Secrets & Mysteries | Buried in the Programming
Hidden Key Items

  1. Letter to a Daughter and Letter to a Wife
  2. Mystery Panties

Letter to a Daughter and Letter to a Wife

During May 2000, I received correspondence from a person claiming to have discovered a couple of hidden items in the game: two letters. One letter is to a daughter in Kalm, and the other another letter to a wife in Kalm. The e-mail I received is displayed below (edited):

"I have found with the Gameshark that there are two key items that I have never known about and were possibly in the Japanese version of this game. They are two letters, one is to a daughter in Kalm and the other is a letter to a wife in Kalm. I am wondering what these items could have been used for, but they may be a link to one of the many subquests in the game or possibly play a small part in reviving Aeris."

Being skeptical, I requested more information. The person's reply is below:

"The code is
Key Item Select

8009 D2C8 FFFF
8009 D2CA FFFF8
8009 D2CC FFFF
8009 D2CE FFFF

The key items are divided into four sets of 16 items, the last set having only 3. The way the items are enabled corresponds to the _binary_ value of the number, i.e.:

hex: binary:

0001 = 0000000000000001 : Item 1
0003 = 0000000000000011 : Items 1-2
0007 = 0000000000000111 : Items 1-3
00FF = 0000000011111111 : Items 1-8

You can only have item sets 1&2 or 3&4 enabled; if you mix them, the game will slow down or lock up. Most likely, there are two items that are conflicting with each other, but I didn't have enough time to try all the possibilities."

The names of these two items are unknown. Can anyone with a Gameshark please test out the information above? I do believe this claim is genuine, and any delay cannot be afforded. For reference, the e-mail address of the claimant is

UPDATE - September 2000: Rising to the occasion is nofaith, who has confirmed the above with a screenshot of the two items in question.

The Two Letters

Nofaith obtained these objects by an editor named Jenova for the PC. I've taken a look at these items myself, and it's true. The screenshot is the real deal. Thanks nofaith.

Now, what were the purposes of these two letters? As they both appear to be of a personal nature, we can be fairly confident they were plot-related, or at least part of a mini-quest.

It is possible the 'Letter to a Daughter in Kalm' may be related to Marlene. She is the (adopted) daughter of Barret and resides in Kalm. However, this is questionable. If the letter was intended for Marlene, the letter should have read 'Letter for Marlene'. Instead, the letter suggests the daughter is unknown to the party, and perhaps must be hunted down.

That leaves the 'Letter to a Wife in Kalm'. Likewise it suggests the receiver is unknown to the party. If the receiver was indeed known, the only possible person can be Elmyra, Aeris' guardian. Following events in Midgar, both she and Marlene relocate to Kalm. Over a decage ago, Elmyra's husband served in the Shinra military and was killed during the war with Wutai. Perhaps this letter was from her long-dead husband before he was killed? And the letter to Marlene may be from Dyne, her real father who tragically kills himself when rediscovered by Barret in the Corel Prison.

Regardless of this speculation, the purpose of these two items remain a mystery. All we can be sure of is the writer of these letters was a husband and/or father with a family in Kalm. No known character fits this description.

UPDATE - January 2005: A Fan has written in with some startling information about the "Letter to a Wife":

I found this on the forums from a user by the name of Eckesachs:

"I went through the game's text files with Ficedula's Cosmo Editor and found a small snippet of text that refers to this letter... it appears it was originally planned that a person in Gongaga will give you the letter. I don't think you can trigger this in the actual game."

Curious about this, I searched the "Gongaga" field level in Cosmo and found the following:

The "Materia strong enough to shake the earth" seems to refer to Titan, which can be found in the ruined Gongaga reactor. The next set of "Misc speech" after the group above contains the line: "My wife lives in Kalm. I really appreciate this."

So it seems as though some of the mystery behind the "Letter to a Wife" has been solved. However, we still don't know what the purpose of sending this letter was supposed to be, nor do we know anything about the sender of the "Letter to a Daughter", not to mention the recipients themselves. I'm currently planning to use Cosmo to seek out more of the game's buried text, in the hopes of finding out new information about both letters. Stay tuned...

Mystery Panties

Less intriguing than the mysterious letters are the Mystery Panties, yet another key item that can be unlocked only with a game editor such as Jenova. From their name, one assumes that they were probably meant to play a role in the Wall Market subquest, where Cloud gathers various items with which to disguise himself as a girl.

As there are three possible results for each part of the quest (for example, the Glass Tiara, Ruby Tiara, and Diamond Tiara from the materia shop), but only two that can be obtained from the Honeybee Inn (Lingere or Bikini Briefs), it's likely that the Mystery Panties were the "third item" there. Somewhere along the line, it seems that the game's creators decided to axe the part of the quest that would've resulted in Cloud getting the Mystery Panties, but left the key item in the programming all the same.


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