|Final Fantasy VII|
Northern Cave as it appears in Smash.
|Unlock criteria||Complete the Sephiroth Challenge (before version 10.1.0)|
Bolded tracks must be unlocked
|Ultimate||Final Fantasy series music|
Main: One-Winged Angel / Advent: One-Winged Angel
Alternate: all other Final Fantasy series music
Northern Cave (北の大空洞, Great Northern Cavity) is a Final Fantasy stage in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It is bundled with Sephiroth in Challenger Pack 8, which is also part of the Fighters Pass Vol. 2. It was released on December 17th, 2020.
The stage has a singular main platform with two smaller platforms at the very ends, similar to Kalos Pokémon League. The background depicts the events at the end of Final Fantasy VII, where Cloud Strife and his party set off to defeat Sephiroth. The platforms stay frozen in place regardless of the background events, making it similar to Final Destination in this regard. The main platform is congruent to the main platform of Battlefield and Final Destination. The small platforms are exactly as high and almost exactly as long as Battlefield's small platforms, and the blast lines are close to Final Destination's.
Ω form and Battlefield form
The main platform of the Ω form and Battlefield form is identical to how it appears in the normal form, due to matching the shape and size of that of Final Destination and Battlefield. The three soft platforms of the Battlefield form also resemble the floating soft platforms of the normal form.
Since Northern Cave lacks any hazards to begin with, no changes are made when hazards are turned off.
Northern Cave is the final dungeon of Final Fantasy VII, located in a crater at the northern reaches of the world. The crater was created two thousand years ago when the alien lifeform Jenova crashed into the planet. Cloud and his party arrive here to defeat Sephiroth after the murder of Aerith Gainsborough, only to be manipulated into handing over the Black Materia to Sephiroth's real body, which was encased in a mako cocoon. Upon receiving the Black Materia, Sephiroth summons Meteor, a massive comet which he intends to use to wipe the planet of all life. He places a barrier over the Northern Crater to prevent interference from the Weapons, powerful lifeforms that defend against threats to the planet.
The party learns from the sage Bugenhagen that Sephiroth's will is holding back Holy, a spell Aerith had managed to cast before her death—and the only thing that can stop Meteor. After Shinra's Sister Ray pierces the barrier over the crater, the party enters the Northern Cave for a final confrontation with Sephiroth. When they defeat his Bizarro and Safer forms, the party believes the threat of Sephiroth to be over, but Cloud passes out and has one final confrontation with him within his mind. Upon Sephiroth's final defeat, Holy activates and the party scrambles to escape in their airship, the Highwind. It seems that all is lost and Holy is too late to stop Meteor's impact, but the planet's Lifestream rises up to aid Holy. The Super Smash Bros. stage depicts the Highwind entering Northern Cave, the activation of Meteor, and the intervention of both Holy and the Lifestream, the latter two events having pragmatic alterations from the original ending, as Meteor was originally shown on a collision course with Midgar versus appearing outside the Northern Cave.
The original game's ending is ambiguous as to what happened after the Lifestream intervened, only featuring a scene set 500 years later where party member Red XIII is seen approaching the ruins of Midgar, but later entries in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII series make it clear that Meteor was stopped in time to prevent Sephiroth's plan for mass extinction — though not without damage to the planet — and that humanity also survived.
Northern Cave has previously appeared as a stage in the Dissidia: Final Fantasy series of arena-based fighting games. This specific version of Northern Cave was referenced in Ultimate by the background after descending into the crater and immediately before the scene of Holy being activated being directly based on the former's layout and design. As in Dissidia, the stage's main platform is based on the floating rock where Cloud and his party battle Jenova∙SYNTHESIS in the original game.
Due to the stage lacking stage hazards and possessing a layout similar to Kalos Pokémon League, several players have suggested legalizing the stage. Compared to Kalos Pokémon League, the blastzones are smaller, while the platforms are lower and stick less out from the edges, and the stage doesn't have vertical walls; overall, these changes might make the stage less favorable for camping than Kalos Pokémon League. However, there have been some concerns that the background is too visually busy and distracting, especially during the meteor section. There are also occasional concerns with music licensing issues when it comes to playing Final Fantasy music on the tournament livestreams, due to Square Enix's tighter copyright, which some tournaments, such as Low Tide City 2022, outright replacing it with Kalos Pokémon League because of this, along with the aforementioned background problems. Due to releasing during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a lack of showing even at offline tourneys, the legal status of the stage was unclear until after the return of offline tourneys, in which this stage is picked as a counterpick in many tourneys.
In his coatless alternate costume.
Sephiroth with Kazuya.
Genesect firing Techno Blast on this stage.
Names in other languages
- Lady Luck on the side of the Highwind is the first female character from the Final Fantasy universe revealed to be in Smash Bros. due to being revealed in Masahiro Sakurai's Pic of the Day two days before Sephiroth's presentation.
- Northern Cave is the first downloadable stage that must also be unlocked, albeit only for early access and not as a permanent feature.
- Because of this, Northern Cave is the only stage in Ultimate that has had to be actively unlocked.
- The stage's default My Music settings are non-standard. Both One-Winged Angel and Advent: One-Winged Angel are set to maximum probability by default, and all other songs from the Final Fantasy series are set to 25% probability.
- In the stage selection screen, each form of Northern Cave showcases a different section of the stage: the default form is shown outside the cave with Meteor falling, the Battlefield form is shown outside the crater, and the Ω form is shown within the cave with Holy in the background. It is the only stage with this distinction.
- Discounting the image of Lady Luck on the Highwind, Northern Cave is the one of two paid DLC stages without any visible background characters, along with Hollow Bastion (if the Stations of Awakening are discounted).
- Masahiro Sakurai revealed in a YouTube video that he took several photographs of a model jet to show what the Highwind escaping the Northern Cave should look like.
|Final Fantasy universe|
|Fighters||Cloud (SSB4 · SSBU) · Sephiroth (SSBU)|
|Stages||Midgar · Northern Cave|
|Other||Aerith Gainsborough · Bahamut ZERO · Barret Wallace · Chocobo · Ifrit · Leviathan · Odin · Ramuh · Tifa Lockhart|
|Trophies & Spirits||Trophies · Spirits|
|Music||SSB4 · Ultimate|
|Related universe||Kingdom Hearts|