Square Enix says they are going to remake arguably the finest video game ever made, Final Fantasy VII. Honestly, I don't think it can be done. For even if they eventually release the game, it's going to come after being constantly postponed. Even if they get really solid voice actors, fanboys will still rip them to shreds. I've been thinking lately. I've been thinking about what exactly WE know about the remake, as a part of the planet, shouldn't we just to collect everything we now know to be true about the game... and no matter what happens, isn't it important to try? Am I just wishing against fate?
Now, I'm paraphrasing, but I'm pretty sure Bugehagen's speech where he tells Red XIII to continue on with Cloud and his friends goes something like that, right? Close enough.
Brace yourselves, Materia junkies: Final Fantasy VII is finally getting a full, true remake that will bring the beloved title to the PlayStation 4. With updated graphics, music, and voice acting, fans will be able to both relive their favorite moments of the original and get a brand new look at the world of Cloud Strife and his band of merry heroes.
So what do we know right now about this game? Honestly, not much. But there are a few details we've been able to nail down, and if you're wondering what those are, you're in the right place! This is 15 Things We Already Know About The Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Anything you want to add? Drop a comment and let us know! And as always, SPOILERS BELOW!
15 Yes, It's Really Happening
Your prayers have been answered. Final Fantasy VII is arguably the most popular and beloved installment in the entire series, and ever since its 1997 release, fans have been dreaming of a true sequel or remake. With the rereleases of the HD remaster of Final Fantasy X for the PS3 and PS4, as well as a remake of Final Fantasy III for the Nintendo DS, it seemed that was getting closer and closer to becoming a reality. Square really teased fans when they put out a tech demo for the PlayStation 3 that featured the game. The demo showed off the opening scene from Final Fantasy VII. Now, in 2017, we stand on the precipice of finally getting a true remake of maybe the greatest RPG of all time.
14 It Was Originally Planned for the PS2
Interestingly enough, Square Enix has actually had plans to remake Final Fantasy VII, along with some of their other titles, since the PS2 days. Check out this Gamespot article from May 17, 2006:
"Square has announced that it will release the remakes of Final Fantasy VII, VIII, and IX for the PlayStation 2 in individual packages. Each will be in DVD-ROM format, with graphical and audio enhancements. Additionally, special features will be included in the remake discs. No release information has been disclosed on the three Final Fantasy remakes at this time."
It certainly doesn't bode well for the new remake's release that the last one was announced in 2006 and has yet to hit shelves. Keep waiting though, I'm sure it'll be out any day now, along with probably a new Jet Moto title.
13 The Man Who Killed Aeris Will Direct the Game
Tetsuya Nomura, the man who wrote the original Final Fantasy VII, is returning to be the scenario writer for the remake. One interesting note about Nomura is that he originally had the idea to kill Aeris, which was fairly revolutionary at the time. Aeris's death changed the conversation about death in video games, and it represented a massive shift from, for example, a character falling in battle and being revived with an item. The concept of a real person actually dying and deeply affecting the party is brand new at the time. What's less known is that Nomura had also pitched the idea of Tifa dying. It's fascinating to think where the game's story would have gone had that happened, since Aeris's death is now such an iconic part of FF7.
12 It Will Be Powered By Unreal Engine 4
You read that correctly: the same ultra-powerful engine that powered every punch and kick in Street Fighter V, as well as every shot fired in Gears of War 4, will now bring the gameplay in Final Fantasy VII to life. This represents a drastic departure from the previous version of the game, where battle and area exploration were more of two separate worlds. It's even a departure from Final Fantasy XV, which ran on the Luminous Engine. The possibilities here are huge, and Square's choice to use this engine likely mean the game will have more of a Kingdom Hearts feel overall (KH III will be run on Unreal 4 as well). It's a big step in a different direction, and only time will tell just how well it works, as well as how it's received by die-hard fans.
11 The ATB System Is Gone
Gamers who enjoyed the original Final Fantasy VII's active time battle system will have to play the original if they want to see it again. Early videos reveal that it has been completely eliminated from the remake. This drastically changes the strategy involved in playing the game, as well as the entire feel of the game. The combat seems to have taken on a much more active style, closer to Kingdom Hearts or later installments of Final Fantasy, like FFXV. This will undoubtedly split fans, many of whom have bemoaned Square Enix's switch to more arcade-style, less strategy based combat. And what does this mean for the Materia system? As with much of what we know about the remake, it raises more questions than answers.
10 It Will Be More Cinematic Than The Original
When it debuted in 2015 at E3, the first trailer for the Final Fantasy VII remake absolutely blew people away. Finally getting to see a vibrant, real, Midgar, a city full of real people that actually resembles a New York City or Tokyo already takes the game to a new level. Seeing the playground structure Cloud and Aeris sit on before heading into Wall Market instantly produces a real, guttural reaction. Just hearing the word "reunion" makes the hair on your neck stand up. And seeing Cloud and the Buster Sword in all their glory? Just watching it is enough to give this die hard fan goosebumps. If you want to feel like you were there for the original trailer's release, I strongly recommend watching this version with the crowd reaction (warning, features some very excited profanity). Just don't expect to actually hear the trailer.
