Square Enix Is Finally Making The Final Fantasy VII Cinematic Universe Playable

Illustration for article titled Square Enix Is Finally Making The Final Fantasy VII Cinematic Universe Playable
Image: Square Enix

Yesterday’s most important Final Fantasy news wasn’t delivered at the end of Sony’s lackluster State of Play livestream presentation but was instead casually tweeted out afterward: a new mobile game called Final Fantasy VII Ever Crisis is coming. This latest FFVII remix will tell the story not just of the original game but also of every FFVII spin-off as well, finally creating an accessible one-stop-shop for people to experience the entirety of the extremely weird but totally cool FFVII extended universe.

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Final Fantasy VII Ever Crisis is a chapter-structured single-player experience which will cover the whole of the FFVII timeline, including the events of the original game along with all the FFVII compilation titles, as well as new story elements, penned by Final Fantasy VII Remake story and scenario writer Kazushige Nojima, surrounding the origins of SOLDIER,” Square Enix announced in the game’s press release.

It may not be the full-on Crisis Core remake some fans hoped for, but for everyone else who just wants a practical way to catch up on the sprawling back and side-stories to one of the best JRGPs ever, it sounds like Ever Crisis will finally make that dream a reality.

For the uninitiated, FFVII compilation includes the following releases:

  • Final Fantasy VII (1997, PS1)
  • Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII (2004, FOMA)
  • Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (2005, film)
  • Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII (2006, PS2)
  • Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII (2007, PSP)

In addition to only one of these games being available on modern platforms, Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII has never even been localized before. Created for Japanese mobile phones, the game has you play as Turks as they try to foil terrorist plots by Avalanche six years before the main game’s events. The game never made it stateside though.

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Image: Square Enix

Meanwhile, Crisis Core and Dirge of Cerberus, while flawed games in their own right, are also fascinating deep dives into the backstories of Zack Fair and Vincent Valentine, characters crucial to the FFVII mythos whose stories never fully get told in the original. Effectively, there is an almost Kingdom Hearts level number of side-plots, B-characters, and intriguing story revelations that many fans have never had access to before. Most of it is bonkers and completely unnecessary but also irresistibly weird and charming.

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The other thing that’s notable about Ever Crisis is how Square Enix has decided to bring these stories back. Instead of forcing players to toil through some extremely obtuse games, it gives the option of playing through the main beats of each campaign in a hybrid JRPG that incorporates both turn-based battle and lots of visual novel-style info dumps. Based on the trailer at least, it looks like the gaming equivalent of an Abridge Works, and it’s something I hope more story-rich but gameplay-dense series get a version of in the future.

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According to a new interview with director Tetsuya Nomura at Famitu, the game will be laid out in a series of chapters, with players able to pick and choose which ones they want to play from which games. “You can think of it like building up a timeline of the FFVII story as you play,” Nomura said, based on a translation of the interview provided by Square Enix. Nomura also says in it that he’ll be stepping back from directly managing FFVII: Remake’s sequel to oversee the company’s FFVII series fiction as a whole, which is why I’m only half joking when I call it Square’s own version of the Marvel cinematic universe.

Ever Crisis isn’t set to actually release on Android and iOS until 2022. Plenty of time for other series to jump on board. A playable Dragon Quest Wikipedia on my phone? Yes please.

Kotaku staff writer. You can reach him at ethan.gach@kotaku.com

DISCUSSION

Personally, I hope this isn’t an indication they’re going to try to fold all the lackluster compendium scenarios and characters into 7R going forward. I found Crisis Core absolutely joyless and it’s supposed to be the best of the side games.

I’d prefer a clean break for Remake.