New Final Fantasy VII Remake Video Dives Into Characters And Story

  • Playstation 4
  • RPG
Cloud reaching out in the upcoming Final Fantasy VII Remake
Cloud reaching out in the upcoming Final Fantasy VII Remake Square Enix Co., LTD.

Square Enix released a video today on their Final Fantasy YouTube page highlighting stories, characters, and footage for their much anticipated Final Fantasy VII Remake. The robust, episodic recreation of the highly acclaimed and beloved 1997 quintessential JRPG is scheduled to release its first episode on April 10 for the Playstation 4.

The video, which can be watched above, opens with producer Yoshinori Kitase discussing his memories of playing the original Final Fantasy VII versus a recent replay of the game while working on Remake. “I was surprised how much shorter the story in Midgar is, compared to how I remembered it. If you just go straight through the original, the story up to leaving Midgar will be over after around seven or eight hours," Kitase says of his FFVII replay, via YouTube's translated captions. "I had an image of being in Midgar for a lot longer than that. So that was different from how I remembered it in the past. Because of that, in Remake I want people to experience the iconic city of Midgar closer to how I had remembered it, as a much deeper and more expansive location."

Final Fantasy VII Remake producer Yoshinori Kitase
Final Fantasy VII Remake producer Yoshinori Kitase Square Enix Co., LTD.

The video highlights some cinematic shots of the world, contrasted with storyboards for Remake and footage from the original FFVII’s gameplay. We were also given closer looks into the re-imagining of some of Final Fantasy VII’s iconic characters: Cloud Strife, Tifa Lockhart, Barret Wallace, Aerith Gainsborough, and Sephiroth.

A shot of the character Cloud Strife from the upcoming Final Fantasy VII Remake
A shot of the character Cloud Strife from the upcoming Final Fantasy VII Remake Square Enix Co., LTD.

After an originally slated January release and subsequent delay, the demo for episode one of Final Fantasy VII Remake released earlier this month on March 2, with many praising the game demo’s stunning graphics, musical score, and the re-invented combat system using Unreal Engine 4. While the original was a turn-based combat game, the new gameplay features a much faster, more modern style. As with any remake of a cherished media property, there are questions as to how old fans will embrace the retelling, as well as how new fans will be able to jump into the existing franchise, and whether the 23 year old story holds up today. One of the game's core drivers adressed some of these concerns.

“I don’t think you really need to have played the original game to enjoy Final Fantasy VII Remake,” the translation reads for Kazushige Nojima, story and scenario writer for both the original Final Fantasy VII and Remake. “Not at all. The game system is new, and all the new bits are thoroughly explained. The story has also been arranged to be easy to pick up. So, I think new players should be fine. I do have a feeling that the original game caught the zeitgeist of the time it was made. It will be very interesting to see if it still resonates in a similar way today. That people still like something I was thinking about twenty odd years ago makes me very happy. But it is also a little bit scary having to remake all those things that people have such a strong attachment to. It can be nerve-wracking!”

Kitase closes the video, continuing, “For people who do know the original, you may be asking if Final Fantasy VII Remake just follows the story of the original. Of course, all the memorable elements and key moments from the original have been faithfully reproduced, and you can enjoy experiencing those again. But, on the other hand, there are also new things and surprises that were not in the original, and things that people really wanted us to show. I think that this game will meet the expectations of everyone who is looking for those, too. Players and fans of the original can enjoy Remake on many levels, both reliving the old stuff and discovering the new.”

With a little over two weeks until the game’s re-scheduled release, we’ll soon know the answers to those questions.

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