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Final Fantasy VII nearly had a lot more character deaths than Aeris, according to an oral history published on Polygon. Director Yoshinori Kitase originally planned to kill off most of the party by the end of the game.

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The piece is an incredibly exhaustive retrospective on the game’s design, featuring interviews with dozens of designers and creatives. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in the series or game history.

Former Senior Writer and Critic at Kotaku.

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DISCUSSION

I’m going to need to go through and read this--but prior to diving in, I have to wonder if they’ll address the shift away from what was then titled the Ultra 64 to what would become the Sony Playstation; I still have the old issue of Nintendo Power containing shots of what appeared to be Locke, Terra, and Shadow in polygonal form.

...of course, that issue also included Robotech: Crystal Dreams, so it’s sort of a paean to failed hopes and shattered aspirations, but still, it’d be cool to get the team’s view on what happened, when, and why.

Also, I should note that though I’ve made clear a few times that I’m not a big fan of Final Fantasy VII (which is doubly odd in my mind, given that I was fifteen when it came out, and just at the right age to eat up its angst-laden narrative like manna from above), but I will never deny its impact on the franchise, the medium of gaming, or the hobby as a whole. An awful lot of people absolutely adore this game, and there are good reasons for them to.

...I maintain, however, that IX is peak PSX-era FF, and VI remains top of the heap overall.

Come at me. ;)