Final Fantasy XV finally came out after being stuck in an 11-year development cycle. The game was praised for its Kingdom Hearts style open world gameplay and kept Final Fantasy on the map. With that in mind, Square Enix has always put out great Final Fantasy titles. Final Fantasy X is an example and Final Fantasy VII is one of the best in the series. FFVII was revolutionary and shifted the Final Fantasy world completely for the better.
Final Fantasy VII came out in 1998 when games were finally stepping out of their 2D sprite shells. Final Fantasy VII was the first of the franchise to be 3D - its block style characters are one of the many details that make it memorable. It’s so noteworthy that Square re-released the original game for PC, iOS, Android, PSP, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. A remade HD version is even in development for the PlayStation 4
The RPG is a staple for the original PlayStation and helped put the console on the map. Your first fun fact of the article is that it wasn’t initially planned to pair with Sony’s system.
There are plenty of facts that most players don’t know about Final Fantasy VII. This article will supply some of the best low key knowledge that the franchise changer has. Here are 15 amazing things you didn’t know about Final Fantasy VII. Let us know which one surprised you the most.
15 Final Fantasy VII Was Almost For SNES
One of the coolest (or lamest) things about Final Fantasy VII is its block style graphics, as it’s one of the earliest attempts at 3D. The RPG became a staple for Sony’s original PlayStation and Cloud Strife and crew were known for their characteristic blockheads. That almost didn’t happen, as Final Fantasy VII almost made it on the SNES.
Square created Final Fantasy VII for the Super Nintendo. All of the characters were sprites and the game had a 1995 release. Chrono Trigger was in development at the time, however, and dominated the creative focus. Final Fantasy VII would’ve likely been buried under Chrono Trigger had it been released in 1995.
Square bounced back and forth between 3D and the sprite concepts. The gaming giant rendered several Final Fantasy VI characters into a block format and it led to the ultimate decision of 3D graphics. It still would’ve been cool to see sprite versions of the characters.
14 Aerith Was Going to Survive
This one sounds peculiar, seeing as Aerith’s death established a dramatic turning point in Final Fantasy VII. It was one of the most tragic video game deaths and fingers were crossed for her to survive or a revival, but the original plan was for her to survive!
Aerith was intended to stay in the Final Fantasy VII game, but the game’s creator, Hironobu Sakaguchi suffered a tragedy: his mother's death. Hironobu’s mom passed away during the development, which transformed the story from a detective tale (more on that in the next point) to the tale we know and love.
As much as Aerith survival seems like a good idea, imagine how different the story would’ve been...
13 Final Fantasy VII Was Almost a Detective Game
Final Fantasy VII went through a plethora of changes during its development. Besides a console and graphics swap, the plot received a makeover as well. Final Fantasy VII was originally intended to be an entirely different narrative - it was originally designed to be a detective tale.
Could you imagine Cloud draped in Sherlock Holmes style garb with a big magnifying glass and pocket watch? It doesn’t sound enjoyable. The beginning of the game initially involved a character named Detective Joe, a hot head who wanted to investigate the destruction of Mako reactors.
Development of FFVII halted when most of the staff chose to focus on Chrono Trigger. With the death of Hironobu Sakaguchi’s mother, Square redesigned the plot and characters to the familiar FFVII. Would you play a Final Fantasy detective game?
12 Tifa and Cloud Almost Did the Dirty
Well, not on screen at least.
Tifa and Cloud’s relationship stems back to childhood, creating the undeniable romance between them. Those familiar with FFVII know at the end of disc two, Cloud and Tifa have an engaging heart to heart. The scene strongly hints that sexual activity happened between them. Well, they originally planned for it to be more obvious.
Beyond just a friendly exchange, according to the developers, Cloud and Tifa were originally going to surface from a Chocobo stable scruffed up and white in the face. The emergence would’ve made the “hints” become a reality and wouldn’t throw us off as much.
Leaving the player’s imagination to determine what went on between Cloud and Tifa makes sense, but it would’ve been hilarious to see them creeping around and looking guilty.
