I just want to get this out of the way first – Final Fantasy VII is (and will forever be) one of the best games ever made… like ever. The imagination, the vision, and the sheer aura that it exudes is simply something that can’t be replicated in video gaming–an authenticity that runs through every facet of its makeup.
With a dollop of fantasy, a smidgen of love, and a pinch of horror the seventh instalment in the iconic RPG series is one of those titles that captivates the player from the first epic moment to the last. First released in 1997, the game is still beloved by many around the globe, with interesting myths and legends still surfacing with regards to its design–and that includes some bizarre secrets too…
This steampunk-infused, fantastical thrill-ride is littered with peculiar Easter eggs, obscure facts, and jaw-dropping outtakes–many of which you probably never even knew about. Well, after reading this list, you’ll know everything there is to know about this monumental gaming feat.
It includes the most disturbing secrets surrounding the game that managed to go unnoticed by audiences. Whether it’s the dark origins that influenced the game, or some very offensive dialogue that would never get through quality control today–Final Fantasy VII is steeped in disturbing secrets, lore, and facts. These are 20 disturbing secrets you didn’t know about Final Fantasy VII.
20 He Would Have Been So Different
Because of the ease with which developers would’ve been able to design Cloud’s hair, it was initially decided that they would make it quite plain–something which is enough to leave most fans aghast.
Yes, in the initial stages, Square had Cloud’s hair designed as being brunette and slicked back. However, after seeing that it wasn’t quite as effective as they first thought, they decided to go a more complex route with the spiky blonde hair that we all know and love today. Phew!
Imagine Cloud without that eye-catching hairstyle! It’d be like having the Gold Saucer without that awesome snowboarding mini-game.
19 An Old-School Detective Feel
It might sound strange on the outset, but Final Fantasy VII was originally intended to be based around a detective tale. It would feature a sleuth by the name of Detective Joe, who would go around investigating the iconic Mako reactors.
It was certainly a radically different approach from what gamers ended up with in the final product–less fantasy and more crime in fact. It would’ve been an adventure game, but it probably wouldn’t have had all the quirks and distinctive qualities that a ground-breaking RPG like this had.
But why exactly was the original plot changed? Well, we’ll get to that later on in the list…
18 Tifa Gets A Bit Politically Incorrect
Thought Tifa was just a nice girl? Think again. In fact, some of the most risqué dialogue comes courtesy of her, particularly during an optional route which players can take in Shinra Headquarters.
If you choose to go up the long set of stairs instead of going in through the front of the building, you’ll get to witness a rather shocking piece of dialogue between Tifa and Barret. Tifa rather offensively says to him: “Would you stop acting like a [redacted] and climb?” Oh dear…
Of course, the politically correct standards of the modern day world would’ve stopped this from hitting the shelves. However, in 1997, it was pretty much glossed over.
17 This Scene Was So Much Worse
The Honeybee Inn found in Final Fantasy VII is still one of the most peculiar locations to ever be featured in the series. Featuring girls dressed as bees and men strutting around in their underwear–this was clearly some bizarre attempt at creating a more ’adult’ setting in the game.
Surprisingly though, it was almost much weirder than that. Yes, thanks to some unused code found in the game, it appears there were originally more girls and racier pictures in the venue. However, it gets even freakier than that…
There’s also a peeping tom who would hand Cloud Tifa’s underwear, as well as the protagonist himself bartering with one of the girls to give him her panties. Umm, so yeah, there’s that…
16 I Mean, They Are Rather Big...
One of the cool things in the game is how most of the playable characters are optional–giving you the choice of whether you want them in your party or not. One of these characters is the bubbly ninja Yuffie.
If you decide to take her on board in the second disc while playing as Tifa, you’ll be privy to some rather interesting dialogue–mainly concerning Tifa’s *ahem* assets. Yes, the pesky thief will simply refer to her as another word for a woman's chest.
Yuffie may be rude, but she’s one hell of a fighter. However, she certainly takes her rudeness to another level with this rather cheeky greeting. Goodness knows what she calls those who aren’t on her team!
15 Not As Strong As He Looks
We hope this doesn’t ruin your view of one of gaming’s greatest ever villains, but we had to inform you–turns out Sephiroth is actually a bit of a weakling.
The player faces the ashen-haired baddie a total of three times during the game’s duration, however, in the third instance it seems he isn’t the formidable opponent that he once was. Because while the first two boss battles with him are insanely tough, the final encounter is much more doable.
Using a Gameshark device, it shows his health at only 1 HP–seriously. What gives?! We were led to believe that he was practically invincible for the whole game, however, this little secret proves otherwise.
