The Whirlwind Maze is a location at the top of the Northern Crater in Final Fantasy VII. It is a barren area filled with massive amounts of Mako sent by the Planet to heal the wound that is the Northern Crater. The WEAPONs lie dormant here. There are parts of the Maze where the player must jump through a flash of energy at the right time, or be knocked back and have to fight an enemy. It can only be visited once by climbing Gaea's Cliff.
Sephiroth waits for most of the game inside a Crystal in the Whirlwind Maze. He is awaiting the coming of the Black Materia to be brought to him by his Sephiroth Clones in a "Reunion". Cloud Strife is an unknowing member of the Sephiroth Clones, and so travels to the Whirlwind Maze with his party and the Black Materia in their inventory. Jenova under Sephiroth's direct control and in Sephiroth's form leads the party across the Planet until finally taking them here.
Cloud and his party descend down the crater walls to find and defeat Sephiroth. As they travel down, they slowly see all the other Sephiroth Clones fall from exhaustion, or be killed by Sephiroth himself. Finally the party reaches Sephiroth. Only three party members, including Cloud, and Tifa Lockhart can go forward, so they leave the Black Materia with one remaining party member. Yuffie Kisaragi and Vincent Valentine can never be chosen, as they are optional characters.
Sephiroth shows Cloud and his party Nibelheim, back before the Incident. It is here that Sephiroth shows Cloud that he was never in Nibelheim five years ago, rather it was another, Zack Fair. Cloud is confident that all this is just an illusion to trick him, but Tifa, the only other party member to be in Nibelheim, does not refute Sephiroth's claims. Sephiroth then tells Cloud that he is just another drone like all the other mindless Sephiroth Clones. Cloud breaks down emotionally. Jenova then pretends to be Tifa in order to trick the party member whom the Black Materia was left with to give it up into the enemy hands.
Rufus Shinra and his group of Shinra Executive, land in the Whirlwind Maze using the Airship Highwind. Seeing all the abundant Mako, Rufus thinks the Northern Crater to be the Promised Land. Cloud Strife then appears, appealing the Professor Hojo to tell him what his number was in the Jenova Project. Hojo laughs off how a specimen he considered a "failure" turned out to be the only successful Sephiroth Clone, but cannot recall much about Cloud.
Cloud rises into the air, and moves to a hibernating Sephiroth inside a pod. He personally hands Sephiroth the Black Materia, which then summons Meteor. The Planet then forces its protectors, the WEAPONs to rise and defeat the threat against it, creating a massive explosion of energy. Rufus and his entourage flee the chaos on the Highwind, taking Tifa and Barret Wallace with them. Cloud is flushed into the Lifestream, and leaves the party temporarily.
In the PC version of Final Fantasy VII, a bug exists in this area when playing on Windows XP. When the FMV showing the WEAPONs rising takes place, the game will crash when the WEAPONs climb out of the crater. While there are patches to fix the other bugs, no patch exists to fix this as of this writing. However, it is easily avoided by playing this section of the game in quarter screen mode. If that option is selected, the cut-scene will run without problem.
|Cloud Strife - Barret Wallace - Tifa Lockhart - Aeris Gainsborough - Red XIII - Cait Sith - Cid Highwind - Vincent Valentine - Yuffie Kisaragi|
|Temporary Playable Characters|
|Rufus Shinra - President Shinra - Professor Hojo - Tseng - Reno - Rude - Elena - Heidegger - Scarlet - Palmer - Reeve Tuesti - Gast Faremis - Lucrecia Crescent - Mayor Domino - Zack Fair|
|Elder Bugah - Bugenhagen - Big Bro - Biggs - Chole - Choco Billy - Chocobo Sage - Cloud's Mother - Mr. Coates - Dio - Don Corneo - Dyne - Eleanor - Elmyra Gainsborough - Ester - Godo Kisaragi - Elder Hargo - Deputy Mayor Hart - Mr. Holzoff - Ifalna - Jenova - Jessie - Joe - Johnny - Kalm Traveler - Marlene Wallace - Mukki - Myrna - Priscilla - Seto - Shera - Teioh - Wedge - Zangan|
|Locations on the Planet|
|Midgar - Sector 1 Reactor - Sector 8 - Sector 7 - 7th Heaven - Sector 5 - Sector 5 Reactor - Sector 5 Church - Sector 6 - Wall Market - Train Graveyard - Shinra Headquarters - Kalm - Chocobo Farm - Mythril Mines - Fort Condor - Junon - Junon Underwater Reactor|
|Costa del Sol - Mt. Corel - North Corel - Gold Saucer - Wonder Square - Battle Square - Corel Prison - Gongaga - Cosmo Canyon - Cave of the Gi - Nibelheim - Mt. Nibel - Rocket Town - Ancient Forest - Crystal Cave|
|Bone Village - Sleeping Forest - Forgotten Capital - Icicle Inn - Great Glacier - Gaea's Cliff - Whirlwind Maze - Northern Crater - Chocobo Sage's House|
|Cargo Ship - Wutai - Temple of the Ancients - Mideel - Cloud's Subconscious - Materia Caves - Goblin Island - Cactus Island - Round Island - Sunken Gelnika|
|Humans - Red XIII's Species - Cetra|
|AVALANCHE - Black Materia - Buster Sword - Chaos - Condor - Date Mechanics - Gi Tribe - Hardy-Daytona - Holy - Huge Materia - Jenova Project - Keystone - Leviathan Scales - Lifestream - Lunar Harp - Mako - Mako Reactors - Makonoid - Materia - Meteor - Nibelheim Incident - PHS - Promised Land - Shinra Electric Power Company - Siege of Fort Condor - Sister Ray - SOLDIER - Sephiroth Clones - Turks - Weapon - Wutai War - White Materia|
|Highwind - Buggy - Cargo Ship - Chocobo - Motorcycle - Submarine - Tiny Bronco - Shinra No. 26|
|Original Soundtrack - Reunion Tracks - Piano Collections
|Accessories - Armor - Demo - Enemies - Enemy Abilities - Items - Materia - Timeline - Walkthroughs - Wallpapers - Weapons|