11 Magnets Keep The Buster Sword In Place
One of the oddities in the series is the Buster Sword. The large blade rests neatly on Cloud’s back when he’s not in battle and he’s easily able to retrieve it during trouble. Without a sheath or holster, players question how it works. It turns out Cloud has a magnet on his back.
Many players are still baffled by the “floating Buster Sword.” There were various answers, including velcro, “materia holes,” or a “micro reunion” effect. Even more hilarious ones like duct tape surfaced. However, on Cloud’s initial design, there’s a circle on his back, held up by his signature suspenders. The circle is a powerful magnet that holds the signature blade in place.
Before it was confirmed, how did you think the Buster Sword held up? Velcro? Shoestrings?
10 Final Fantasy VII Introduced Voice to the Series
It may sound strange, but Final Fantasy VII was the first in the series to feature voice acting. No characters in particular receive voice, as dialogue in the game is text based. However, if you listen closely, you’re able to hear the one and only voice.
The moment the Mako Cannon fires in the game, most players are used to the song that’s in the background. If you listen closely, there’s a voice heard over the intercom that says “Radar systems go,” and continues to ramble on for a second. Apparently, this mysterious voice can only be heard on the PC version of the game, but it’s a voice nonetheless.
Final Fantasy VII also introduced vocal music, as "One Winged Angel" is the first Final Fantasy song to feature vocals.
9 Cloud Almost Had a Lame Haircut
Several aspects of his appearance characterize Cloud; his huge buster sword, the black outfit, and his lack of smiles. However, his most notable feature is his spiky blonde hair. Amongst others crazy hairstyles, Cloud’s is most likely the craziest. The blonde spikes weren’t always a thing, though.
Initially, Cloud was going to have an entirely different hairstyle. Picture Cloud with a slicked back haircut, ready to hit on an underage teenager. Square created the slicked back cut because it would reduce polygon use. But what’s the fun in that?
Cloud’s final design arrived with his brilliant (or weird) spiky cut, making Cloud a recognizable and widely popular character in gaming. Do you think Cloud would be different if his hair had a different style?
8 You Can Find Aerith’s "Ghost"
Aerith’s death was a tragedy in gaming. Fans were upset that the character passed as she symbolized a cheerful spirit. Aerith will always be an unforgettable character. For the longest time, players roamed the map and tried to find a way to revive Aerith. Sadly, she’s programmed to pass away. However, there’s a process to see Aerith’s “ghost.”
It’s debatable as to whether or not this occurrence of Aerith is a glitch or programmed to be her “ghost,” but there’s a way to see Aerith again. If you re-enter the church where Cloud initially met Aerith, for a split second you see Aerith’s sprite tending to flowers as if nothing happened.
Eventually, Aerith disappears and, when you talk to the NPCs, they have no idea that Aerith’s sprite was there.
7 Key Differences in the English and Japanese Versions
The Final Fantasy series is known for some of its painfully hard boss battles and Final Fantasy VII is no exception to the rule. However, some of the well-known RPG bosses are left out of the game’s initial Japanese release. There are also other notable differences between the versions.
Emerald and Ruby Weapons were some difficult bosses, but they left them out of the Japanese version. It might be a make up for the reduced encounter rate in the English version. It’s a different kind of challenge, but whether it makes thing easier or not is questionable.
Cloud also has more cutscenes in the English version. The extra scenes help his backstory and character development, as we learn to understand his relationship with Tifa a little clearer. Would you appreciate a higher encounter rate over two bosses?
6 The "One Winged Angel" Intro Was Inspired by Jimi Hendrix
"One Winged Angel" is one of the most iconic musical scores. The song plays during the epic final battle against Sephiroth, the signature villain of the Final Fantasy VII series. As bizarre as it sounds, the sinister baddie’s theme song was inspired by legendary musician Jimi Hendrix.