14 It's The End Of The World As We Know It
Cloud’s sword, the Ragnarok, is one mean looking piece of kit. It’s exactly what you’d want the hero of this game to have, and it seems it’s not just from an aesthetic level that it’s useful either, but from a mythological standpoint too…
Yes, the name is actually derived from Norse mythology, and basically means ‘the end of the world’ when put in context with the mythology. It is the foretelling of future events–most of which are based around natural disasters, monumental battles, and a great loss of life. So yeah, a pretty badass name for a pretty badass weapon.
The next time you’re wailing monsters with this bad boy, just remember it has a dark translation in Norse mythology. Disturbing? Most definitely.
13 A Bit Stereotypical
Barret was an awesome character in his own right, but did you notice some of the obvious stereotyping going on with his dialogue? Well, some fans did, and they weren’t all too pleased with the game’s depiction of the gun toting maniac.
Some of his lines sound like they’ve come straight out of the Mr. T playbook–assuming that every person of color talks the same way and says the same things. Just like Tifa’s shocking lines which were mentioned earlier in the list, this one just wouldn’t pass these days.
And it wasn’t just racial stereotypes that fans lambasted, but orientation-orientated ones too. When Cloud visits the bath house in the game, just try not to cringe at some of the over-the-top lines that are clearly stereotyping gay people.
12 Up Close And Personal
Umm… yeah. So this almost happened. We know Cloud and Tifa get close in Final Fantasy VII, but they almost got a lot closer in a deleted scene from the game.
During the end of Disc 2, it’s alluded to that the two lovebirds were engaging in some steamy one-on-one time, but nothing is ever explicitly shown. However, in an earlier concept for the sequence, there was a lot less innocence involved compared to what we got in the end.
Yes, it would show the two sneaking out of a stable for Chocobos, looking very suspicious indeed. Hmm, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what was going on there. Ugh, I’ll never look at Chocobos the same way again!
11 The Influence Of Norman Bates
You probably know that Jimi Hendrix’s stunning track “Purple Haze” was a great inspiration for Sephiroth’s epic boss theme song “One-Winged Angel,” but you probably didn’t know that it has much darker origins: the frightening score from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.
It doesn’t get any more disturbing that taking influence from a horror movie soundtrack, but that’s exactly what the game’s composer Nobuo Uematsu did. The sheer dread that can be felt on the film’s score can also be felt on “One-Winged Angel,” which is a credit to Uematsu’s musical talent.
While we’re on the subject of theme songs, why in the world does nobody mention Sephiroth’s bone-chilling track “Those Chose by the Planet!?” It plays almost every time he’s on-screen, and to this day, is one of the most effective (and utterly terrifying) scores to ever grace a video game.
10 Kefka’s Presence Lingers
The Gold Saucer serves as the perfect distraction from the darkness and heartache that the story provides–featuring some awesome diversions that would go on to inspire many games of its ilk to include mini-games and the like.
However, while it was an evolutionary transition, there are still some nods to the series’ earlier titles–specifically Final Fantasy VI. If players interact with the big green pumpkin situated in the corner of the room, they will hear the slowed down sinister laugh of iconic villain Kefka. Neat!
It’s always nice to see references to earlier titles in the franchise, but it has to be said that this one is pretty disturbing!
9 Bloody Beginnings
You bloodthirsty gamers out there might be happy to know that Final Fantasy VII marked the first time that blood was ever used in the series. While we’ve become somewhat desensitized to the sight of it in games, back in 1997, it was quite a new thing.
Also unique was the fact that JRPGs were usually cutesy affairs, choosing instead to go with a lighter and less controversial colour scheme. However, this bold title would have none of that. Freed from the graphical limitations that chained Square in the past, Final Fantasy VII certainly doesn’t shy away from depicting blood in all of its gory detail.
Chalk this up as another first for the classic RPG–and a pretty disturbing first at that.
8 Closer To Home
Can you imagine Final Fantasy VII being situated in the real world? No, me neither, but that’s exactly how Square had planned it initially. Yes, and it would have took place in The Big Apple: New York.
It’s surprising given how much of the game is focused on fantasy and mythology, and it would have most definitely taken away from the otherworldly feeling that the title so effortlessly nails. It wasn’t a unique take on the city either, but rather, it would have been set in the modern day. Wait, what?
Goodness knows how they thought this would work to begin with, but considering the original detective concept, it kind of makes sense. The more we think about it, the more we realize just how different the game would’ve been with its original outline.
