The following is a list of version differences between releases of Final Fantasy VII. The article uses two h3s, one for PlayStation and one for PC. This is because these are the two significant releases for the game. Both of these releases have seen re-releases based on the specific versions. The PlayStation version also details differences between the original Japanese release and the International version (which includes the changes made for North America and Europe).
Final Fantasy VII was released in Japan in January 1997. This was the original version of the game.
The "International" version of the game was released in North America in September 1997, Japan in October 1997, and Europe in November 1997.
- Improvements are made to the translation.
- For worldwide versions, the game was translated to English by the Japanese development team. German, French, and Spanish versions were translated from the English translation.
- Indicators are added for when the Cursor is up. Red indicators show new leads to new areas, while green indicators show places to climb.
- Encounter rates are lowered across the board. Every area has had its encounter rate reduced by varying amounts.
- Random encounters are removed from the square area of Sector 8 at the start of the game.
- The Test encounters are removed from the well in Corel Prison.
- A battleground relating to some of the Test encounters was changed into a blank screen instead.
- All the Test enemies had their models changed to the Pyramid.
- The password guessing game in the Shinra Headquarters is slightly different in the original Japanese version, where instead of picking a word of four letters, the player picks a sentence, each made up of four kanji characters. In the English and Japanese versions the correct password is randomized, although ORBS and HOJO (and the corresponding sentences in the Japanese version) are never the correct answer. In the French, German or Spanish versions of Final Fantasy VII MAKO is always the correct answer.
- Some books in the Shinra Headquarters library are available in English that weren't in Japanese, and vice versa. Gast's full name is mentioned in a book available in the Japanese version, but is never mentioned anywhere in the English version.
- The battleground at Corel Reactor was changed, the battle now being situated on the ground by the reactor.
- The Speed Square minigame versions function at different speeds depending on the version. The PAL version is slower than the NTSC version, making it easier.
- The player can no longer target the Zeppelin's propeller in the Speed Square minigame.
- There is a water wheel which appears on a boat in the Speed Square in all versions that can be shot for a stream of points, however, the original Japanese version the point-limit did not have a cap, where it is 285 in all future versions.
- The complex version of the clock puzzle in the Temple of the Ancients is removed, always giving the player the simple version which would only otherwise be accessible in the Japanese version after failing three times.
- The cutscene at Northern Crater is extended to show Weapons emerging from the crater.
- A scenario where the player party fights Diamond Weapon is included.
- Ruby Weapon and Emerald Weapon are added superbosses.
- The Guide Book item becomes the Morph item of the Ghost Ship.
- The Kalm Traveler is introduced, and trades the above items for prizes.
- The Underwater Materia is introduced, given to the player in exchange for a Guide Book for help in the Emerald Weapon boss battle.
Released in April 2009 in Japan, and June 2009 to the rest of the world, the PlayStation Network version of the game is identical to the original release. The only change made is the way disc changes occur due to not using discs (instead having to access the console menu and changing an option).
The PC version of Final Fantasy VII was not released in Japan, but released to the rest of the world in June 1998.
The team that worked on the PC port of the game were originally given an early build of the game, and other things were done wrong. This could help explain a number of problems the game has.
The PC version has gained attention over the years due to modding communities accessing the game. A fan developed a rendering engine for the game known as Aali's Driver which would fix a number of graphical glitches, as well as other glitches and allow for more modding of the game. This rendering engine would later be re-used by Square Enix for the 2012 re-release.
- The translation is re-done. Most grammatical and typographical errors are corrected. Other changes to the translation made things incorrect, including time frames and less faithful translations. One thing includes Corral Valley (PS) being renamed Corel Valley (PC) when it has nothing to do with Corel, but is instead literally "Coral Valley".
- Mouths were added to characters.
- The Speed Square minigame is much faster and the crosshair moves faster, making precision more difficult.
- The player can target the Zeppelin's propeller, like in the original Japanese PlayStation release.
- If running Windows XP or newer, the chocobo racing minigame freezes the game. A patch was developed by jedwin which would later be linked to by Square to fix this.
- A number of graphical glitches occur in the game, most notably Vincent's glitched animation at the Water Altar.
- The music is changed to MIDI format, and thus reduced in quality from the PlayStation version.
- FMVs are downscaled.
- Character naming screens utilize the keyboard to input names. These screens now ignore the given controls and will reset all other buttons to their defaults (on the NumPad).
- A "Quit" option was added to the menu.
- When the game is not the active window the game will pause, but the music will continue playing.
Downloadable PC re-releaseEdit
A downloadable re-release of the 1998 PC release was released in August 2012 to North America and Europe. This version uses an edited version of Aali's Driver to improve on the files of the original PC version. This release therefore has fixed everything that was previously fixed by the engine. A number of new features are made available, and other minor changes are made to the game. An identical version of the game was added to Steam in 2013.
- A launcher is implemented that serves as a main menu before accessing the game. Here settings can be changed and data not stored in save files viewed (such as achievements).
- Controls can be set from the launcher as well as in-game. The ability to change controls from the launcher means minigames and menus that use different control setups will still function with the user's chosen controls.
- The translation remains the same as the original PC version, but a few corrections are made. These include correcting the list of Greens items in the Chocobo Farm to match the item names, and correcting controls.
- A cloud saving feature allows files to be saved to the internet and synced to the web. This does not replace local saves.
- 36 Achievements are added to the game.
- A Character Booster available from the game's website allows the player to "boost" their save files.
- The music is now in OGG format. The music is identical to the PlayStation music as of patch v1.0.9. (Originally it was an upgraded version of the original MIDI music in OGG format.)
- The FMVs are upscaled to be of better quality than the original PlayStation FMVs.
- Shaders are added to increase the quality and looks of models.
- The chocobo minigame works without needing a patch.
- The Magic Defense Bug is fixed.
- Vincent's Water Altar bug is fixed by changing his animations.
- It is possible to play the game in a windowed mode as opposed to full screen.
- When the game is not the main window the game pauses/does not progress.
- Disc change screens are removed, instead saying "End of Part X".
- Minor timing and background scripts are added and changed.
- The Secret Cow Level easter egg is added.
- A number of musical glitches can occur. For example, exiting from Mythril Mine into the Marshes scene will have the overworld theme play.
The re-release has gone through many updates, although there is no change log and most of the changes have gone unnoticed.
- Between v1.0.1 and v1.0.8
- Cloud Saving can be disabled from the launcher.
- v1.0.9 - 25th September 2013
- The OGG music files are replaced with the original 1997 PlayStation quality music.
- Mouths were removed from NPCs.
- Option to max characters' stats in the Config menu.
- Option to turn on auto saving in Config menu.
- Encounters can be disabled.
- Player runs by default.
- Dialogue changes for control tutorials to match the new controls.
- No Quit option in the menu.