The ongoing remake/reimagining of Final Fantasy VII, the landmark 1997 JRPG, has resulted in some of the most anticipated entries in the Final Fantasy series in many years. But it’s also shrouded in a lot of mystery given the narrative surprises of the first installment, Final Fantasy VII Remake in 2020. Now, Square Enix is giving us the briefest of peeks behind the curtain to get a sense of what’s around the corner.
Final Fantasy VII was a wild success when first released on the original PlayStation. Featuring what were, at the time, cutting-edge visuals, an impressive and memorable score, and an engrossing narrative with now-iconic characters, it’s no surprise that it has become so beloved.
Following fervent desire from fans over the years, Square Enix finally released the first part of a remake of the game for the PlayStation 4 in 2020. But new graphics and gameplay systems weren’t the only additions. Final Fantasy VII Remake marks the first of a trilogy of games remaking the original story, complete with several self-referential narrative twists of its own, indicating that it’s far from a straightforward remake. And the first entry only covered the opening chapter of the original game. These twists have left fans puzzled as to what future installments in this new remake series will contain and how it will pace the remaining parts of the original story.
The official Final Fantasy VII Twitter account released an update on the development of the game on June 2, stating that the game is “progressing smoothly and according to plan.” A day later, there was another answer to a common question concerning the remake’s sequel: as the next part takes place at a point in the original game where players gain access to a wider, semi-open world environment, how large will Final Fantasy VII Rebirth’s playspace be?
Final Fantasy VII’s original story spans an entire planet, with players able to walk across it as an enormous map. Naturally, many fans have wondered just how large the remake’s world will be.
Square Enix’s tweet states that “players will be able to journey across the wide and multifaceted world with a high degree of freedom.” But that’s not all Square Enix has had to share recently.
Not only has the developer stated that Rebirth will contain a “chain of narrative developments” that will involve “each character’s destiny,” but players won’t necessarily have to play the first entry, Remake, to experience Rebirth.
While that’s good news for those who may not to get to play Remake in time, since there isn’t a firm release date, if you’re at all interested in the world of Final Fantasy VII and its complex interlocking narrative, you probably should play Final Fantasy VII Remake. And the original. And maybe the remake of Crisis Core.
Don’t worry, though. You don’t have to watch Advent Children.
According to a June 6 tweet, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth will feature “new comrades.”
The wording of this tweet is a little vague to say the least. While it says “new comrades will join you in battle,” it’s not clear (to me anyway) if that’s meant to refer to actual combat scenarios or something metaphorically. Such is the case with the “you can cooperate with other party members in even closer ways than before.” Again, this could mean many things.
Final Fantasy VII features a wide array of characters, not all of which were seen in the first chapter of the new remake project. While the Intergrade DLC featured Yuffie Kisaragi, characters such as Vincent Valentine and Cid Highwind have yet to appear and based on when the next chapter might take place, it’s not unreasonable to expect we might see them in Rebirth.
Update 6/6/2023 10:40 am: Added information detailing new characters from an official tweet.