game!
the twists and turns, this isn't a difficult bonus level. Gravity pulls Cloud down the hill, so it's up to the player to steer him away from obstacles and around tight corners. The game keeps track of the best runs, which makes it easy to compare scores with other Final Fantasy VII fanatics.

The Verdict: It's not often that an insignificant bonus level gets turned into a full game, but that's exactly what happened with Final Fantasy VII. Mobile phone users can pick up copies of Final Fantasy VII Snowboarding, a slightly

So when is Square going to get around to making Final Fantasy X Blitzball for the iPhone?
enhanced version of this 1997 mini-game. Regardless of where you come down on the cell phone game, there's no denying how much fun this PlayStation 1 bonus stage is. It's not as deep as the game's combat, but it doesn't need to be. It offers a fast and exciting diversion from the non-stop turn-based battles.

Completely Missing the Point: This Final Fantasy VII bonus stage sends the wrong message to the impressionable youth. This seminal adventure game suggests that snowboarders don't need to wear protective gear. If Cloud can't be bothered to wear pads and a helmet, then why should I? My hair is just as spectacular as his, so I might as well throw caution to the wind and pretend that I'm invincible. Square's irresponsible act may have cost somebody their life. Final Fantasy VII has blood on its hands!
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