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Final Fantasy VII Rebirth's Gongaga Region Sucks

I’m making my way through Final Fantasy VII Rebirth and mostly enjoying my time in its big open worlds, even if I do miss the more linear and guided feel of FF7 Remake’s Midgar. But about 45 hours into my playthrough I reached Gongaga, a maze-like jungle region filled with mushrooms and giant trees, and I quickly began to regret my plan to 100% every open-world area in FF7 Rebirth.

Three Things We Learned From The Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth Demo

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A little background about me, Zack Zwiezen. Regular readers likely already know this, but I’m not a Final Fantasy person at all. I’ve played and finished only two games in the franchise: FF7 Remake and the Crisis Core remaster. I also played an hour of FF15 and about four hours of Stranger of Paradise. That’s it.

However, I enjoyed FF7 Remake and Crisis Core! I liked Aerith, Tifa, Barret, and even Cloud. So I was excited to play Rebirth and see what happens next to these characters.

I also knew that Rebirth, unlike Remake, would be a much bigger game with large open-world areas that I would be unable to ignore. That’s because my brain is wired in such a way that I have to complete all the checklists in these big games. Plus, I like all the rewards and XP I get. And I also have to be honest with myself: I’m unlikely to ever play Rebirth again. I don’t have the time to go back and play massive RPGs like this freely. So if this is my only go through FF7 Rebirth, I committed from the start to doing almost everything in it.

And for the first 40-ish hours, this was fine. I had no regrets about doing everything in every region. Sure, some of the open-world activities and mini-games weren’t great or even actively boring, but nothing was too annoying and the good moments were frequent enough that I could deal with the slop.

Then I reached Gongaga and the game almost broke me and my plan to collect all the world intel in each region.

Gongaga is awful, annoying, and just no fun

I have no idea if Gongaga is fun in the original FF7 or if it’s hated. I don’t care. What I can tell you is this area blows Chocobo shit. For starters, it has the worst music of any of the regions I’ve visited so far. It’s an annoying song that loops over and over and feels like it was ripped out of a menu from Civilization 3. That wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t end up hearing the damn song over and over again while running around a claustrophobic forest aimlessly looking for where to go in this multi-tiered forest maze.

Unlike the other open-world regions in FF7 Rebirth up until this point, Gongaga is filled with overlapping pathways, trails, caves, trees, and other areas.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth – Gongaga Region OST

Now, if you just had to climb up some ladders or yellow-painted rocks to reach these areas, I’d not mind much. But no, instead, you have to use giant bouncy mushrooms to fling yourself and your Chocobo across the map. This sucks.

Making it worse: The mushrooms don’t directly tell you where you’ll land and unlike the next region—Cosmo Canyon—you have zero ability to control your bird mid-flight. So you land where the game wants you to land and that’s often not where you wanted to be. And sometimes, just getting to the right mushroom takes far too long as you run around looking for a tree-covered or vine-filled pathway or cave that will take you to the right level of this awful place.

The map is no help, just use a guide

Good luck relying on the map in Gongaga. Up until this point in the game, Rebirth’s map had been marginally useful most of the time. In this jungle nightmare, however, it’s borderline useless and sometimes lead me in the wrong direction. Eventually, I gave up and just looked online to find out how to reach a few final bits of world intel instead of slamming my head into a wall for another hour.

Oh and unlike the other areas of Rebirth where you can at least have fun running around the map on your Chocobo, Gongaga’s tight pathways, endless trees, and annoying design means you can’t even do that. Instead, get ready to hear your Chocobo cry out in pain over and over again as you bump into every damn branch, bush, boulder, vine, and shrub that exists in this green hell.

Yes, I like the reactor dungeon and main questline in this area a lot, too, but it doesn’t make up for everything else. Not even close. Not at all.

And I’m not alone in this hatred of Gongaga! After finishing up the region and reaching Cosmo Canyon (which I enjoy 1000x as much) I looked online and found many, many other people ranting about how annoying Gongaga is to explore.

So, let me be the first to give you fellow 100 percenters out there the permission to just look up some guides and videos on Gongaga so you can limit your time in this shithole and get to enjoy the rest of Rebirth instead.

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