7 A Different Kind Of Connection
Even though Aeris meets her demise at the hands of Sephiroth, it seems there was originally going to be a closer connection between the two. Yes, believe it or not, Sephiroth was written in as Aeris’ first love.
Yes, despite being one of the most evil men in gaming history, Sephiroth obviously had the hots for Aeris–and she presumably shared those sentiments too. In fact, it wasn’t until much later on in the writing process that the sinister baddie was taken out of the storyline strand and replaced with Zack.
Again, a weird secret regarding the two characters’ initial backstory, but one that disturbs us due to how tragic Aeris’ death was at the hands of Sephiroth.
6 Responsible For The Remake
Sometimes the reason for revisiting the past can be complex and profound, and the creators of Final Fantasy VII certainly subscribe to that mentality. Because, while you might think they are returning for a remake due to public demand, it’s actually more personal than that – it’s to do with their own mortality.
Yes, after an abandoned attempt to bring the game back to life on the PS2, a Final Fantasy VII reimagining was shelved for quite some time. In fact, the gap was so big that the men responsible for the title began to worry about dying before they could produce the project. Yikes!
Nothing will get you moving quite like the thought of your own demise, and in that respect, the Final Fantasy VII chaps are making sure they get it out there before that happens!
5 It Could Have Been A Lot More Grim
Spoiler alert: not everyone dies in Final Fantasy VII. Although, it could’ve turned out much differently if one of the developers had of got his way. He had it written in the story that nearly everyone in the game would perish!
In the sequence which involves the gang parachuting into Midgar, the pesky developer thought it’d be a good idea to have everyone die–leading to a bit of a backlash from the others in the team. Only the three endgame characters would make it out unscathed if they had of went through with the idea.
The game is already heart-breaking in parts, but to see most of our favorite characters die would’ve been an ultimate bummer. Luckily, he was talked out of it. Phew.
4 An Official Spoiler
How about this irritation–one of the biggest reveals of Final Fantasy VII was practically given away on the back of Platinum versions of the game. Grrr. Yes, the spoiler is a big one, but it didn’t stop Square from printing a shot of it on the back of the case.
Of course, it’s the shocking death of Aeris. One of the snapshots depicts Cloud holding her lifeless body in the water–completely shattering one of the main plot points of the game. What gives?!
It’s especially annoying considering that the game had only been out for a short period of time before the Platinum version was released. If this was your first copy of the game, we offer our sincere condolences.
3 A Ghostly Presence
Were you one of the ones devastated by Aeris’ death? Well, you weren’t the only one. Many players longed for the sweet girl to be back in their party–scouring the map for ways to bring her back from the dead.
While they weren’t successful, some fans did spot something rather intriguing in the church where you first meet her–a ghostly figure of Aeris in the flowerbed. While it could also be a glitch, it seems far too specific to be a mistake–especially considering the fact that it was her favorite flowerbed, so it would only make sense that she would go back there to rest in peace.
Whatever side of the fence you’re on with this one, it’s just another example of how much effort went into the game–by both the developers and the rabid fan base.
2 Some Fans Believe Cloud Is Responsible
Capping off our triple header of Aeris secrets is this one which has been floating around now for years–one which many fans swear by. They believe that it wasn’t Sephiroth that killed her, but instead (wait for it), she was killed by Cloud. Noooooooo!
For those who can’t accept her tragic fate at the hands of Sephiroth, it’s widely believed that she was mistakenly drowned by Cloud. They think that although Sephiroth drives his sword through her, the blade never hits any vital organs, but simply causes her to pass out. The cause of death? Cloud drowning her inadvertently when he lowers her into the water. Oh dear…
This is a deeply disturbing fan theory, and highlights the lofty imaginations that fans of the game have. Sorry guys, she’s not coming back–no matter how many theories you spout.
1 A Sad Real-Life Inspiration
You’ve probably noticed that we’ve been talking about death a lot for the past few entries, and much of that stems from the game’s origins. It’s true that Final Fantasy VII’s dark themes were influenced by the real world, but more specifically, personal loss.
The game changed from a detective story into something much deeper and darker–something which was directly influenced by the death of game creator Hironobu Sakaguchi’s mother. Yes, it turns out that the trauma inflicted on the RPG’s creator resulted in a game much more profound that anyone could’ve imagined.
It just goes to show that even in the darkest of times, light can be found at the end of the tunnel. Because after the tragic passing of his mother, Hironobu Sakaguchi used his harrowing experience allowed it to dictate the creation of one of the greatest video games ever made: Final Fantasy VII.