The rock God’s famous song, "Purple Haze," inspired the beginning of "One Winged Angel." The classical score began with a staccato segment and grabbed inspiration from Jimi’s choppy intro to "Purple Haze." Imagine if Sephiroth’s theme was a rock style tune complete with an electric guitar?
For giggles, a YouTuber created One Winged Angel in a major (happier) key. The changed tune sounds like a Christmas jingle and is more cheery than its drab original. Although, the translated lyrics wouldn’t fit with the new tone, so other instruments replace the voices.
5 Final Fantasy VII Had the Biggest Budget for its Time
Video games cost anywhere between 20 and 30 million dollars on average. If you factor in things like graphics, audio, animation, and voice cast, it’s no surprise that games cost millions to produce. There are even games that can cost up to $60 million to build in 2017. However, 20 years prior, Final Fantasy VII had an outrageous budget for a 1997 game.
Final Fantasy VII had a budget of $45 million, which is $65 million in today’s dollars. That blows by today’s most expensive games by $5 million. If you rewind 20 years, it’s insanely more than budgets of its time.
The game wasn’t the only thing with a crazy budget. The marketing budget costs a whopping $100 million, bringing the game in its entirety a $145 million game in 1997, though we're sure they've made it back with the 100 remakes they've put out.
4 Final Fantasy VII Early Ideas Became Parasite Eve and Xenogears
Square Enix had many concepts for Final Fantasy. But it isn’t like them to throw ideas away, though. Some of the original ideas for Final Fantasy VII became other Square Enix titles, like Parasite Eve and Xenogears.
Final Fantasy VII not only originally began with a Detective theme, but it also had a different setting. The original environment was a futuristic New York City concept. Once they scrapped the idea, it ended up directly inspiring the survival horror RPG, Parasite Eve.
Xenogears was another game created from an FFVII concept. Creators pitched the script for Final Fantasy VII, but after getting passed up, Square developed and published Xenogears from the pitch. Xenogears would be the one and only Xeno game that Square developed, which seems to be a bad decision since the series eventually got canceled.
3 Sephiroth is The Weakest Boss
In gaming, especially Final Fantasy, there are many tricky bosses. The final boss, though, is what makes the game. As a player, you expect a huge challenge at the end. Sephiroth’s very last battle, however, isn’t a challenge at all.
You have to battle Sephiroth three times. The first two times can be challenging and you should expect death to come for you more than once. However, the third and final battle features a seemingly difficult duel between Cloud and Sephiroth. Players know that Sephiroth is beat in one, maybe two hits sometimes.
Players with a Gameshark can reveal Sephiroth’s HP. The maniacal, one winged angel is shown only to have 1 HP. That’s less than a 1st Ray, which has up to 18 HP. That’s right; the final boss is weaker than the first enemy in the game.
2 A Portrait of the Creator Is In The Game
No video game would be a game without the creator. Hironobu Sakaguchi put some massive effort into the RPG epic, especially considering his mom died during the process. The chain effects of his life resulted in the production of one of the most beloved RPGs of all time. Since there weren’t voices in FFVII, there was no way for Sakaguchi to appear in FFVII. Except in one spot in the game.
The creator himself had a game version of himself inserted into a portrait. A little-known secret of the game is Sakaguchi’s hidden picture in Rocket Town. While you explore the houses, you’ll notice one of the homes has a unique picture in it. If you examine carefully, the portrait is an easter egg and depicts Sakaguchi.
1 Fan Theories Say Cloud Killed Aerith
Okay so this one isn’t so awesome, but it’s interesting.
There are crazy theories always circulating the internet, but this one is chalked up to be slightly believable. According to fans, Sephiroth didn’t kill Aerith, but merely wounded her to the point that she passed out. Apparently, Sephiroth struck her spine at a nonfatal end, meaning she had a chance to survive. It was Cloud dipping her in water that caused her to drown and pass on. Her body was unable to float due to her muscle tension.
The theory seems entirely untrue. It's utterly bizarre, but it makes you wonder if Aerith had a chance to survive. Did Cloud dip her in the water too soon? Don’t Pheonix Downs serve a purpose?