Posted By GlitterBerri at 12:01 AM on Friday January 21, 2011
This map, “JUNPB_1″, is very interesting. It’s one of the maps we see in the GameFan article in Prerelease Shots Part 2, written 9 months before the release of the final game.
As we can see in this picture, the older version of the bar contains an NPC we’ve never seen before, a black-haired fellow with green pants. Nothing too remarkable, perhaps.
Now we hop to “JUNPB_2″. A basement with a ladder showing a strategic-looking map, a few tables, and, if we look closely, a microwave, a rifle, and some shells. A pretty well-armed place!
You’ll notice that despite the map names, “JUNPB_1″ and “JUNPB_2″ don’t actually belong to the same location. “JUNPB_1″ is the actual pub in Junon, while “JUNPB_2″ is in the basement of a separate building and houses the intermediate Beginner’s Hall, in which a number of people from the first Beginner’s Hall who were killed by the plate in Midgar help you review how the game works. Despite the current discrepancy, these locations were clearly once the same place.
Lending credence to this theory is another screenshot on the same GameFan page linked previously, showing the former pub basement with the same black haired, green-garbed NPC standing next to another lost NPC in overalls. The table in the older version of the map is also full of stuff.
Both of these NPCs appear in yet another shot from GameFan, this time on a different page. We see them here hanging out in Rocket Town with more than one Cloud sprite. Not sure what that’s about. Gee, these NPCs seem to have been pretty important. Where else in FF7 can we find well-travelled secondary characters who appear in multiple places and spend most of their time hanging out in the basement of a bar?
…That’s right, Seventh Heaven! Now, on first glance, Seventh Heaven might have nothing in common with the maps above. But on a closer look at “JUNPB_1″, you’ll see it boasts a few features that reappear again in Tifa’s bar. Namely, the fan in the wall, a jukebox on the same side as the fan, a mini-fridge across from it, and the bar next to the fridge. The room layout is very similar, though it’s been flipped. Click here and here to compare.
Next we take a look at the basement of Seventh Heaven. Though it has changed quite a bit from “JUNPB_2″, both nonetheless look like places AVALANCHE might have planned tactics in order to carry out their operations.
Shademp and I speculate that “JUNPB_1″ and “JUNPB_2″ were the original design for Seventh Heaven and its basement, and though they got discarded, remain in the game. The unseen NPCs are possible early members of AVALANCHE, back when the story was much different. If you aren’t with us yet, there are two final images from the “Making Of” bonus disk included with FFVII International that might change your mind.
Concept art of the bar and the basement. While the text on the left is unreadable, the text on the right says “Basement Hideout” (地下 アジト) and shows stairs leading up instead of a ladder.
|「勘違いするな。お前達アバランチ||Make no mistake. I don’t care about|
|にも興味はない。俺は今回の報酬を||you AVALANCHE. Once I get my|
|きっちりもらって次の職を探すさ。」||reward, I’m off to look for my next job.|
(On a side note, a third, unrelated JUNPB map also exists, “JUNPB_3“. Despite the name, today it, too, is at a completely separate location from the other two maps, found underneath the weapon shop in Junon. While there are no hints as to how this might fit into our speculation, it is possible that this was a third redesign of the bar of Seventh Heaven.)
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