9 It'll Be Made 100% In House By Square Enix
Square Enix recently announced that while it had previously been working with external assistance, production and development has now shifted to entirely in-house. This means a few different things. First of all, a lack of outside collaborators most likely means we can expect a few more delays before the game is released. In addition, fans of classic Final Fantasy titles, not unlike FF7 or FF3, may want to temper their expectations. Square Enix's recent releases like Final Fantasy XIII or Final Fantasy XV have steadily taken the series in a very different direction from its earlier iterations, both in terms of gameplay and story. And don't get me started on Final Fantasy X-2. We do also know most of the original creative team has returned, so that (at least) bodes well.
8 It Will Look Like You Always Imagined
While we've seen fairly limited amounts of in-game footage from the FF7 remake, Square has been kind enough to put out some game related artwork, specifically this image of Cloud and Sephiroth towering over Midgar. While it doesn't really tell us much about what to expect, other than the fact that our hero, villain, and favorite mako-sucking city will all be back, it almost doesn't matter. It's just so cool to see the way the artists are reimagining the game and to see these characters brought to life in a way that, up till now, has really only been seen in other games like Kingdom Hearts, or movies like Advent Children. Sure, you can't play it, but it's impossible to be an FF7 junkie and not be excited by art like this.
7 The Game Will Be Out Around 2018
While its release has already been delayed, right now, Square is hoping the remake will be available for gamer consumption in 2018. At the same time, this is almost entirely speculation, and more delays will undoubtedly appear between now and the game's eventual release. It's obvious Square wants to get this one right, and considering how long fans have waited already for a remake of the beloved classic, it's a safe bet Square won't have a problem making them wait a little bit more. It's no understatement to say Final Fantasy VII is the most revered title in the franchise, and expectations are already sky high. Don't expect this one to be making its way onto game shelves anytime soon.
6 The Iconic Music Is Back With A Makeover
One of the highlights of watching the first two trailers that have been released for the game is the music. While we know there will be a lot of differences between the original game and this remake, thankfully, it seems Square Enix has decided to bring back the original music. One big difference: this time it will be performed by a full orchestra. It's remarkably powerful. Even with the audio limitations provided by the PlayStation 1, the music in Final Fantasy VII was iconic and memorable. Now, fully flushed out and performed by an actual orchestra, that's been taken up more than a few notches. This is exactly what fans want from the remake: take what was already there, and slap a new coat of paint on it for the year 2018 (hopefully). The fact that the original score is coming back with a makeover is a huge win.
5 Haoki Hamguchi Is Leading Development
In addition to announcing that development for the Final Fantasy VII remake had shifted to in-house development, Square Enix also announced development would be headed up by Haoki Hamguchi. Hamguchi has been the main programmer from previous franchise sequel Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Currently, Hamguchi is working on Mobius Final Fantasy, an episodic RPG on iOS, Android, and PC, and will continue to do so while working on the FF7 remake. Take that how you will, but at least we know he has experience making games (even if they aren't the franchise staples we know and love). Fingers crossed he can pull the whole project together and deliver the Final Fantasy VII fans deserve.
4 Voice Acting Will Bring The Characters To Life
Voice acting didn't become a regular part of Final Fantasy's presentation until Final Fantasy X, and since then, it's lead to some pretty heated debate. Just looking at FFX, while there were some home run performances (Auron, to be exact), there were also some pretty awful moments gamers had to sit through (I'm looking at you, laughing scene). In 2017, not including voice acting is a big no-no, and Final Fantasy VII's remake will be no exception. Without a doubt, gamers getting to imagine the characters voices in their heads while playing the game was part of the early Final Fantasy games' charm. Having to relearn how the characters sound could certainly be jarring. That said, Square Enix has lined up some pretty good talent for this one (see below).
3 Barret Wallace And Jet Black Have The Same Voice Actor
Barret Wallace, the leader of the eco-activist group Avalanche, will be voiced by the same actor who provided his voice in the Advent Children movie, Beau Billingslea. Billingslea is well known in the video game and anime community for voicing the character of Jet Black in popular anime series Cowboy Bebop. In addition, Billingslea has also provided the pipes for characters in games like Mafia III, GTA V, and Dynasty Warriors 8. An actor of his caliber being attached certainly gives hope that making the jump from just text to a voice acted game might be a smooth one. Billingslea even had a small role on the extremely popular series, The West Wing. I think I speak for everyone when I say Barret Wallace would be a welcome voice in any presidential administration.
2 It Will Be A Multi-Part Series
Possibly the most surprising thing about the Final Fantasy VII remake is that Square Enix has said the game will be released as a multi-part series. From a post-PlayStation Experience press release:
So what does that mean? If each part of the game will be released as a separate episode, similar to a Telltale game, this would make for a very different method of storytelling from the original. It even seems to eliminate the necessity for some kind of world map, or overworld map. Also, what will this mean for the price of the game? If the game is broken into, say seven parts, will gamers have to pay near $70 to play? The fact that this sentence was almost hidden in the press release is definitely confusing. Stay tuned.
1 A Ton Is Still Unknown
When do we get it? Are all the characters back? How much will it cost? What does Heidegger's laugh sound like in full HD? There is still a ton we just don't know about the Final Fantasy VII remake, and likely, a ton we won't know for some time. Square has been stingy with details up until this point, and aside from two trailers and some artwork, we really don't know just what to expect. One thing, however, is certain: when the remake is released, it will give gamers something they've been waiting on for years. Gamers of all ages have been talking about a fully redone version of a game for over a decade. Final Fantasy VII defined many people's childhoods, and is a game that —to this day— resonates as strongly as it did in 1997 when it was first released. Until then, all we can do is keep waiting. After all, there ain't no getting off of this train we on.