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The Best Ship to Limit Break Your Enemies – The Highwind Breakdown

3 Minute Read
Apr 16 2023
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Some ships are made to push the limits, but the Highwind was designed to break them. We break down Final Fantasy 7‘s iconic ship.

Of all the projects funded by the Shinra Electric Power Company, the airship known as The Highwind might be the only one that didn’t end in an ecological disaster. Perhaps this is because the ship itself was designed by none other than Cid Highwind, an ace aeronautical engineer whose loyalty to Shinra stopped at the end of his paycheck.

Whatever the reasons, the Highwind is unique among projects that technically began as Shinra projects, because it actually helped save the world. Unlike everything else they’ve ever done. But how did the Highwind come to be? And what exactly could it do? For that, we turn to its construction at the hands of the ship’s namesake.

The Highwind – Construction and Capabilities

The Highwind was designed and built by Cid Highwind. Using funds from the electric giant, Cid developed a project that was fit to bear his name. With very little oversight, Cid had free rein in the Highwind’s design, and so was able to build into it a number of secret, special functions.

To begin with, though, the ship on its own was an airship capable of incredible speeds. This is because Cid never met an engine he couldn’t strap to even more engines. The Highwind boasted a suite of 16 s-Ge-Type Remodel Engines giving it a takeoff output of more than 15,000 horsepower. On top of that, it had two Shinra 3a inverted V-type 12-cylinder Mako engines (remodeled) giving it an extra boost of 1900 horsepower per engine. This lets it achieve a cruising speed of 173 knots.

Although this wasn’t the full extent of the ship’s capabilities. In times of emergency, Cid could activate the ship’s final form, pulling a lever and revealing an array of powerful jet propulsion engines, replacing its typical battery of propellers.

Meanwhile, the ship’s secret jet propulsion engine system was designed with a modified Shinra Airship-type Roh engine, in mind. Eight engine work in concert to produce an output of 22,400 horsepower. All this power meant it could achieve a maximum speed of 386 knots, allowing it to perform miracles.

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Saving the Planet

The story of the Highwind is linked to the story of the planet. After being built by Cid, at some point, the ship was confiscated by Shinra and stationed at Junon base for their operations there. While stationed at Junon, President Rufus Shinra himself commandeered the vessel to hunt for the rogue SOLDIER operative, Sephiroth. Shinra sought to blame Tifa Lockheart and Barrett Wallace as scapegoats and had planned for them to be executed.

However before this could happen, Yuffie Kisaragi infiltrated the base and rescued Barrett, while Cid convinced the crew to mutiny. After a daring escape that saw Tfia leap from the Mako cannon, the Highwind became both symbol and headquarters to the AVALANCHE cell led, ostensibly, by Barrett, consisting of Cloud Strife and his various companions (minus Aerith).

The ship raced to the Northern Crater, where it deposited the party in time to be blasted out of the crater (and almost out of the sky) by the power of the Holy. Before Meteor could crash into the planet, the Highwind escaped, but without the actions of the ship and her daring crew, the world would never have survived.

The Highwind remains one of the most famous airships to this day.

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Author: J.R. Zambrano
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